How Dirt And Dust In The Air Ducts Can Affect Your Home And HVAC System

Posted on: 26 April 2022

Homes with ducted heating and cooling systems rely on air ducts to circulate air. Most residential systems do not bring fresh air into the building; instead, they filter and recirculate interior air. Therefore, if your principal medium of circulating air has dust and dirt due to poor maintenance, you will likely experience problems in your home. Read on to find out how dirt and dust in your air ducts can affect your HVAC system and the entire household.

Air Quality Issues

During a heating or cooling cycle, air enters the interior spaces through the supply vents and exits through the return vents. These vents have filters that filter the air before releasing it into the room. However, since the system has a closed-loop design, dust from the house gets trapped inside the vents, registers, and ductwork. The dust gets blown into the interior spaces, especially if you have poor-quality air filters. Dust can lower the air quality in your home and increase the risk of allergies and respiratory complications.

Low Airflow in the Home

The air in your home circulates through the supply and return ductwork. Accumulated dirt, dust, and debris can block the ductwork, vents, and air filters, causing an air imbalance in the system. Consequently, less air is supplied by the supply vents, leading to low airflow throughout the home. Low airflow can cause hot and cold spots in the home, increased pollutants in the air, and uncomfortable temperatures and humidity levels. 

Overheating of HVAC Components

Poor airflow in a building is often caused by blockages in the HVAC air ducts. When dust and dirt build up in the ducts, heated or conditioned air gets trapped in the ductwork instead of flowing into the indoor spaces. As the trapped air attempts to push through the blocked ducts, vents, and filters, pressure builds up in the system. Pressure buildup can damage your furnace's heat exchanger or cause the AC compressor to overheat. The heating and cooling units experience short cycling, which can damage the electrical components.

HVAC Inefficiencies

Modern HVAC systems have advanced features that boost energy efficiency and lower energy costs. For example, most furnaces and air conditioners have variable-speed motors that run at multiple speeds to match the demand for heated or conditioned air. Unfortunately, a blockage in the air ducts can limit airflow, causing the users to crank up the air. Consequently, the systems run at high speeds all the time and consume a lot of energy despite having energy-efficiency features.

Regular air duct cleaning can eliminate blockages in your ductwork, improving air quality and boosting HVAC efficiency. If you notice any of the above problems in your home, contact a duct cleaning service for professional help.


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