Most owners of residential and commercial property that use ducted heating, cooling and air conditioning systems tend to be a dilemma as to when, why, and how to have their air ducts cleaned. There is also the question of how frequently one should have their air ducts cleaned. According to NADCAs recommendation, one should ensure that they have their ductwork professionally cleaned at least once every two years. However, duct cleaning may be required sooner than that, perhaps once a year depending on factors such as location and how the HVAC equipment is used. This brings us to the main focus of this article. What can happen if homeowners neglect cleaning their property’s ductwork? Here are 4 things homeowners should expect if regular air duct cleaning is neglected.
1. Poor Indoor Air Quality and Health Implications
Talk of mold spores, dust, grime, pet dander, and other kinds of debris. When these are introduced into your home’s ductwork through the ventilation system, some of it may finally find its way into the home’s living space. Again, clogged air ducts lead to poor airflow and the little air that is delivered throughout your home may contain allergens such as pet dander, mold, and dust. All these are indoor air pollutants that can trigger respiratory infections, or cause breathing problems, and allergies such as asthma. It is recommended that air ducts should be cleaned at least once a year, and especially if one of the residents suffers from seasonal respiratory allergies getting a HEPA filter could benefit you more according to Jessica McDiarmid.
2. Decreased HVAC Performance
As airflow becomes reduced due to debris and dirt accumulation in ductwork, the HVAC system is left struggling to meet the homeowner’s heating and cooling requirements. This struggling is more likely to eventually lead to equipment breakdown and reduced performance. Heating irregularities are also common during such a case, where you find some rooms or compartments within the home are cooler or warmer than others while the temperature settings are the same. With decreased HVAC performance due to dirty ductwork or poor installation, your home’s comfort is obviously affected.
3. Higher Energy Bills and Maintenance Costs
The other common situation that is likely to result from neglected air duct cleaning is the increase of energy bills related to heating and cooling. This is due to the fact that the HVAC equipment tends to struggle with decreased airflow through the duct system when delivering heated or cooled air. It ends up consuming more fuel or energy to do so. Since the equipment is overworked, it is the HVAC system components are also more prone to damages, meaning that your HVAC system maintenance and repair costs could also be higher.
4. Decreased HVAC Equipment Lifetime
Different HVAC units have different life expectancies. However, the other consequence of neglected air duct cleaning is that it contributes to reducing the lifetime of your HVAC system or its components. As the system is overworked and experiences repeated breakdowns, the repairs become more expensive than installing a new unit. You may find yourself in a position where you are debating between repairs and replacement. Actually, increased HVAC lifetime is one of the benefits of proper ductwork maintenance and regular cleaning where appropriate. As a matter of fact; delayed duct cleaning could also affect the integrity of the air ducts themselves and reduce the lifetime of your home’s ductwork. This is because as the debris and slime buildups, there are chances that it could come into contact with some amount of moisture, which could also lead to corrosion and leaks in ductwork. Before you know it, you may have to replace your ductwork altogether.