Keeping your air ducts clean can provide you with a higher level of indoor air quality inside your home. Whether you hire a professional who can complete the task for you, or if you clean out your own duct system, some simple air duct maintenance tips can help. By reducing or removing the possibility of decay inside your air vents and air filters, you are keeping everyone in your home safe and healthy.
The focus of air duct maintenance primarily centers on preventing moisture from entering the ducts in the first place. If that moisture were to occur, you may be left dealing with condensation on the ductwork, or even standing water in the air ducts. Luckily, there are easy ways to help solve this issue.
Preventing Water in Your Air Ducts
Water buildup in your air ducts is never a good thing. It can promote mold, bacteria and fungal growth which may cause respiratory issues or other health problems. Moisture in air ducts is not uncommon and can be caused by a faulty HVAC system or by other elements such as leaky pipes or leaks in your roof.
Research shows that condensation on or near cooling coils of cooling systems can be a major contributor to moisture in air ducts. Condensation is a natural occurrence and is produced when the temperature of air in the HVAC system is below the temperature of surrounding air.
More advanced systems, when running as intended, have features to extract this moisture without spoiling the ductwork. Improperly installed HVAC systems, incorrectly serviced systems, and malfunctioning systems can lead to damage related to condensation.
What Happens if Water Gets into My Vents?
Air ducts should be sealed off and insulated when they are in areas which are not cooled like attics, crawl spaces or a garage. This helps reduce moisture by lowering the temperature difference between the air within the ducts and the air directly next to the duct.
If you are replacing your cooling system, be sure the new system is well-matched to your home. An oversized air conditioning system will likely cycle on and off more frequently, reducing its ability to extract moisture from the air.
Air ducts are like the veins of your home; they transfer humid air and cooled air throughout the building to and from the HVAC and air vents. If there is water buildup in your home’s air ducts, it will seriously compromise the home’s indoor air quality and overall safety. Taking the necessary steps to prevent water buildup in ducts can save you hundreds – even thousands – of dollars and create a safe and comfortable space to live.
Why do I hear water in my vents?
You may hear the repetitive sound of dripping water coming from your indoor air conditioner unit. More than likely, this can mean that the condensation is not draining properly.
Water damage occurs when the humidity levels, and warm air, rises. It then creates a source of moisture, and condensation forms. The moisture from the condensation creates liquid water to gather inside your AC ducts.
Naturally, the condensation can increase the moisture levels in your HVAC system; and if it is working appropriately, water should drain out. If you find you have a refrigerant leak, you may also hear the sound of dripping as it runs out.
How to Fix Condensation in Your Duct work
Preventing condensation is imperative. First, it is necessary to fix all water leaks and damage promptly. If you’re unsure of how to complete the task at hand, always consult the professionals.
Specifically, cooling coils extract water from the air and drain pans absorb the moisture from the system. Both coils and drain pan should be inspected regularly. Drain pans should be fully emptied as standing water in the drain pan implies the pan is not working properly.
The drain pan should be free of debris which could possibly exert influence on its ability to drain appropriately. A proper liquid or solid duct cleaner can be used to do this, simply wipe with a paper towel and use a high powered vacuum cleaner to remove any excess dirt or dust.