When you turn on the air conditioner or heat in your home, the air circulates through the room creating comfortable temperatures. Very little thought is usually given to the process that is delivering the air to the home. Once the HVAC unit pushes the air out, it travels through several filters and a network of pipes and interchanges known as your ductwork. Even though this system is so important, most homeowners don’t think about their ductwork until something is wrong.
To keep air that is free of allergens, mold, and other particles flowing efficiently throughout your house, it’s important to maintain your duct system. To ensure that your system is working properly, you should inspect your air ducts regularly to ensure effectiveness and cleanliness. Ducts that are damaged or clogged with debris could cause your HVAC system to be less efficient and create higher energy bills.
Some things that can damage your ductwork include aging or sagging air ducts, mold, and animals. Checking your ductwork and doing regular maintenance could help you catch smaller problems early so they don’t become larger issues. Let’s take a look at how you can maintain your ductwork.
Performing regular inspections of your duct system will ensure that it’s working properly and free from major damage. If you don’t want to inspect your ductwork yourself, you can contact a professional HVAC technician to perform an inspection.
To inspect the ductwork yourself, you’ll need to go into your attic, crawlspace, or basement. Many parts of the air duct are hidden behind walls and floors, however, there are a lot of exposed sections that can be checked. You’ll want to look at each section of the ductwork and all of the connections and joints.
Regular inspections will ensure that there aren’t any gaps, disconnections, rips, or tears that can cause air leaks and allow allergens and pollutants in. You’ll also want to make sure that rodents or other small animals have not accessed your ducts and caused damage.
A common problem with aging ductwork is air leaks. As the ductwork settles and sags, some of the fittings and piping can loosen up and create small gaps in the duct. When air escapes from small gaps, your HVAC has to work harder to deliver enough air to maintain comfortable temperatures in your home.
Sealing these leaks to prevent air from escaping will help keep your HVAC unit running efficiently while saving you money and improving indoor air quality. EPA suggests that seeing your duct system could impact HVAC efficiency by 20 percent. If a leak is suspected in the portion of the duct that is hidden, an aerosol product can be used to seal any leaks from the inside out.
As part of your routine home maintenance, you probably change your air filters regularly. No matter how often filters are changed, however, your HVAC system will still get dirty. Over time, air ducts are notorious for collecting dirt, dust, allergens, and even mold spores. These contaminants and pollutants collecting in your system are circulated throughout your living spaces and cause poor indoor air quality.
A large buildup of contaminants could also lead to an inefficient system. To remedy this problem, you can have your duct system professionally cleaned regularly. Duct cleaning could eliminate some of the contaminants circulated by your HVAC system that impact family members with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues. Duct cleaning can ensure that your ductwork continues to deliver clean air to your entire home as efficiently as possible.
Since your ductwork is typically hidden away, it isn’t often thought about. A ventilation system throughout the house, however, is an essential system that delivers airflow to all living spaces. Maintaining regular checks to ensure that ducts in your home are clean, working properly, and free from damage will go a long way towards maintaining the health of your entire HVAC system. Maintaining your ducts will help you avoid health problems make sure that your home is as comfortable as possible.