The serious health risks caused by indoor air pollution are becoming more well known. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that air inside a home is two to five times dirtier than what’s outside. To protect your family’s well-being, it’s vital to check the condition of your home’s ductwork and take appropriate steps to solve certain issues that contribute to poor indoor air quality.
Contaminants Entering Through Leaky Return Ducts
Deteriorated ductwork can allow biological contaminants, allergy triggers and other undesirable particles to enter the air supply and circulate through the home. Dirty air can enter through panned joist returns or disconnected ducts in a damp basement or unfinished attic. A leaky air handler unit and filter housing or a collapsed air filter are other easy entry routes for airborne contaminants.
Negative Pressure Caused by Supply Duct Leaks
To function properly, ductwork systems require balanced airflow between the supply and return sides; the amount of air introduced needs to equal the amount distributed. If there are leaks in the supply ducts, an imbalance can create an unhealthy negative pressure situation. To compensate, the system may pull in dirty air from unconditioned areas like the attic, basement or garage.
Combustion Appliance Backdrafting
When leaks create negative pressure in a home, combustion exhaust from the furnace or gas-fired water heater can backdraft and enter the duct system instead of exiting up the flue. These backdrafting devices are also more likely to produce carbon monoxide (CO), which exposes your family to a serious and potentially fatal health risk every time the blower cycles on.
High Humidity and Mold Growth
Damp air entering from unconditioned areas can overwhelm the air conditioner with excess humidity. This is worsened if your cooling equipment is oversized since it cycles on and off too quickly. Once enough moisture builds up in the ducts, uncontrolled mold growth can occur. Mold spores are already present in the air; they just need warmth and moisture to thrive.
If ductwork issues are contributing to poor indoor air quality in your Yuma home, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company for expert solutions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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