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Does Duct Sealing Resolve All My Indoor Air Quality Issues?

Does Duct Sealing Resolve All My Indoor Air Quality Issues?

Does Duct Sealing Resolve All My Indoor Air Quality Issues?

As a leading provider of indoor air quality services in Central California, we know how duct sealing can improve indoor air quality. Leaky ducts can not only lose up to 30% of the conditioned air in your home but also reduce comfort and strain your HVAC system. They can also allow air pollutants to become more concentrated than outside. But does duct sealing resolve all your indoor air quality issues?

Duct Sealing Can Improve Indoor Air Quality

Holes, tears, and loose connections in ductwork can let in a lot of unwanted pollutants. Once these get inside, they can circulate throughout your home and re-circulate via your HVAC system. Worn or damaged ducts located in unconditioned spaces, such as attics, basements, garages, and crawlspaces, are the most common culprits. However, even ducts in conditioned spaces can allow particles and odors from the kitchen or furnace to reach other parts of your home.

Sealing leaky ducts can reduce the amount of airborne contaminants, including:

  • Dust
  • Small particulates
  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Wildfire smoke
  • Mold spores
  • Chemicals
  • Moisture 

Common indoor air pollutants can increase allergy and asthma symptoms. They can also build up in ductwork and your HVAC, reducing its efficiency and performance. Some pollutants, such as combustion gases, lint, and insulation particles, can even be flammable. Backdrafting of gases like carbon monoxide from heating and cooling equipment into living spaces (via leaky ductwork) can be an immediate risk to your health.

Indoor Air Pollution Comes From Many Sources

Duct sealing can reduce the number of particulates, chemicals, and VOCs in your home. But since there are many sources of indoor air pollution, it doesn’t necessarily eliminate everything. For example, a poorly maintained fuel-burning combustion appliance can release dust, soot, and fumes into the surrounding air, which can affect people in nearby rooms.

Other potential sources of indoor pollution include the use of tobacco products. Secondhand smoke doesn’t necessarily have to enter ducts to be inhaled by room occupants. Even household cleaning and personal care products can release pollutants into a room, as can asbestos insulation or newly installed carpets, wood furniture, flooring, and upholstery.

These pollutants don’t have to come from leaky ductwork, so duct sealing won’t eliminate them.

Other Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Duct sealing is an effective, but not the only, way to improve indoor air quality. You can also resolve air quality issues in your home in the following ways:

  • Source Control: This reduces emissions. You can address sources of pollution by, for example, adjusting gas stoves to decrease emissions, enclosing materials that contain asbestos, and avoiding smoking or products known to emit harmful pollutants.
  • Improve Ventilation: Opening windows and doors, using bathroom and kitchen fans to exhaust air outdoors, and using ceiling and attic fans can improve ventilation. The more pollutants you get rid of and the more fresh air you let inside, the better. Installing a heat recovery ventilator can also help take advantage of cleaner outdoor air.
  • Air Purification: Air cleaners range from small, portable models to complex whole-house air purification systems. Most are effective at particle removal but not at addressing gaseous pollutants. If you’re considering an air purification solution, consult with your local HVAC contractor about your best options.

How to Know Leaky Ducts Are Contaminating the Air

Indoor air pollution can be addressed with duct sealing, but only if leaky ducts are causing it. If you’re having indoor air quality issues, it’s possible to identify the sources. This helps take the steps needed to achieve fresher indoor air. To determine if leaky ducts are the problem:

  • Schedule a Ductwork Inspection: Most HVAC ducts are hidden inside walls and ceilings. This makes a visual inspection difficult. However, a technician can use methods such as video camera inspections to identify sources of damage or air pressure tests to measure how much air is being lost. A ductwork evaluation should be a part of your annual heating or cooling system maintenance visit.
  • Look for Changes in AC/Heater Performance: Longer running times, ineffective heating or cooling, and higher energy costs can mean your HVAC system is working harder due to leaking air ducts. A telltale sign of a duct problem is if both your heating and air conditioning units aren’t working right. Your home may be too warm or have hot spots in summer and be too cool or have cold spots in winter. If the issue is limited to just heating or cooling, it more likely points to a furnace or AC problem.

Schedule an Indoor Air Quality Consultation Today

Monarch Home Services offers a wide range of indoor air quality services in Bakersfield, Fresno, and surrounding areas. Our trained HVAC professionals specialize in duct sealing, duct cleaning, and installing solutions such as high-performance registers. They also install advanced air scrubbers and air filtration systems. To learn more about optimizing indoor air quality and to schedule an appointment, call (661) 215-6737 today!

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