How Duct Leakage Leads to Poor Indoor Air Quality

October 4th, 2019

A home’s HVAC system is an intricate network of complex machinery, interconnected ducts, and delicately balanced connectors. If any component of the system is off-kilter, it can cause a domino effect for the rest of the parts. For HVAC systems especially, the presence and use of water to comfortably cool the house could spell disaster in the event of an ongoing leak. No matter how small, a leaky duct can not only cause damage to the physical structure of the home but can result in indoor air quality problems as well.

Re-distribution of Toxins

One of the most alarming ways a leaky duct can cause air quality problems involves an under-performing HVAC system actually spraying harmful toxins into the home instead of properly filtering these materials. If a duct becomes loose or disconnected from the network, it will naturally begin pulling from the air around it, which can be very, very bad. If a duct is located in a dingy basement or crawlspace, there is no telling what could be nearby and susceptible to suction by a disconnected duct. This dust and debris then travel through piping and can make its way right into the living room.

Other Air Quality Concerns

The HVAC system contains two major components, one that pulls air from the home and one that returns comfortable air from the system back into the living space. Unfortunately, leaky ducts can cause problems on both ends, including:

1. Backdrafting

Indoor air quality can be dangerously impacted in the event back-drafting occurs. This is a situation where exhaust gases cannot properly expel from a combustion appliance (e.g., water heater) and are forced to leak into the home. This could be harmless but could also result in the infiltration of deadly carbon monoxide into the home – an air quality issue indeed.

2. Mold Exposure

Mold can be exceedingly dangerous, causing severe allergic reactions and respiratory distress. When ductwork is insecure, this can quickly invite the presence of moisture in areas where it doesn’t belong. From a technical standpoint, an HVAC system is designed to pull moisture and air from damp areas (e.g., crawlspaces or a basement). If this moisturized air passes regularly through compromised ductwork, the accumulation of water will quickly lead to mold growth. While some kinds of mold are essentially harmless, other kinds are deadly – and it’s not worth the gamble.

Contact Home Comfort USA today!

At Home Comfort USA, we provide honest, straightforward advice as to the best way to alleviate indoor air quality issues. If the problem is leaky ductwork – we can help!

To meet with one of our experienced Anaheim technicians right away, please call us at 888-462-0089.