Having a clean home is imperative, and one of the most important aspects of having a clean home is clean air. If you have pets, allergy issues, use your fireplace, do a lot of home cooking, or have an older home, there are some air venting issues to keep in mind. Here are our 5 home air venting problems to keep an eye on.
Dirty or improperly sealed air ducts
Over time, air filters and air ducts trap pet hair, dust, allergens, and other contaminants. Not only are these a hotspot for mold and bacteria growth, but they also push air through less effectively. As your heater and air conditioner try to push air through clogged filters and ducts, they work harder to move less air. This causes strain on the system—leading to more frequent repairs—and reduces the quality of air in your home.
Remedy this by replacing your air filters every 4-6 months and having an HVAC professional clean out your air ducts periodically. In addition, get your heater and air conditioner inspected or serviced every couple years. This is also part of our fall home prep checklist.
If your HVAC system is worn out and needs replacing, you should do it for many reasons. One of the best reasons is that it is one of the home repairs that has the best return on investment (ROI) when you sell your home.
Stove exhaust fans
The exhaust fan over your stove collects smoke, odors, and steam, and vents it up and out of your kitchen. Inevitably, grease, dirt, and other cooking residue will build up and clog the filters. When these filters clog, whatever you are trying to vent out of your kitchen will not get removed. This is an easy fix, however, pull the filters out, clean them with a degreaser, and replace them back under the hood.
Older houses are susceptible to drafts from failed weather stripping, crack sin the walls, ceilings, or around fixtures or outlets. If you notice that your energy bills have increased more than usual in the summer or winter, check around doors, windows, outlets, or wall joints for drafts of air. Using your hand is the best way to feel air moving where it shouldn’t. Weather stripping around doors or windows is easy to fix yourself, as is caulking around window or door sills. If there is a draft coming in through outlets or cracks in the walls or ceiling, hire a professional to inspect it.
If you have a fireplace in your home that you use, make sure to have the chimney and flue inspected and cleaned periodically. Whether it is a wood burning fireplace or a gas fireplace, it emits smoke and particles from burning its fuel. If enough of that builds up in the chimney, the smoke will flow back onto your home, which is a very dangerous health hazard, as well as a fire hazard. If you live in a place like Idaho that gets cold winters, your fireplace comes in handy, so make cleaning your chimney part of your winter home prep checklist. This is one of the times where you should always hire a professional when it comes time to clean it.
Finally, make sure your dryer vents are clear. The lint trap doesn’t catch all of the lint coming off your clothes. Like we mentioned in the first point, the dryer lint will build up in the vent ducting and block airflow out of the dryer. If the vent becomes completely clogged, it is simultaneously a fire hazard and a mold hotspot. In addition, your dryer won’t be able to dry your clothes as well, which wears out the dryer parts faster, and makes laundry even more frustrating and time consuming.