Many homeowners schedule annual inspections of their HVAC system to ensure the heating and cooling systems are working correctly and efficiently. But not everyone remembers to inspect their air ducts periodically. While you might not think air ducts pose much of a problem for your family’s health, they can reveal some unpleasant surprises if left unchecked for too long.
Debris and Allergens
If you remove the vent covers in your home, you may notice a thick coating of dust and possible debris that has built up over time. In fact, you will probably see only a small part of it, as the duct system winds through the entire house. Family members with allergy symptoms like coughing or sneezing could be reacting to a buildup of pet dander, dust mites, and dirt particles that have collected in the ductwork. The older a home is, the more debris there could be.
Janwikifoto, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Mold and Mildew
Because duct pipes are dark and enclosed, they are the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. You cannot see it unless you look inside with a flashlight or long-range camera. Mold can be a health hazard, especially to people who are sensitive to it. Left untouched, mold can continue to grow throughout your home and cause more complex health issues over time.
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Most home residents lose things at home occasionally. Sometimes a pet runs off with a piece of cosmetic jewelry or a child’s toy. If you cannot find missing things, there’s a chance it might have been dropped into the vent by a pet or young child and somehow made its way into the ductwork through a tear or hole where it now lodges. Having the ductwork cleaned could reveal these household goods that you thought were long gone.
Pests and Insects
Sometimes pests will take up residence in your vents and ducts. Nests made by spiders, wasps, ants, and mice could be lurking in those pipes to come out and cause concern unexpectedly. Recluse spiders are venomous, with their bites often requiring medical attention. Removing these nests from inside their cavernous hideouts can help to protect your family.
Cleaning the vents is intensive work that requires the right equipment for a thorough job. AC repair experts can remove debris like that mentioned above and clean the ducts as well as sanitize them before replacing the vent covers.
Keep your family safe and healthy by having your ductwork checked soon. You may be surprised and relieved by what the experts are able to find and remove.