I now make sure to have the duct system inspected every year
It’s easy to forget all about the ductwork. The network of pipes is essential to the operation of both the furnace and air conditioner but largely concealed inside the walls and ceilings. The duct system is responsible for pulling the stale air out of the rooms and supplying the heated and cooled air. If there are holes in the ductwork or cracks at the seams, the conditioned air is allowed to escape. When the maximum amount of air fails to arrive at the various rooms of the house, the furnace or air conditioner are forced to run longer and work harder. There is greater wear and tear on components. More energy is used, leading to higher utility bills. The same imperfections that allow the heated or cooled air to leak out can also draw in contaminants. Neglected ductwork frequently harbors harmful toxins such as dust, construction debris, bugs, webs, pollen, mold and even decomposing rodents. Every time the furnace or air conditioner starts up, these pollutants can become airborne and introduced into the breathing air. Health complaints such as congestion, sneezing, coughing, sore throat and headaches can often be blamed on dirty ductwork. The first time I had my ductwork tested by a professional HVAC contractor, they were allowing nearly thirty percent of the heated/cooled air to escape. I now make sure to have the duct system inspected every year. I’ve realized that the ducts directly impact the health, comfort and efficiency of the living space. They significantly affect my budget and the reliability and longevity of the furnace and air conditioner.