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