5 Risks You Face When Your Air Ducts Aren’t Cleaned Properly

Air ducts are a key component of any HVAC system. Unfortunately, they don’t receive the recognition they deserve. In fact, air ducts are often overlooked entirely. Many people either wait too long to have them cleaned or avoid the procedure altogether. Both of those practices wreak havoc on your HVAC system and your health.

Not only that, but many people fail to replace their filters on a regular basis, which adds to the dirt and debris that builds up inside the ducts. Before you go another year without cleaning your ducts, take a look at the list provided below. These are the risks you face when you don’t keep the air ducts in your home as clean as they should be.

1. Increased Carbon Monoxide Risks

Carbon monoxide is a serious threat to you and your family. Carbon monoxide exposure can cause headaches, dizziness, and vomiting. Moderate exposure to carbon monoxide, over a prolonged period of time, can be fatal.

Unfortunately, if you don’t have your ducts cleaned on a regular basis, you increase your risk for carbon monoxide exposure. That’s because the dirty ducts cause your heater and air conditioner to overheat, which leads to elevated carbon monoxide levels.

2. Decreased Air Quality

If allergies, asthma, or other breathing-related medical conditions are a problem for your family, you need to have your ducts professionally cleaned. Your ducts attract and trap dirt, allergens, and pollutants.

Once the ducts are clogged with those particles, your air will no longer be clean, which means you and your family will breathe in more of the contaminants. If you have dirty filters, the problem will be exacerbated. That’s because dirty filters increase the amount of dirt and allergens that flow through your ducts.

3. Diminished Air Flow

Whether you want to stay cool during the summer, or warm during the winter, maximum air flow through the vents is crucial. After all, you can’t keep your home a comfortable temperature when air flow is down to a trickle.

Unfortunately, you won’t get peak airflow through the vents when the ducts are clogged with dirt and other particles. The best way to ensure maximum airflow is to have your ducts professionally cleaned at least once a year.

4. Damage to Limit Switch

Your furnace contains a variety of essential components. One of those components is the limit switch. The limit switch serves two functions. First, the limit switch helps the blower remove excess heat from the heat exchanger.

Second, the limit switch shuts down the system if the heat exchanger does get too hot. A clean air duct system protects the limit switch, and prevents malfunctions. However, if your air ducts are clogged, your limit switch and your heat exchanger are at risk.

5. Increased Energy Bills

If you’re like most people, you look for effective ways to reduce your energy bills. One simple way that is often overlooked, is to have your air ducts cleaned whenever you see dirt on the walls around your air vents. In most cases, that’s once every one or two years.

If you live in a particularly dusty environment, or you deal with high pollen counts on a regular basis, you should stick to the once a year schedule. A clean air duct system helps your HVAC system operate more efficiently, which reduces those monthly energy bills.

If you’ve encountered problems with your HVAC system, the problems could lie with your air ducts. Dirty ducts pose a variety of problems for you. If you haven’t had your ducts cleaned in several years, and you live in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, contact us at 978-681-5023. We’ll come out and remove the dirt that’s got your ducts clogged up.

By Carolina Ductmasters

3 Types of Duct-Related Maintenance to Keep Your AC Running Smoothly

Your AC system needs more than a yearly coolant top-off to stay healthy and function optimally. It requires great airflow, a functioning duct system, protection from pests, and more. Here are three types of duct-related maintenance you need in order to keep your unit at the top of its game.

1. Duct Cleaning and Testing

In addition to losing cooled or heated air, duct leaks can also allow polluted air into the system. So, if you discover that your ducts have been leaking, that could mean it’s time to have them cleaned out. If your HVAC system has recently been operating with clogged air filters or even without air filters, that could also allow dust and dirt in, meaning a cleaning is a good idea.

Other reasons for duct cleanings include a mold problem or simply needing better indoor air quality. This could be because someone in your home has allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues affected by air particulates. Your indoor air may be especially high in contaminants if, for example, you have a lot of pets or you don’t open your windows often.

Duct cleaning can be helpful for many allergy sufferers. When used in conjunction with a high-quality AC filter, regular duct cleaning could reduce the severity of allergy symptoms experienced in the home by reducing the amount of pollutants in the air your ducts pump through the house. If you find duct cleaning helps your allergies, consider making it a yearly event.

2. Pest Control

You may be under the impression that you don’t have to worry about pest control if you don’t have a pest problem at the moment. However, thinking ahead can help you avoid a smelly, expensive, and even hazardous infestation.

An HVAC professional or a pest-control expert can help you to check your ductwork and air vents for vulnerabilities. Pests such as cockroaches, mice and rats, ants, and even bats are more common in HVAC ducts than you might expect.

Close up any gaps, place better screens on vents, and use preventive traps to help avoid problems. An HVAC or pest-control expert can help you come up with a detailed and customized plan to avoid housing critters in your HVAC ducts.

3. Duct Sealing and Insulation

Many homes lose a lot of their cool air through ductwork leaks and uninsulated ducts, meaning only some of the cool air produced is actually used. If you haven’t had your ducts sealed and insulated recently, your home could fall into this group.

Problems such as leaky ducts and insulation damage are more common than you might think. Sometimes a more drastic problem, like disconnected ducts, is also present. If you have one room in your house that doesn’t get as cool as it should, this could be why.

Even if you have had your ducts sealed in the past, it could be time to have it done again. Consider getting your ducts inspected and checked for leaks anytime you’re having them cleaned; rodent damage, thermal expansion and contraction, and other factors can cause leaks to appear in ductwork over time.

These three types of maintenance can act as ancillary factors to your yearly professional maintenance visit. With regular professional maintenance for your AC and ductwork and complementary home maintenance, such as changing the filter regularly, you’ll be able to keep your AC unit in top form where efficiency and effectiveness are concerned.

By Carolina Ductmasters