Can Problems in Your Home’s Ductwork Cause Poor IAQ?

Can Problems in Your Home's Ductwork Cause Poor IAQ?The indoor air quality (IAQ) of your southwest Oklahoma home is important for both your comfort and health, especially if you or a family member deals with health issues like asthma or allergies. Several common causes of poor IAQ can be attributed to problems with your ductwork, which requires regular maintenance to keep the ducts in good condition.

Leaks in the Return Ducts

The return ducts of your HVAC system draw in air to be filtered, then heated or cooled for distribution throughout your home. Because the return ducts operate at a negative pressure, any leaks in the ducts can draw in unwanted material from areas where the return ducts run through unconditioned spaces, like crawl spaces or attics. This material can include dust, mold spores, excess moisture or even insect or rodent droppings. Leaks in the filter housing or air handler cabinet can have the same effect.

Leaks in the Supply Ducts

Like the return ducts, leaks in the supply ducts can also bring unwanted contaminants into the home. When the supply ducts are leaking and the return ducts aren’t, a negative pressure can form inside your home, drawing in pollutants from outdoors through air leaks around windows, doors and holes in the exterior walls for pipes, electrical lines and other services.

Increased Carbon Monoxide Levels

When leaking supply ducts cause negative pressure, combustion gases from appliances like water heaters or furnaces can be drawn into your home instead of exiting through the flue like normal. These gases can include potentially deadly carbon monoxide, among other harmful substances.

Mold Problems

Excess moisture caused by duct leaks can increase the humidity in your home, providing the perfect environment for mold. Not only can this cause poor IAQ, but if the mold is one of the toxic varieties, it can also cause serious health problems and require expensive remediation work to make your home safe again.

To avoid poor IAQ, have your ducts inspected and serviced regularly. For more information, talk to the IAQ experts at Davis Air Conditioning. We proudly serve southwest Oklahoma.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Lawton and Duncan, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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