How Dirty Ducts Can Weaken Your Home’s AC Unit
- Categories: Cooling
- Date: June 11, 2018
The ductwork in your home is a vital component in keeping you comfortable. Once the heat has been removed from the air in your home, that air reenters each room via a series of ducts. Since air is always moving, if your ducts haven’t been cleaned in a while, it could be detrimental to not only your health, but also to your AC unit as a whole. Here are some of the reasons why duct cleaning is so very important.
The Flow of Air through Your Home
There are many different things that can cause your air conditioner’s efficiency to decrease. For example, air leaks around windows and doors and even a clogged filter can weaken your system. One of the most overlooked problems, though, is your ducts. Over time, things like debris and dust become trapped in your ductwork, and this can also reduce your air conditioner’s efficiency a great deal.
Keeping dust and debris out of your ducts also keeps that same dust and debris out of the air. As you might already know, your home’s return air vent – the largest vent in the home, and the one that is typically fitted with a filter – takes in air, removes the heat, and then pumps it back into your home via ducts. If you fail to keep that filter clean, or even if your ducts haven’t been cleaned in years, there’s a good chance some of that dust and debris is finding its way into your unit.
The Trouble with a Dirty AC
If your air conditioner gets dirty due to debris and dust floating through your home, this can cause significant issues. Remember that air conditioners have many moving parts, and dust getting into these parts can cause them to wear very quickly. As those parts wear, they can no longer move freely, which means it takes even more power to turn the blower motor, for example. This is what ultimately compromises your unit’s efficiency and leads to higher energy bills, faster AC wear, and faster AC failure.
What to Do about Dirty Ducts
Though you can clean your ducts yourself to a degree by using a vacuum cleaner with an attachment, you should consider having them professionally cleaned and inspected every three to five years. This deep cleaning is better than what you could do with your home vacuum, and it gives the techs the opportunity to look for problems like missing insulation, improperly set dampers, moisture buildup, and more. Tackling these issues ahead of time is also vital for keeping your central air unit in proper working order.
You might already know that dirty ducts can be detrimental to your health. They can also reduce your central air conditioner’s efficiency and drive up your energy costs, too. Over time, if the issue isn’t resolved, it could significantly shorten your unit’s lifespan, which can cost you thousands of dollars to replace. To prevent this, be sure to clean your ducts yourself regularly and schedule a professional deep cleaning every three to five years.
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