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Why Your New Home’s Ductwork May Be Making You Sick

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

Many owners of newly-built homes assume that the appliances, HVAC systems, and other mechanical equipment are all working properly in their new homes. After all, we don’t typically think of a brand new home as one that requires immediate maintenance and tune-ups.

Dirty blower wheel
Dirty blower wheel

Unfortunately, many home builders in Kentucky and Indiana don’t take the necessary steps to protect the HVAC equipment and especially the ductwork during the construction process, which is why your new home's ductwork may be making you sick. At Building Performance, we’re experts in recognizing and remedying duct issues throughout in new and older homes. In fact, our President Eric George was recently featured in a news article from ACHR News about this very topic!

The Hazards of Dirty Ductwork in Your New Home

Several issues with your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) may arise if your ductwork isn’t clean or isn’t properly sealed. Dirty ducts can:

  • Circulate dust and contaminants through your home

  • Exacerbate allergies

  • Worsen respiratory problems, like asthma

Dirty Ducts Create HVAC Issues

In addition to the IAQ-related issues, dirty ducts also negatively affect the efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling systems. Dirt, dead skin, dust and other debris puts an extra strain on your HVAC systems, since all the foreign material restricts airflow. Reduced airflow means a less efficient unit, and over time, the additional strain shortens the lifespan of your heating and cooling systems. Dirty ducts can also increase your utility bills, since the system isn’t working as efficiently as it should to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

Dirty return air grille
Dirty return air grille

Signs Your Ductwork Needs Cleaning

Fortunately, there are a few ways to tell if your ductwork is causing HVAC and air quality issues in your home. Stay on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • Mold/mildew growth in your home, especially around supply registers and on the air-filter

  • Ductwork in attics & crawlspaces - much more likely to suck in pollutants

  • Excessive amounts of dust and debris in your home -- are you constantly wiping dust off furniture?

  • Ducts that “sweat” in the summer time - often a result of poor airflow

How Building Performance Can Help

The best way to ensure all the ductwork is properly covered and sealed off is during the home construction and renovation process. When this doesn’t happen and your home’s ductwork shows signs of issues we discussed, contact Building Performance to schedule an inspection. Our team of building science experts can test for duct leakage problems, pinpoint moisture issues, identify the root causes of these issues, and provide top-quality solutions to indoor air quality problems. Our aim is to keep you and your family breathing fresh, clean air year-round.

Is your ductwork in need of attention? Contact our team today to schedule an inspection!

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