In general, most people give little thought to the air ducts in the home until an obvious problem exists. Unfortunately, signs of air duct problems mean you will likely need repairs, which can get expensive.
When the temperatures increase, air duct issues cause significant inconvenience. The air duct is the workhorse that moves the cold air from your HVAC system into the home. When compromised, the air ducts can no longer efficiently flow air into the different rooms of your house. This not only causes discomfort but also hikes up your electricity bill.
Regular air duct cleanings will prevent major damage. Fortunately, you can look for some warning signs that you need a cleaning before any significant damage occurs. Here are some of the most common warning signs to look for.
Sudden Increase in Your Electricity Bill
An increase in an electricity bill can happen when you use your air conditioner more often or if you have a mechanical issue. However, if your HVAC system does not have any outward issues and you do not have other reasons why your electricity bill has suddenly increased, one possibility could be a leaking or clogged air duct.
A clogged or leaking air duct means the system does not operate with optimum efficiency. The system will work overtime to produce more cool air to compensate the lost air through a leak. The system works equally hard when the duct clogs, as the thermostat will cause the air conditioner to cycle as often as possible until the rooms get to the desired temperature.
Signs of Rodents
Another possible cause of air duct issues is the sign of rodents. Rodents enjoy making a home in air ducts as they are a safe and warm environment to raise their young. Unfortunately, rodents can cause major damage to air ducts. Mice, possum, squirrels, and other animals will chew through the ductwork and make nests inside.
Not only does rodent infestation reduce the efficiency of the air ducts, but they also cause foul odors and droppings to emit through your house. The contaminants from rodents can circulate throughout the home, where your family can then inhale them. If anyone in your home has respiratory problems, rodent infestation in air ducts poses a significant health risk.
Debris Buildup Near the Vents
Look at the air vents around your home. If you notice dirt, dust, or other debris building on them, chances are you have a problem with the air ducts. You either have clogged ducts or have many contaminants inside. The debris buildup will cause excess dust and contaminants in your home, on your furniture, and even in your lungs if you breathe them in.
Sudden Respiratory Distress
As mentioned, clogged air ducts can impact those with respiratory issues. If you or someone in your family has a sudden onset of respiratory distress seemingly out of nowhere, check your air ducts to ensure they are not the primary source of the problem.
The air from the ducts will cycle through your home many times throughout the day. When the ducts have contamination, clean air is not available to get into your home. Therefore, you continue to breathe the bad air, which causes respiratory distress.
Dusty Air Filters
Dusty air filters are not uncommon unless you just recently changed them. If your filter is suddenly dusty, the air ducts likely need attention. Dirty air cycling through air filters constantly causes the filters to dirty in days rather than months like normal.
If you have any concerns about your air ducts, or if you notice any of these warning signs, please contact us at Custom Comfort Plumbing, Heating, & Cooling LLC.