4 Ways Ductwork Problems Can Lead to Poor Indoor Air Quality
While the summer humidity in Delaware and Pennsylvania can bring down urban air quality, believe it or not, indoor air quality is typically even worse. Several factors contribute to this, and problems with the air ducts are among them.
Contaminants From Inside Your House
Damaged ducts and poorly sealed duct joints leave leaky holes that allow unfiltered air to enter ductwork. Leaky ducts in the attic, basement and crawl space let in air containing dust, mold spores, insect debris, insulation fibers, fumes from stored chemicals and other air contaminants that lurk in these spaces. This polluted air is then distributed to rooms throughout your home.
Contaminants From Outdoors
Enough leaks in the ductwork can create negative air pressure inside your house. This causes the house to suck in outdoor air through small cracks around the windows, doors, utility line entrances and elsewhere. The outdoor air that enters can bring in dust, pollen, car exhaust, pesticide residue and other contaminants that lower your indoor air quality.
Backdrafting of Harmful Exhaust Fumes
Fuel-burning appliances, such as a gas stove and water heater, release fumes that contain potentially lethal carbon monoxide. Normally these fumes rise up the appliance’s vent and are released outdoors. If leaky ducts are causing negative air pressure, however, the fumes can be sucked back into your house where you’ll breath them in.
Moisture Problems and Mold
Duct leaks also let air escape. In the summer, escaping conditioned air hitting hot surfaces in the attic or other unconditioned spaces causes condensation. The reverse happens in winter. Accumulated moisture can degrade your home’s wood and insulation, as well as encourage the growth of mold that produces lung-irritant spores. Professional duct sealing and maintenance can stop the leaks to improve your indoor air quality and your system’s energy efficiency.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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