Why do HVAC ducts get blocked?

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The heating and cooling systems of your home are heavily reliant on the HVAC ducts or air ducts for the passage of air in the house. Blocked air ducts can interfere with the heating and cooling of the home and increase utility bills as well as cause respiratory problems. Here is a list of reasons why HVAC ducts get blocked and the problems blocked air ducts can cause.

Causes of blocked air ducts

  • Dirty air filters

Dust particles, debris, and other matter can accumulate in the air filter over time and interfere with their efficiency to filter out the air. Dirty air filters lead to the blockage of air ducts and result in overworking of the HVAC systems to deliver the same amount of air. If left unchecked, dirty air filters can cause breakdowns and malfunctions of the HVAC systems and necessitate an HVAC inspection.

  • Closed or blocked dampers

Fire dampers or zoning dampers, if closed, do not allow the passage of air from the air ducts to the outside of the home. This causes additional pressure on the duct to release the trapped air and can lead to severe blocking of the air duct.

  • Blocked supply vents and return grilles

Supply vents and return grilles can be obstructed by the placement of furniture, empty boxes and other materials and can block the air passage in the duct. Blocked vents and grilles prevent the passage of the heated or cooled air into the home through the ducts and also block entering of air into the ducts.

  • Damaged ducts

Collapsed, dented or crushed sections of the duct line can lead to blocked air ducts and can cause a lot of problems in the home HVAC system’s functioning. Flexible duct lines are susceptible to crushing or creasing and can hamper the flow of air through the duct.

Problems caused by blocked ducts

Blocked ducts can lead to restriction and blockage of air and this can lead to a number of problems in your HVAC system.

  • Weak airflow

Airflow in the home due to blocked air ducts will be hindered and will not be up to its full capacity. The heating and cooling of your home will be affected by this problem in the airflow.

  • Increased wear and tear of the HVAC system

Blocked air ducts add excess pressure on the HVAC system to deliver the required amount of heated or cooled air resulting in damage to the system. This can cause wear and tear in the appliances involved such as air conditioners, furnaces and heaters and can also cause their breakdown. An HVAC inspection will be necessary to determine the functioning of the appliances and the entire heating and cooling system of the home.

  • Increased utility bills

If the air ducts remain blocked, the added pressure on the HVAC system leads to an increase in energy consumption to deliver the same amount of heating or cooling. This will stack up your electricity bills and cost you a huge amount of money.

  • Health risks

Blocked air ducts can lead to the circulation of dust and debris filled air in the home and can cause respiratory problems for the people in the home.

Blocked air ducts can result from a number of factors and must be taken care of immediately to prevent damage and defects in the HVAC system. Consult a reputed home inspection service to conduct an HVAC inspection of your home and reveal flaws in the heating and cooling systems of the house. A home inspection is a necessity in order to pinpoint the source of the problem in the HVAC system and should be carried out promptly.