Air ducts can become contaminated quite easily. Over time, mold, dander, dust and other pollutants can build up to the point where it becomes unhealthy. Just imagine all those allergens shooting out of your ductwork the next time you turn on your air conditioning unit. This is what can happen if you don’t prevent air duct contamination in the first place. These pollutants can cause a number of health problems – including breathing difficulties. If you have a weakened immune system, mold can start to really take its toll. If you have allergies or asthma, dust and dander could cause coughing spasms and attacks. Here are five tips for preventing air duct contamination in your home.
- Make sure that you install your air ducts the right way. Many HVAC contractors say they can install ductwork correctly, but they wind up doing shoddy work. If the unit is installed incorrectly, it can cause the system to build up excess moisture, which can cause mold to grow. Eventually, those mold spores will become loose and travel throughout your ductwork. So, make sure that you do your research before you hire an HVAC specialist.
- Make sure that you seal and insulate the ductwork. If your ductwork isn’t sealed and insulated, you could wind up with drafts and leaks that not only cause the unit to work inefficiently, but dust and other pollutants could make their way inside the unit. So, do not underestimate the importance of sealing and adding insulation, especially if you see leaks or if you have certain rooms that don’t seem to be affected by the HVAC system. It is especially important to add insulation to parts of your ductwork that are exposed. For instance, you want to add insulation to attic ductwork.
- Make sure that you maintain and update your air conditioning and heating system. If you don’t maintain and update your HVAC system, you could wind up with a contaminated ductwork system. Specifically, you want to swap out the filter of your HVAC system, because if you don’t, excess dust and dander will build up inside your ducts. Ideally, you want to swap out the filter every month or two – maybe more often than that during the harsher months
- Make sure that your air ducts don’t get too moist. Moisture can build up in a number of situations. For instance, moisture can occur when you have a rip or tear in your ducts – condensation builds up and the system can become contaminated. Also, if the temperature in the area where your ductwork is housed is hotter or colder than it is on the inside, you may have a moisture problem. So, repairing tears and other issues with your ductwork is vital.
- Make sure that you get your air ducts cleaned and serviced on a seasonal basis. It is also critical that you get your ductwork scrubbed and cleaned on a regular basis as part of your HVAC maintenance duties. In the end, you want to prevent pollutants from building up – if you don’t, you could have a serious problem on your hands.