The ductwork in an HVAC system connects the outdoor condenser to the rooms in your home. Any issues with the ducts can thus greatly affect the efficiency of your air conditioning and affect comfort and indoor air quality levels. With winter fast approaching, it is important that you learn the importance of scheduling proper duct maintenance and repair so as to ensure your home remains comfy through the worst of the cold weather. Read on to learn common issues that could result from leaking HVAC ducts so you can take corrective action early on.

Increased humidity and air contaminants

Damaged air ducts on the return side of the air conditioning unit can sometimes draw in contaminants from outdoor air into the home ventilation system. Disconnected or leaky ductwork could suck in insect droppings, dust, mold spores among other particles while the AC unit is running, resulting in poor indoor air quality. Such contaminants may also cause a host of health problems, including aggravating asthma or allergy symptoms.

Return ducts on your HVAC unit usually run through unconditioned areas like crawl spaces or attics which often contain a lot of moisture, so any leaks in the ducts can allow moisture to enter into your conditioned air, increasing indoor humidity and thus making your home less comfortable. Damaged ducts in areas such as the attic are also vulnerable to infiltration by mold and bacteria, which could compromise the quality of your indoor air and even necessitate costly and inconvenient professional mold removal in the ductwork later on.

Back drafting

Leaky supply ducts typically allow conditioned air from your AC system to escape into unconditioned spaces, creating a pressure imbalance that results in more air being sucked into your home. This negative indoor pressure is referred to as back drafting, and can lead to outdoor contaminants such as smoke, pollen and dust being sucked into the house through draughty windows and doors, holes in your exterior walls or other poorly insulated areas. The escape of heated air into unconditioned spaces may also contribute to raising utility costs.

The pressure imbalance caused by leaking ducts can also cause dangerous air contamination, where toxic combustion gases from your furnace or water heater are drawn into your indoor spaces and AC system instead of harmlessly exiting the home via the flue system. This can lead to the build-up of deadly carbon monoxide, as well as a reduction in fresh air in your home.

Scheduling regular duct repair and cleaning with qualified HVAC contractors, such as One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, could help improve your home's indoor air quality and comfort, as well as improve the efficiency of your air conditioning.