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Your Home’s Ductwork Is Guaranteed to Get Dirty Unless You Take Preventive Measures

Published on: December 9, 2014
Inside hvac ductwork | AC Southeast®

It may be out of sight, but you can’t let your home’s ductwork be out of mind if you want to maintain good indoor air quality and high HVAC system efficiency. When ducts become contaminated with dirt, mold and other debris, you may have to undergo a rigorous process to resolve the problem. Preventing dirty ductwork in the first place is the preferred option. Here are some preventative measures you can take to avoid contaminated ductwork.

Schedule Preventative HVAC Maintenance

Plan to have the air conditioner serviced every spring and the furnace tuned up in the fall. A major part of preventative maintenance is to clean all system components. This removes dirt, mold and other contaminants before they spread to the ductwork or your indoor air. A clean HVAC system usually results in clean ductwork.

A thorough maintenance visit performed by a knowledgeable professional also increases peak HVAC efficiency and home comfort. Tasks such as cleaning the coils, verifying the correct refrigerant charge and lubricating moving parts help the system work more efficiently, decreasing energy bills and making it easier for the equipment to keep up with heating and cooling demands in the process.

Protect the Ductwork During Home Renovations

If you pursue a home renovation project that produces sawdust and other debris, make sure the contractor you work with seals off return and supply registers. It’s as easy as covering them with plastic. This prevents construction debris from entering the ductwork and passing through the HVAC system. If these things happen, you could seriously damage the heating and cooling equipment and dirty up the ducts. Avoid the need for system cleaning and repair by preventing dirty ductwork during home renovations.

Clean Your Home Regularly

As air circulates around your home, pollutants make their way into the ductwork. By regularly vacuuming, dusting, washing the bedding and cleaning the bathrooms, you decrease the amount of dust, pet dander and mold spores that make their way into the ductwork. Good cleaning practices positively impact ductwork cleanliness and the overall air quality in your home, making it a good habit to follow.

Protect Against Mold

Dark, dank, out-of-sight places are the preferred areas mold likes to grow. Moisture and a food source are all mold spores need to start a colony. While areas such as behind shower wall tiles or under the floor are more likely to have mold problems, colonies can also grow in the ductwork. This is especially the case in the Southeast U.S. where heat and humidity abound.

Installing a whole-house dehumidifier is one major defense against excess humidity and mold growth in your home. By keeping the interior air at a moderate 50 percent relative humidity, mold is less inclined to grow and spread.

Also, make sure no return registers are located in bathrooms. These rooms are common breeding grounds for mold because of the high moisture levels caused by showering. Supply registers are acceptable, but you don’t want to draw air from the bathroom and circulate it through the HVAC system and the rest of your home.

Schedule Regular Ductwork Inspections

The chance to enjoy peace of mind knowing that your home’s ductwork isn’t contaminated is the simplest reason to schedule ductwork inspections. Not only does a thorough onceover by a professional ensure there’s no contamination, but it can also reveal other problems with ductwork.

For example, a ductwork inspection can reveal whether the layout is properly designed or not. Each subsequent inspection also gives you the chance to discover leaky ducts, which waste energy and introduce potentially polluted air from unconditioned spaces. Finding these problems gives you the chance to fix them for energy savings and cleaner indoor air.

Enjoy the Benefits of Preventing Dirty Ductwork

The first major benefit of preventing dirty ductwork is the ability to avoid duct cleaning and repairs. These can become quite costly, especially if you need to have sections of ductwork replaced. It also takes time to research and hire the right company with the professionalism and expertise you want.

The other major benefit is the increased health you enjoy when ductwork is clean. Because duct cleaning and repairs are costly and inconvenient, you may be tempted to put off the work. By preventing the problem from developing in the first place, you can avoid complications such as polluted indoor air and increased allergies and asthma.

For more tips about preventing dirty ductwork, or for help finding a reliable HVAC contractor to perform inspections, contact AirConditioningSouthEast.com.