Preventing Dirty Ductwork Is in Homeowners’ Hands
All of the air in your home is going to move through the air ducts at some point, and most will re-circulate many times before flowing out of exterior vents. Debris or organisms inside the air ducts will contaminate that circulating air, which is then deposited into the living spaces for your family to breath. Here are some steps for preventing dirty ductwork to protect your indoor air quality.
Repair and Seal DuctsPreventing dirty ductwork starts with closing up access points that shouldn’t be there. Give priority to visible breaks, corrosion or other damage that leaks conditioned air and can allow mice or other vermin to get into ducts. Any replacement sections should be thoroughly cleaned before installation. Discuss duct sealing with your HVAC contractor. Sealing closes off tiny air leaks that can suck dust and other contaminants directly into the ductwork, completely bypassing the filtration system.
Keep Up Basic MaintenanceDucts run through your whole house, so it’s easy to miss a few things in routine HVAC maintenance. At least once a month, perform these simple maintenance tasks:
- Check the air filter regularly. Make it a monthly habit to check the filter and replace it when there’s dust accumulation. A dirty air filter can block airflow and allow contaminating particles into the ducts.
- Keep air intakes clear. Dust, mold and mildew can gather around air intakes over time. Make sure they stay clean and unobstructed so the cleanest possible air flows into the ductwork.
- Do a house-wide deep clean. The best way to protect the HVAC system from dust and debris is to intercept as much as possible before it gets into the system.