When we turn on the air conditioning or heating in the house, the air usually flows into the room and we are comfortable. You probably give very little thought to the process that is taking place to deliver the air to your home, but it’s actually quite involved. Once your HVAC unit pumps the air out, it travels through a series of filters and sometimes complex pipes and interchanges known as your ductwork. For a system that has such an important job, most of us usually don’t give a second thought to our ductwork until something is wrong.
To keep quality air flowing through your home that is free of allergens, mold, and other particles, it is important to take care of your duct system. To ensure that your system is in top shape, you should inspect your air ducts yearly to check for effectiveness and cleanliness. You will want to make sure that your ducts don’t have damage and aren’t clogged by debris that could make your HVAC system less efficient and lead to rising energy costs. You’ll also want to make sure the system is clean and rid your ducts of contaminants to improve indoor air quality. Catching smaller problems early so they don’t become larger issues will save you money and keep your home’s ducts working. Let’s take a look at how you can rethink your home’s ductwork.
If you are not comfortable inspecting your ductwork yourself, you can set up an annual inspection with a professional HVAC technician. If you want to visually inspect the ductwork yourself, you will need to access your attic, crawlspace, or basement and take a look. You will want to check each section of the duct and all of the connections for gaps, disconnections, rips, and tears. You also want to make sure that rodents, birds, or other vermin have not accessed your ducts and caused damage.
After your visual inspection, you can turn on your HVAC system and check for leaks. With the air running, check your duct connections. If you feel the air with your hand, this means that something is probably loose. The usual spots for leaks are the duct joints. Additionally, you will want to check the insulation surrounding the ducts. Make sure that it is free from damage such as torn pieces, damp spots, or mold. If you notice a wet area, that could indicate a blockage and a problem with your air quality. If you notice any problems, you will want to follow up with a professional technician.
During an inspection of your ductwork, you or the technician may have noticed some leaks. Sealing up these leaks will help keep temperatures in your home consistent while saving money and improving indoor air quality. In fact, the EPA suggests that duct sealing could impact HVAC efficiency by as much as 20 percent. The visible portions of the duct can be sealed with mastic and professional-type foil tape. If you are having a professional technician do this work for you, they will also check for disconnections and poor connections and reattach them. If a leak is suspected in the portion of the duct behind walls, a special aerosol product can be used to create a seal from the inside out.
No matter how often you change your air filters, the HVAC system in your home will still get dirty. Over time, your air ducts will be a collecting place for dirt, dust, allergens, and even mold spores. The contaminants and air pollutants in your system lead to poor indoor air quality and can also lead to system inefficiency. Having your system professionally cleaned could help eliminate the contaminants that affect your family members with allergies or asthma. A duct cleaning service can make sure that your ductwork efficiently delivers clean air to your entire home.
The fact is that the ductwork in our homes isn’t often thought about. The air comes on, the room is comfortable and we move on to other things. The ventilation system in your house, however, is an important network that delivers airflow throughout the house. Making sure that the ductwork is clean, working properly, and free from damage will go a long way towards ensuring that your entire HVAC system is as efficient as possible and can help you avoid health problems in the future.