What About Home Duct Maintenance

HomeDuctMaintenanceTSHeatAirWeb350Pix.jpgHome duct maintenance is, unfortunately, one of those tasks that is often forgotten about until a problem arises. By properly servicing them, though, you can defend against HVAC system breakdowns and extend its life, help it run more efficiently which reduces energy costs, and possibly boost you and your family’s health (*see note). In this article, we will discuss the two main aspects of home duct maintenance: preventing contamination and preventing moisture.

Contamination

Implementing a solid maintenance routine is critical to controlling duct contamination. Of course, you want to minimize the amount of dust and dirt that enters the system, but blockage from debris and even rodents is rather common and obviously of equal importance to guard against. By employing the following tactics, you can better maintain an efficient system, clean and free from detrimental clogs:

~ Vacuum and dust your home regularly, using a HEPA cleaner or high efficiency bags in your vacuum cleaner.

~ Seal off the supply to your ducts during any sort of projects (i.e. renovation, construction, etc) that produces excess dust in the home, and refrain from operating your HVAC system until the dust has been removed.

~ Regularly change filters, using the highest efficiency air filter that your HVAC system manufacturer recommends.

~ Ensure that you don’t have gaps around the filter holder through which air can bypass.

~ When having your HVAC system serviced, have the cooling coils and drain pans cleaned.

Moisture

Mold and fungi infestation is not just an ick factor. They can cause respiratory issues and eye or throat irritation, not to mention great distress to individuals with severe allergies. To reduce contamination potential, it is necessary to control moisture within your ducts. Do so by following the measures listed below:

~ Ensure that your air conditioning unit is accurately sized for your needs.

~ Verify that all ducts are sealed at the joints.

~ Repair any leaks immediately, and correct any water damage.

~ To keep condensation moisture from entering the HVAC system, ensure that the ducts are properly sealed and insulated, especially in non-climate controlled areas such as crawl spaces and attics.

~ Ensure that the condensate pan is draining properly, and that you aren’t experiencing any issues with standing water or wet spots on insulation near the cooling coils.

As you can see, keeping your home duct ducks in a row (cue obligatory laughter at sad, little pun here) is an essential part of your home maintenance routine. It can not only allow for better air quality and reduce energy costs, but save you pricy repairs – or even full replacements – in the long run. Stay tuned for a checklist on what you should expect from a home duct cleaning, should you decide to invest in one.

*It is important to note that duct cleaning has not been proven to definitively prevent health problems. It’s more accurate to state that it may be beneficial and it is certainly not harmful, provided it is done properly.