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How Dirty Ductwork Can Create A Health Risk In Your Home

Dirty Ductwork

Sick a lot? Feel better when you're away from home? Think it may be something in your house? It could be dirty ducts.

There may be more than dirt in your home's air ducts. The ductwork can harbor all types of things including rodents, droppings, crawling insects, and mold. As Hudson Valley HVAC professionals, we have seen a lot of things in air ducts over the years, some of them quite alarming. What's really bad is what you can't see inside the ducts. Bacteria and germs can be harboring in the ductwork and near the HVAC evaporator coils. These contaminants get blown through the ducts and all around the house over and over again.

A dirty duct system can affect the health of the people living in the home. Not only can dust affect our breathing, the contaminants within can also spread germs and bacteria to family members or visiting guests. While you are contemplating all of this, keep in mind that humans have a built-in immune system. The people most likely to be affected by ductwork contamination are those with weakened immune systems, the very young and old, and those with existing illnesses like asthma or lung disease.

Health Risks Associated With Dirty Ductwork

The health risks associated with dirty duct systems are real. After two decades of studies, the National Institute of Health, Office of Research Services, Division of Occupational Health and Safety, and the Technical Assistance Branch found clear evidence that ductwork can be contaminated with microbial growth and dust. But HVAC professionals know that there can be more inside the duct system of a house or commercial building.

Here are some health risks associated with dirty ductwork:

  • - Breathing problems
  • - Frequent colds or flu-like symptoms
  • - Asthma attacks
  • - Coughing or a sore throat
  • - Nasal congestion or irritation
  • - Wheezing
  • - Respiratory infections
  • - Headaches, dizziness, nausea
  • - Legionnaires' disease

The Best Solutions Involve More Than Just Duct Cleaning

Duct cleaning is the first step to removing dirt and sanitizing contaminants inside this part of the HVAC system. If the HVAC machinery has too much moisture in certain areas, mold and other microorganisms could be actively growing there.

During duct cleaning, the ductwork and the HVAC system are cleaned and sanitized. If the professional doing the work advises you to install a UV light in the ducts or near the evaporator coils, do so. This will be the complete solution to avoiding health risks associated with mold. The UV lights will kill mold, bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms, and will ensure that they don't have a chance to take over your duct system and then your home.

You may also have a leak at one of the connections in the ductwork. This can let rodents in or bring contaminants from the attic space into your home. Ask your duct cleaning professional if they inspect the duct system for leaks. If they don't, call your local HVAC professional for an inspection because this problem not only exposes your household to health risks, it also wastes all your warm and cool air.

If you have questions or need Duct Cleaning in the Orange County and Hudson Valley area, please call Perfect Comfort at (845) 497-1005 or complete our online request form.

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