Hidden treasures are not always glittering gold. Though we have heard tales of homeowners bursting through walls and breaking down cabinets to find a loaded piggy bank, the reality is what gets trapped in our homes ain’t always sunshine and rainbows.
But what about places in our house that are less obvious, less noticeable? Take a look at some of the surprising ways hidden treasures can end up in your household ducts, and how to manage them.
Cheerios. Jewelry. Dust. Paper scraps, toothpicks and even spilled liquids. These (and more) have all been found in household ducts. But there is one prevailing force found in almost every type of duct. The answer? Dust.
“How is that possible? Why?” Well, consider this: ducts can’t be cleaned easily. When dust collects in ducts due to inadequate filtration, mold growth ensues. Starting from the ground up, we have problems.
In a basement duct, you run into similar problems of mold, as warm air can flow passively through the duct and out of the supply duct into habitable rooms. Leaky ducts can lead to mold spores and musty odors, and spread them into the larger systems in your house. Crawl space ducts pose a problem both in warm and cold weather, depending on whether the temperature is above or below the dew point in the home-mold will ensue.
“Ok, I see the problem! What do I do?”
Keep ducts cleaned! Homeowners often keep common surfaces in a building spotlessly clean, but we typically don’t think about our ducts. All the air we breath passes over duct surfaces, so why not make it a top priority? This is especially important for any buyer or homeowner with allergies or asthma to take into account. It is worth more to spend money on HVAC system cleaning, rather than the cheap quickie job from a truck mounted vacuum. Make sure to speak to your home inspector about duct maintenance as well as the pros and cons of the ducts they spot in your home.
Evie W. Guest Contributor