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Potential Consequences of Dirty Air Ducts

Your house comprises many systems that work to ensure your home is safe and...
a woman lying in bed with her hand on her face

Your house comprises many systems that work to ensure your home is safe and comfortable. The electrical system in your house, for example, safely delivers power throughout your home to keep your lights, devices, and appliances functioning. However, the HVAC equipment in your house comprises one of the hardest-working systems in your home. Your air handler, blower, furnace, and other equipment meet the different demands of seasonal changes to deliver comfortable air year-round. An essential part of your HVAC system that is often overlooked is your air ducts. The ductwork in your floors, ceilings, and walls is responsible for bringing comfortable air to all parts of your home.

Even though air ducts are a critical part of the heating and air conditioning process, many homeowners fail to do proper maintenance. Many experts suggest that several pounds of dirt, dust, pet dander, mold, and other substances settle in air ducts each year. As a result, air ducts can become clogged and lead to potential consequences for the HVAC system. Dirty air ducts can create airflow issues and impact the health of HVAC equipment. Let’s take a look at some problems that can arise from a dirty duct system.

Increased Energy Usage and Utility Bills


The ductwork in your home is a highway for delivering air throughout your home as efficiently as possible. Without proper maintenance and cleaning, your air ducts can become dirty and clogged and hamper airflow. As a result, your HVAC system will have to work harder to force air through the ducts and maintain the desired temperature. Depending on your location, you might pay as much as $525 in energy costs for HVAC operations. If your air ducts become overly dirty, your system will work harder and consume more energy. If this happens, you could end up paying significantly more for yearly energy costs. A qualified HVAC technician can perform an air duct cleaning to improve your system efficiency and lower energy bills.

Inconsistent Temperatures


If your ductwork is dirty and prevents efficient airflow, you may notice inconsistent temperatures throughout your home. In most homes, there are usually spots or even entire rooms that can be a little cooler or warmer than other parts of the house. While varying temperatures in different areas can be the result of several things, such as sunlight, shade, or location, poor airflow could also be to blame. Air ducts that are restricted by dirt and debris will make it harder for climate-controlled air to reach every part of your home. Typically, rooms that are located in the farthest parts of your home will be impacted the most by restricted airflow. If you notice inconsistent temperatures more than normal, you may need an HVAC technician to inspect and clean your air vents and ducts.

Poor Indoor Air Quality


Your air filters play a critical role in catching and trapping air pollutants and allergens. Changing your filters regularly will help prevent contaminants from circulating around your home. However, as discussed, even with regular air filter changes, mold, dirt, dust, and other contaminants settle in your ductwork each year. Once allergens and other substances make their way into your ductwork, they can have an impact on your air quality. When many of these pollutants circulate in your home, it can create health issues for people with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues. Regular maintenance and duct cleaning will help preserve your indoor air quality.

Your air ducts play an essential role as part of your HVAC system. Dirty ducts can lead to numerous problems, from increased energy bills and inconsistent temperatures to poor indoor air quality. To keep your HVAC system running as efficiently as possible, you should have your ductwork inspected and cleaned regularly by a qualified HVAC technician.

Billie is the newest addition to the Mitzi’s Cafe team as designer, writer, photographer, and all around creative aficienado. When she’s not shooting or designing, she’s usually adventuring outside or building something for her home.
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