Asthma and Your HVAC Ductwork: What You Need to Know

Asthma is a serious respiratory medical condition millions of people suffer from. While asthma can be difficult to deal with, you can manage the

condition in most cases as long as the air quality is healthy. However, if your home’s HVAC system does not receive regular maintenance, it can wreak havoc on those who suffer from asthma.

When the system is dirty, dust, debris, and microbes flow through the air you breathe in throughout the day. One of the primary causes of the poor air quality in an HVAC system is the ductwork. The ductwork collects debris and other contaminants that end up inside your house.

The following are some things you should know about how your ductwork can impact those with asthma and what you can do to help mitigate asthma attacks.

What Is in the Ductwork that Triggers Asthma Attacks?

The ductwork is a damp, dark space where contaminates can grow and thrive. The contaminants in the ductwork can trigger an asthma attack. Mold, mold spores, dust mites, and dust are the primary contaminants living in the ductwork. Pet and human dander can also build up in the ductwork and contribute to contamination that can irritate the lungs.

Other irritants in ductwork include fungal spores and fungi, viruses, and bacteria. If rodents or insects get into the ductwork, the remnants of feces and other waste can also get into the home’s air and contribute to poor air quality.

How Do You Know if Your Ductwork Causes Asthma Attacks?

Although asthma attacks can come out of nowhere, some common symptoms can help you find the primary cause. Constant coughing, wheezing, congestion, and difficulty breathing are sure signs that the HVAC is contributing to an asthma condition. If you or someone in your home suffers asthma attacks suddenly and regularly, chances are the home’s air quality is a major contributing factor.

What Can You Do to Prevent Asthma Attacks?

Although you cannot prevent all asthma attacks, you can significantly decrease the occurrence of them. One of the first things you should do is have your HVAC contractor check your HVAC system and have it cleaned. Be sure to mention you want your ductwork cleaned out to fully remove any contaminants inside.

In addition to ductwork maintenance, you should schedule HVAC inspections at least a few times a year. Your HVAC contractor will check the system for the presence of contaminants, ensure the system works as it should, and let you know if any replacement of parts is necessary.

In some cases, your ductwork may be so dirty and infiltrated with mold and pollutants that you might want to consider replacing your ductwork. While this process is an investment, new ductwork is worth it for the health of yourself and those who live in your home.

If you end up needing to replace your ductwork, you may want to also consider UV lights in the system as well. UV lights can kill viruses, bacteria, and mold spores. The lights work like an air purifier throughout the system and are a good addition in a home where an asthma sufferer lives. Talk to your HVAC professional about this solution.

If you have any questions about ductwork cleaning and how your HVAC system may be contributing to an asthma sufferer, please contact us at Colorado Discount Heating & Cooling. We will work with you and address your concerns about the health of your HVAC system. Be sure to mention the fact that you or someone in your home suffers from asthma so we can take extra care to evaluate your entire system for problems.

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Mature man examining an outflow air vent grid and duct to see if it needs cleaning. One guy looking into a home air duct to see how clean and healthy it is.

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