Because you never know what’s going on inside your home heating and cooling ducts, an occasional ductwork inspection is a good idea. The long, inaccessible spans of ductwork in the average home can conceal a variety of dysfunction. In the average home, at least 20 percent of the cooled or heated air conveyed through the ductwork leaks out before it reaches the living spaces. Another reason for a ductwork inspection is to assess the amount of dust and dirt and look for mold growth. As air circulates through the ducts over the years, particulates and pollutants may accumulate inside the ducts and serve as an ongoing source of poor indoor air quality.
Most residential ductwork is not readily inspected by the individual homeowner, and requires the services of an HVAC professional to properly access these spans. However, the homeowner can make a quick, preliminary evaluation by taking these measures:
- While the system is running, observe the airflow emitted by supply ducts in each room, particularly when the blower fan first starts. Look for plumes of dust, cobwebs or other evidence of accumulated pollutants inside the ducts.
- In each room, remove the grille covering a supply duct. Insert a standard digital camera into the duct as far as you can reach. Light the interior of the duct with a flashlight for a photograph or take a flash photo. Examine the image for signs of dust or dirt buildup, or evidence of mold growth or rodent droppings. Also look for disintegrating duct materials.
An HVAC professional takes ductwork inspection to the next level. With the tools and technology required to evaluate the entire span of ducts, a technician can conduct a pressure test to calculate the extent of duct leakage and determine the location of leaks at faulty joints or pinholes from rust and corrosion. In addition, a technician can utilize several methods to visually survey inaccessible spans of ductwork for evidence of dust or mold accumulation that may require professional cleaning.
For more information on the benefits of an occasional ductwork inspection in your Houston area home, contact the professionals at ACS Absolute Comfort.
Image Provided by Shutterstock.com