How Humidity Affects Your Home Vents and Ducts

Posted on Feb 15, 2022

Humidity can have a significant impact on your HVAC system over time. Your vents and ductwork particularly are susceptible to the effects of humidity, including mold and mildew. Here in Hawaii, we know that humidity is a year-round issue. We take care to protect our homes, cars, and even bodies from the heat and humidity. You should take the same care to protect the vents and ducts in your home from humidity.

Mold and Mildew Growth in Ductwork

One of the main problems related to excessive humidity in the ductwork is mold and mildew. If moisture is not properly removed from the air, it can gather in places like ducts and vents, creating a damp environment. These types of environments are breeding grounds for mold and mildew.

Signs of Mold and Mildew in HVAC Systems

How do you know if there is potentially mold or mildew growing in your ductwork? Because mold and mildew can have effects on the health of the people living in the home, it is important to recognize the signs of mold growth as soon as possible. Warning signs of mold and mildew include:

  • Damp vents and outputs
  • A moldy or musty odor
  • Black or green spots on the walls
  • Water damage around vents
  • Peeling paint or wallpaper
  • Increased allergies in the people living in the home

Treatment for Mold in Air Ducts

If you as a homeowner go for extended periods of time without cleaning your air ducts – think several years or more – mold, mildew, dust, and debris can build up in the ductwork. The best way to keep your ducts clean and your family healthy is by regularly having your ductwork cleaned by a professional vent cleaning company. A professional cleaning company will have the proper tools to not only remove moisture, debris, and grime but can also sanitize any particles of mold that persist, which prevents future growth or spread.

Humidity and Air Conditioning

Air conditioning is fairly common in Hawaii. When your AC system is working correctly, it should remove both heat and moisture from the air inside your home. This helps to not only keep your home free of humidity but also keep moisture out of your vents and ductwork. However, if your outdoor HVAC unit is dusty, or covered with leaves and debris, it will have difficulty performing this job.

Additionally, if moisture from humid air collects inside the HVAC system, it will coagulate any existing debris, like dust, pet dander, or pollen. This will mean the AC system will have to work harder than it should, which lowers effectiveness and raises your electrical bill.

If there’s too much moisture in your air because your air conditioning unit is not operating at full capacity, it increases the risk of mold and mildew in your system.

Avoid Negative Effects of Humidity

One of the easiest ways to mitigate the effects of humidity is to have your ductwork and vents cleaned on a regular basis or even install an indoor humidity control system. This will alleviate stress on your HVAC system by eliminating build-up in your vents. Additionally, a vent cleaning company can identify any issues with the ductwork and vents to ensure that any problems are addressed immediately and rectified.

Also, remember to regularly change filters and clean off external units. This also ensures that no additional stress is put on your HVAC system, so it can effectively do its job.

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