Signs of Dirty Ducts and Vents In Your Home
Under most normal circumstances, running your HVAC system has the delightful double effect of both making your home a more comfortable temperature and making the air inside it easier and healthier to breathe. We call this trait of your home its indoor air quality. There are a lot of factors that go into indoor air quality and a lot of forces that affect it. Your HVAC system is one of them.
And the last thing you want is for this to be a compromise between warmth and air quality. But that’s exactly what can happen if your vents and ducts have accumulated too much dust, debris, and dirt over the years. This leads to a situation where the thing that normally improves your air quality, your HVAC system, actually hurts it. So, in this tip of the day, let’s take a look at some signs that may indicated your home is overdue for a duct cleaning and how this could benefit you down the line.
Pets and Hair
There's no doubt that our pets make life much sweeter, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t side effects to having pets in your home that you have to look out for. While we’re preparing for winter weather, it’s important to keep our pets in mind. Anyone who has a pet knows how much of a mess they can make. Messes can lead to poor indoor air quality and fuzzy furnace filters.
This is especially true of houses with vents on the floor. There’s nothing like the feeling of warm air on a cold fall or winter evening. Your pets feel the same way, often lying down on vents and registers to feel that warm breeze. If this is a habit of your pet, make sure they have not accidentally closed any of them. Closing vents and registers is bad for your heating and cooling system. Your equipment is designed to heat or cool a certain amount of space. When you start closing registers and vents, you mess with that calculated load. This can reduce efficiency and system life.
On top of that, pet hair can quickly block your furnace filter. Plus, the things they track indoors, along with the cleaners you use to clean up any mess, can lower indoor air quality. If you have pets, it’s a better idea to change your furnace filter as frequently as once a month (just to be safe).
The Dreaded Mold
One large and very serious sign that somethings amuck in your home’s ecosystem is the presence of mold. Mold anywhere in the house is a bad sign but it’s even more so if you see some in your ducts. The presence of mold in your ducts indicate there are possible issues with your ducts. It could mean there are possible moisture problems. Mold in your ducts can lead to serious breathing and other health related problems.
If you notice mold in your ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system, then chances are you need your ducts cleaned by a professional. Healthy air is vital for your family’s health and the comfort of your home. If you or anyone in your family is having issues breathing, coughing, or any other respiratory issue this could possibly be where the problem came from. Air ducts carry the cold and hot air through your home or office and if they get a build of too much dust or mold then the air being forced through the ducts are pushing that all out into the air everyone is breathing without even know it.
If you even remotely suspect that you might have a mold problem in your home, open up your vents and peer inside. Do a visual inspection for mold. If you see mold growing on your vents, it’s most likely spreading from deeper inside your air ducts. And noticing this and then having it cleaned up can make a big difference when it comes to you and your family’s health.
Dust, Dirt, and Pests
While mold may be one of the more serious contaminants to get caught up in your vents and ductwork, it’s not the only one to look out for. If you find yourself needing to clean and dust your home more than you feel like you had to be for, if furniture is accumulating dust at a ridiculous rate, that may be due to dust and dirt build up in your ducts that’s being spread throughout your home by your HVAC system.
So if you notice dust or debris coming out of your vents that is another sign your duct work needs cleaned. Keep an eye on your vents when the heat or air conditioning kicks on and you see stuff blow out time to get them cleaned. Just remember whatever is blown out of your vents is going in the air and everyone is breathing it is.
And the same goes for pests. Do you see any signs of shells or husks from insects, small scratches or droppings along the side of your ducts? If you do, then chances are you have an insect or rodent infestation. Get those ducts cleaned as soon as possible.
The Effects of Dirty Ductwork
Those are just a couple of common signs that you might be living with dirty ductwork. But perhaps the biggest sign and most regrettable symptom of dirty ductwork is the way it can effect your health and the health of your family.
This is because, as stated before, dirty ducts have a negative effect on the overall indoor air quality of your home. Anything in your ducts is going to eventually make its way around the rest of your home. That includes contaminants of all kinds. A good filter will block out some of this spreading but not all.
So let’s take a look at some of the ways dirty ducts have an impact on your health, starting with your sinuses. All the dust and debris in the air ducts get blown into your home’s living spaces with each cycle of the air conditioner or heater. This means that with each breath you take, some of these particles enter your nasal passages. The particles can work their way into your sinuses, causing inflammation which can lead to infection. Sinus infections are a painful condition that can have complications if left untreated.
This effect can be even more extreme is you or someone you live with suffers from asthma. For people with asthma, an attack can be triggered by exposure to dust, pollen, mold and other substances commonly found in dirty ductwork. If asthma symptoms are worse at home than anywhere else, dirty air ducts could be the reason why.
Along with allergens, viruses, fungi and bacteria can also hang out in the dirty air ducts. Every time air passes through the system, some of these germs are blown out and into your living spaces. As a result, you might get sick with respiratory infections more frequently than would be expected.
Regular professional duct cleaning every three years or more frequently can prevent or reduce many health problems. And there are plenty of other benefits as well. For example, cleaner ducts means a cleaner heating and cooling system, which could reduce maintenance and repair needs and increase HVAC lifespan. Plus, this will result in a more efficient system which means lower energy bills.
Dirty Ductwork and Heating Repair
So, it’s worth thinking about your ductwork and what might lie in there, if you never have before, or if it’s been a while. Dust, dirt, and other contaminants build up over time, and that buildup could start taking its toll on your home’s air and your HVAC system. If you notice signs of dirty ductwork in your home consider having a professional check it out. It’s not something worth putting off.
And if you need any kind of heater repair this winter, consider ADE Heating and Cooling. Call today for top notch heating service and repair! 609-693-6050!
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