Taking good care of the HVAC equipment in your Northglenn home is the absolute best way to protect your indoor air quality and keep your home heating and cooling bills at a moderate, manageable level. Unfortunately, however, these efforts are often far more involved than simply changing the air filter. If you haven’t done so in a while, it may be time to have your ductwork replaced.
Why Replacing Your HVAC Ductwork Is So Important
Quality HVAC ductwork has a maximum lifespan of 25 years. However, many systems start to show serious signs of wear after just 10 to 15 years. Having your ductwork assessed by seasoned HVAC professionals is the best way to learn its current condition, identify developing problems, and get an estimate of how long it has left.
When HVAC ductwork has cracks, gaps, rips, tears, or other structural damages, heated and cooled air is often deposited behind the walls of homes rather than into the actual living space. This causes both home energy use and home energy bills to go up. Worse still, these changes occur even as indoor comfort levels decline. With damaged ductwork, it takes far longer for heating and cooling systems to create the desired temperature indoors. Moreover, the ability of HVAC systems to effectively filter the indoor air and regulate humidity also declines. Homes with damaged ductwork are often excessively dusty, and residents frequently struggle with problems like:
- Proliferations of dust mites
- Dry, itchy, watery eyes
- Respiratory distress
Dirty, damaged ductwork can be especially problematic for people with chronic respiratory issues. Increased contaminants and pathogens within the indoor air can greatly exacerbate the symptoms of asthma, allergies, and COPD.
Pest Problems in Your HVAC Ductwork
Faint scratching sounds, foul and pervasive odors, and a dramatic decline in indoor air quality are just a few of the many signs that you’ve got pests living in your HVAC ductwork. Both animals and insects can take advantage of any points of ingress to gain access to these systems. Some species actually thrive in these environments, particularly when HVAC systems are dirty and ill-maintained. Rodents of all types can chew holes through ductwork using their sharp incisors. Others may wander in via existing gaps that are caused by age-related wear.
Once in HVAC ductwork, pests can cause a host of problems for both HVAC systems and building residents. Pests can introduce droppings, shed fur, lost wings, eggs, and other debris into these systems. All of these things will be circulated throughout the home along with all related pathogens. There are also many times when pests wander into these systems and have a hard time finding their way back out. If you’ve used poison on your property for the extermination of rodents and have foul odors coming from your ductwork, this is the likely cause. When pests die in HVAC ductwork, they’ll release strong, noxious odors throughout the home during all stages of the decomposition process
When pests die in HVAC ductwork, their carcasses are best removed by qualified HVAC professionals. Special sanitizing and deodorizing solutions must be applied everywhere that dying animals have wandered. All remnants must be taken out, and all damages to the affected ducting must be assessed and repaired. In some instances, the only way to restore HVAC ductwork to a safe and usable state after pests have died in these systems is by replacing it.
Dealing With Your Ducts After Mold Infestation
HVAC ductwork is an important focus of mold remediation services. Mold remediation is often necessary after homes have been flooded. Even minor flood events can cause widespread mold problems if flood damage cleanup is not started within 48 hours or less. Once mold spores are allowed to form, continuing to use the HVAC system will introduce these pathogens into the ductwork. Not only will they be circulated and recirculated throughout the living environment, but they’ll additionally contaminant all aspects of the ducting and air vents. In some cases, thorough ductwork cleaning can resolve the problem. However, when mold infestation is severe, HVAC ducting may need to be replaced.
Impact-Related Damages to HVAC Ductwork
When built directly into homes during the initial construction process, HVAC ducting systems are largely inconspicuous. There are few areas of the home in which these systems can be easily seen. Thus, when problems occur, they’re often hidden behind walls or in other remote areas. However, it may be possible to see unprotected ductwork in your basement or garage. In these spaces, these systems are highly vulnerable to impact-related damages. HVAC ducting in the basement or garage can be crushed by a falling ladder, falling tools, or even half-filled paint cans. When ducting in remote areas of the home is crushed, twisted, or otherwise damaged by any heavy object, full or partial duct replacement is required. Unlike minor holes, problems like these cannot be patched, taped, or otherwise sealed.
Should You Clean Your HVAC Ductwork or Replace It?
When ductwork has minor damages, these systems can often be quickly and cheaply sealed or taped to restore their integrity. However, when more severe damages occur, it’s important to consider the age of your ducting and the increasing likelihood of future issues. HVAC ductwork that is nearing its 15-year mark is likely to experience new rips, tears, and areas of collapse within just a short matter of time. Scheduling a professional ductwork inspection will allow HVAC professionals to assess the condition and continued viability of your ductwork. Following this assessment, you’ll be told whether replacing or repairing your current ducting is the right choice.
Unique Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. has been providing reliable heating and cooling services to residential and commercial property owners throughout the greater Northglenn, Colorado, area since 2007. We additionally offer indoor air quality services and a vast selection of top-rated HVAC products. If your ductwork is damaged or nearing the end of its lifespan, call us now to schedule an appointment for replacement or repairs.