Few things are worse than a sudden rise in temperature in your home or office and the realization that your HVAC unit is on the fritz. This is especially troublesome in Central Florida where summer highs are in the 90s.
“If only I’d had some warning!”, many people lament.
Many times, that warning sign may come from your air ducts and not specifically from your outdoor unit. Air ducts often go unnoticed until something goes really wrong, but they’re a key component of your HVAC system, supplying and returning air throughout every room.
Air ducts also are key to ensuring good indoor air quality, and dirty air ducts can mean your family is breathing poor quality air that can make them sick. About 90% of everyone’s time is spent indoors where air pollutant concentrations can be 2 to 5 times higher than outside.
At Air Tech of Central Florida, we let our customers know that air ducts can often be an early warning sign that something is interfering with their HVAC system. By knowing what to watch for, you just might end up catching an issue before it causes a breakdown.
Air Duct Signs to Watch Out For
While ducts often are out of sight and out of mind most of the day, they hold a huge responsibility for your home’s comfort and well-being. Here are some of the danger signs that tell you to pay some immediate attention to your ductwork.
Unexpected Energy Bill Spikes
If your energy bills start suddenly increasing without explanation, it could be a leak or clog in your ductwork that’s causing the problem. An unchecked leak can cause cool air to seep outside, and your unit to run more than it should, raising your energy costs.
Leaking and clogged ducts can also cause your home to get warmer than usual as the HVAC system keeps running continuously trying to pump more cool air in, while some is being lost outside.
Dirt or Debris Around Vents
Are you noticing more dirt or debris around your HVAC vents? This is a sign that there is a blockage of some kind or that there’s a high concentration of contaminants circulating through your system.
Dirt or debris can clog up your HVAC filters quickly and decrease the quality of the air you’re breathing. Another sign of excess dirt in your system is if you’re experiencing more dust than usual on home surfaces.
Getting a professional air duct cleaning often fixes this problem.
Strange Smells or Sounds Coming from Vents
If you’re smelling strange odors or hearing scratching or other sounds in the vents, you could have an insect or rodent infestation. The debris and droppings that come from rodent infestations in your ducts can make your home smell bad and the critters are bound to chew and cause more damage.
Insects can leave behind their husks or other body parts, which can get sucked into your air system, meaning you’re breathing them in without realizing it.
These infestations also decrease the efficiency of your HVAC unit over time and can mean a breakdown in the near future.
Ongoing Respiratory Problems
Do you seem to have a runny nose that never goes away? Is a family member experiencing allergy symptoms, but it’s the wrong time of year? Respiratory problems can be a sign that your indoor air quality is being impacted by something in your ducts.
In many cases, this could be mold, which can cause multiple long-term health issues, it can also be caused by some other type of contaminant in your ductwork that’s mingling with the air in the system.
Are you experiencing inconsistent temperatures in your home? This could be a sign that you have a blockage in your duct or that it’s damaged and airflow is being restricted. If a room used to be fine and now its staying warm, yet the register is open, that’s a big warning sign of a duct problem.
Black or Green Mold Near Air Vents
It’s easy to mistake a little black mold for dirt and disregard it. But if you’re seeing mold growing on or around your vents, you could have a significant mold issue inside your ductwork. This is especially prevalent in areas of high humidity (like Florida) and is something to be on the lookout for because of the impact on your family’s health and well-being.
HVAC systems are designed to have an even distribution of the supply and return air. Air imbalances are caused when something goes wrong and can cause symptoms in your home such as:
- Hot and cold spots
- Doors slamming shut or opening on their own
- Doors being difficult to open
- Whistling noises
- Random drafts of air
Air imbalances can often be caused by damaged or clogged ductwork.
How Clean is Your Home’s Air?
If you’re experiencing any of air duct warning signs or just unsure when your ducts were last cleaned, give us a call. Air Tech of Central Florida can do a full air duct inspection and cleaning to ensure your unit is running efficiently and your home has good air quality.
Schedule a duct inspection today by calling 407-696-9876 or reach us online.