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How Problematic Ducts and Poor Indoor Air Quality Go Hand in Hand

August 14, 2015 | Blog

How Problematic Ducts and Poor Indoor Air Quality Go Hand in HandThe air ducts are the respiratory system of the home, conveying cooled and heated air to all the living spaces. The ducts typically don’t get the attention the A/C or heat pump receive, but good duct design is essential for high indoor air quality inside your Corpus Christi home. 

Contaminants Lurking Behind the Scenes

Ducts don’t typically have motorized or moving parts, but they do undergo substantial wear through the years by airflow static pressure. Sealing materials eventually fail and ducts develop leaks or separate at the seams. When leaks develop or ducts become damaged, air is sucked inside and circulated through the home. Since ducts are generally located in the attic, crawl space, walls or garage, the air sucked into the ducts and distributed into living spaces can be very unhealthy.


Backdrafting is a dangerous situation where exhaust combustion gases are sucked back into the home due to air pressure changes. Leaky ducts can contribute to changes in air pressure. Leaks become a threat if they’re located near combustion appliances, such as a gas furnace, clothes dryer and water heater.

Air Infiltration

Poor duct design, such as incorrectly sized ducts and inadequate return ducts, may cause unbalanced airflow and air pressure changes in your living spaces.

Unbalanced airflow creates positive and negative pressure on the supply side and return side ducts, respectively. When negative pressure occurs in the home, outside air is pulled through holes and cracks in the envelope. This exposes you and your family to contaminants that are lingering or growing inside walls, crawl spaces, the attached garage and the attic.

Humidity and Mold

Moisture from damp crawl spaces or overly humid attics is sucked into the ducts through leaks, contributing to higher indoor humidity. Excessive indoor humidity can lead to mold problems, health ailments, comfort issues and higher cooling bills.

Make sure your ducts are inspected this season and add duct inspection to your annual spring cleaning routine. To learn more about ducts and indoor air quality or to schedule HVAC services, please contact CCAC today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “DrObjektiff/Shutterstock”

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