Keep Outdoor Allergens Where They Belong – Check Your Ductwork

If you’re like me, you have a rough time with seasonal allergies during the spring and summer. This year started out particularly bad for me, and try as I might I wasn’t able to get away from my allergies even when I would try to stay inside all day.

For a while I was trying everything I could to keep my runny nose and itchy eyes at bay: doubling up different kinds of allergy medications, keeping all the doors and windows shut, and even wearing a mask and goggles to mow the lawn. While these all had varying effects, I was still having far more trouble than usual with my allergies indoors.

One article I came across mentioned the fact that leaky ductwork can be a major source of pollen and allergens getting into the home. I realized that I hadn’t had the ventilation system in my home checked since we bought the place 10 years ago, so I decided to call some local experts to come take a look at my system.

I called the technicians at Bradley Mechanical, one of the local HVAC companies here in Richmond that specializes in custom ductwork, and they came to check out my home’s ventilation. As it turns out, there was a gash in my duct near the edge of my attic that was pulling dust from the attic as well as pollen from outside into my ventilation system. That meant that pollen from outside was getting pulled into my ductwork, along with other indoor allergens, and then being actively pumped into my home. No wonder my allergies were so out of control!

Luckily for me, the technicians see this kind of thing all the time, and it was a quick fix on their part. Since they make custom ventilation systems and ductwork on a regular basis, they were able to change out the torn piece of ductwork and replace it pretty quickly. Once the new piece was in place, they performed an air quality check to make sure there weren’t any other issues with my ventilation. They were very thorough with their work, and after a week and a half I’ve been able to breathe again in my own home.

So, if you feel that you’ve been suffering from seasonal allergies more than usual this year, it might be time to have your ductwork and ventilation looked at by a local professional. In many cases a torn duct can cause other respiratory issues, like asthma, in addition to seasonal allergies. It’s the kind of thing that has a constant impact on your life, but might never cross your mind.

Even if you don’t have particularly bad allergies, it’s a good idea to get your home’s ventilation system checked for any rips, tears, or bad connections. Over time, ductwork tends to wiggle out of its couplings and lose efficiency in addition to pulling unwanted particles into the system. Most places will run a test on your ventilation for pretty cheap, and if there are problems, getting them fixed promptly will save you money throughout the year by making your system more efficient.

It’s an easy thing to forget about when you look at the long list of maintenance tasks that come with owning a home, but it’s worth it to make sure your home is circulating clean air and maintaining a high indoor air quality.