What is a Contaminated Air Duct?

The adage out of sight out of mind could never ring truer than when it comes to air ducts. Air ducts are the stuff that we install and forget. Rarely do we pause to give them a second thought until something physically happens in the air ducts that thrusts them to our attention. As long as our homes are well ventilated and the cold and hot air are well regulated by the thermostat, we assume everything is fine with our air ducts.

Your air ducts might be working fine but a hidden danger might be lurking in the background. This particularly concerns the buildup of contaminants. You might not see them but if they are there, they are sooner or later going to have an impact on your health. This will especially so if you don’t do periodic residential or commercial duct cleaning.

What kind of contaminants can build up in your air ducts and how harmful could they possibly be? Think about your general house. Think about the living rooms, bedrooms, patios, kitchens or your library. How often do you clean and vacuum them? Probably weekly or every few days. Now imagine your air duct going months or even years without cleaning. It is scary to even imagine the deadly dirt, chemicals, dust, cobwebs or grime that has built up there over that duration of time. If you have a contaminated air duct you would like it to be cleaned as soon as possible. Contact us https://www.silvercleanairatlanta.com/ for air duct cleaning services in Atlanta.

Contaminant Buildup in the Air Ducts

The number one contaminant in the air ducts will, of course, be dust.  Everyday living in a six-room house generates more than 40 pounds of dust. A typical family will generate lots of dander, hair and chemicals and all these are pulled by your HVAC system and re-circulated around the house on a day to day basis. This recirculation will over time lead to the build-up of the contaminants in your premises’ air ducts. If your house is generally dusty, this dust is eventually going to find its way into the air ducts. That’s why it is recommended that you regularly clean-up and vacuum your house. This not only gets rid of the ‘visible’ dust in your living spaces but it also ensures that this dust does not clog up the air ducts and eventually lead to a build-up and contamination.

HVAC contamination can also come from a combination of animal-related factors such as dog food particles, rodent droppings, dead insects as well as animal hair. This is a particularly risky form of contamination as it can quickly lead to the build-up of pathogens in the air ducts which are subsequently recirculated in the house by the HVAC system. The most common pathogens that are likely to result from this include mold (fungal infections), hantavirus and bacteria. This can happen in Atlanta as much as anywhere else in the US.

Your air ducts can also be subject to odor contamination. For example, if there is a leaking sewer line in the house, the leaked sewage odors in the house can be pulled by the HVAC system and transported about by the ductwork. This is common with transite HVAC ducts. Apart from sewers, area flooding in the property can also cause contamination in the ductwork from the various pathogens in the sewerage or water. This occurs even in the HVAC ducts that are above-ground-level.

Furnaces located inside your Atlanta house can also cause a contamination of the air ducts. If the furnace is dirty, this dirt is eventually picked up by the HVAC and routed via the air ducts. It is advisable to do annual tune-ups for your furnaces so as to minimize the air-duct related issues.

Contamination related to chemicals, dust, debris and other harmful materials can occur during the construction or renovations. Construction work may also see sawdust and other construction debris getting into your ductwork. The build-up will be more rapid if the construction work takes place for a long time.

If you are doing some building work on your premises, ensure that you or your contractor has sealed off both the return and supply registers in the HVAC system before the commencement of the job. Also, be sure to turn off the HVAC system for the duration of the construction work. Once the job is complete, the house should be properly vacuumed and cleaned before you turn on the HVAC system once more. This helps prevent a build-up of excess dust and debris in your ductwork.

Moisture is another key contaminant for your ductwork. At face value, moisture or humidity in the house is seemingly harmless. However, when it combines with the other contaminants such as dust, dander, animal hair and other organic matter, its impact could potentially be disastrous. It is likely to cause some form of biological growth in the ductwork.

Good indoor air quality is of paramount importance to maintaining a healthy and quality living environment. We spend odious amounts of time indoors and if our air ducts are contaminated, this is going to affect the air we breathe leading to various airborne diseases.

Beyond the yearly air duct cleaning, there are some simple steps and measures that you can undertake to keep your air ducts clean and contaminant-free. These include the following: –

  • Change the air filters in your HVAC system regularly.
  • Ensure that you use air filters that have high efficiency
  • Clean the air coils and drain pans on a regular basis
  • Clean and vacuum your house regularly.
  • Change your filters when they become clogged.
  • Ensure that you seal off the supply and return registers in your HVAC system during construction and renovation work on your premises. After construction, ensure you do a thorough vacuuming and cleaning before you turn on the HVAC system.
  • Maintain a humidifier in the house if your heating system is built with an in-duct humidification equipment.