Many homeowners think that changing their air filters before heating and cooling seasons is all that’s necessary to maintain good indoor air quality. However, there are many components of your HVAC system that can contaminate your airstream. The air ducts are usually hidden from view, making it easy to ignore their condition. However, contaminated ducts can affect your indoor air in a number of ways. It’s important to understand how to best monitor and maintain your ductwork to enhance the health and well being of your family.

Leaks and Repairs

Long segments of ductwork are often connected to complete the path for your conditioned air to circulate. Poor sealing or old sealants can lead to leakage in remote parts of the system. These create several potential problems related to your HVAC system performance:

  • Energy loss – leaks can lead to loss of conditioned air, affecting the costs and comfort levels related to heating and cooling
  • Infiltration of dust, insects and rodents – small openings make it possible for contamination of your ducts to occur, potentially tainting your airstream
  • Backdrafting – leaks near garages or gas-burning system components and appliances can allow carbon monoxide to infiltrate your airstream

Duct inspection prior to seasonal heating with a gas furnace is important to ensure that the integrity of your ducts is intact. It’s extremely important to consider installing a carbon monoxide alarm in your home to provide a guard against carbon monoxide poisoning. The devices are affordable, and the investment is minimal compared to the benefits provided.

Additionally, if there is evidence of vermin, a thorough cleaning is recommended after duct repair to address dander and debris that may be present. Diseases related to vermin can be deadly in some cases, making duct cleaning a high priority.


One of the most serious issues that can affect your indoor air quality through your ducts is mold. Humidity can play a role in the development of mold in the air ducts, and it’s important to curb that growth as quickly as possible to protect your family’s health. Annual coil cleaning is important. Regular inspection of your air filter can also provide insight related to the presence of mold. If you notice mold growing near vents, you should take action by scheduling a duct inspection and cleaning service.

Airborne Particulates

Using your furnishings as a gauge for dust levels in your home, you can make a reasonable guess related to the condition of your ducts. You may notice a burst of dust that produces a burnt smell when you first operate your heating equipment in the fall. You might remember a musty odor from the cooling season’s first AC needs. Your ducts can harbor dirt and debris in much the same manner as your fixtures and furnishings collect the material. Professional duct cleaning is helpful for ensuring that materials are removed from your ducts without leading to further household contamination.

Protecting Your Ductwork

While repairs and maintenance can correct issues in your ducts that affect the quality of your indoor air, it is also important to consider preventive measures that will allow you to keep your ducts in optimum condition. Your HVAC equipment works as a system, and contaminants in one area can lead to problems in another. A good regimen of preventative maintenance can help in keeping your ducts free of materials that will pollute your airstream.

A preventative service call includes an inspection of your ducts. It also entails cleaning of your coils and blower parts. The coils can harbor dirt and bacteria, permitting mold and other objectionable materials to collect. Coil cleaning improves airflow in your system, making it easier for particulates to move through the ducts rather than permitting them to settle. Additionally, eliminating mold before it enters the airstream can reduce the risk of mold growth in your ducts.

Supplemental Air Quality Equipment

There are several equipment options for preventing contamination of your ducts. One of the simplest choices is a UV lamp. Ultraviolet light can kill bacteria and mold on location, and you can have lamps positioned over your coils and at the entrance to your ducts to inhibit the infiltration of the material into remote areas of the system.

An air cleaner can also enhance your ducts’ condition by removing dangerous contaminants from circulation. Your ducts conduct air to every room in the house, and cold and flu viruses can move in your airstream to reach all residents. With a germicidal air cleaner, you can take advantage of trap and kill technology to eliminate many of these materials from circulation.

Work with a Professional

At Gentry Heating, we can provide a thorough evaluation of the ductwork in your Tryon, NC home. We can perform a leakage test to evaluate energy loss issues, and we can use remote cameras to view the interior of your system. We can also do an indoor air evaluation to analyze specific pollutants affecting your family. We offer supplemental IAQ solutions that will help our customers protect the integrity of the air in their homes. Whether you need repairs before the heating season arrives or whether you need a thorough cleaning of your duct walls, we can schedule the appropriate service when you contact our Tryon, NC team.

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