As a homeowner, you probably triage repair and maintenance problems; a roof leak takes precedence over a slowly dripping faucet, perhaps. So
when you start to notice a bit of an odor coming from your air vents, you may assume this is just an annoyance that can wait.
However, smelly air ducts can indicate serious issues such as mold or rats. Here are four reasons to get your smelly air ducts inspected and
1. The Source of the Smell Could Be a Health Hazard
Often, smelly ducts mean that pests have infiltrated your HVAC system or that mold has taken up residence inside your ducts. Mold causes coldlike
respiratory symptoms and allergic reactions, as well as more severe reactions in those with previous respiratory problems (such as asthma) or
compromised immune systems.
Like mold, pests pose health risks. For example, two pests commonly found in ducts are mice and squirrels. Mice can transmit hantavirus and
other pathogens and squirrels carry tularemia. They can both bring smaller pests such as fleas and ticks into your home, which can carry other
So whether it's a musty smell or whether it's coming from pests, your ductwork aroma may be more than just an annoyance.
2. Smelly Pests Can Damage Ductwork
As cringe-inducing as it sounds, the reason you notice a smell from the pests in your duct is often simply because one has died there. While it
could be one pest, this could indicate that you have a thorough infestation. And the more mice or squirrels you have in your system, the more
likely they are to cause damage.
Mice and rats love to nibble, and while they may not cause much damage to solid sheet metal ducts, they can do plenty to supporting systems
such as insulation. They can also gnaw through seals and any ductwork that's not metal (such as flex ducting). Mice tend to shred and nest in
insulation, and their bodily waste contaminate it and reduce its effectiveness.
3. Problems in Ducts Can Spread Through Your Home
If there's mold in your ducts, your HVAC system is literally blowing thousands of spores around your home every time the blower kicks on. The
more your home is flooded with mold spores, the more likely you are to discover a mold problem in some secluded corner in a bathroom,
basement, or kitchen cupboard.
If the problem is mice or roaches rather than mold, that's even worse; they can crawl out of the vents whenever you're not looking and go foraging
for food all through your house, leaving unsanitary droppings wherever they go.
4. There Could Be an Underlying Issue
How did the pests get into your HVAC system? Maybe your home has a critical vulnerability that needs to be addressed, such as unsecured attic
vents or unscreened openings into your crawl space. Why did mold spring up inside your ducts? Maybe you have a roof leak or a flooding
problem in your basement that needs to be addressed.
A professional duct inspection helps you get to the bottom of the issue. Inspectors find where most pest activity is centered, check for air leaks,
and identify damage caused by pests such as mice. Professional inspections help secure your home and keep you and your family safe.
These four reasons demonstrate how your indoor air quality and your air ducts' structural integrity depends on rooting out any pests and
inspecting for damage. Be sure to call Arizona Refrigeration Service Inc. anytime you notice an odor coming from your ducts, even if it's on the
weekend; we provide evening and weekend service for no additional fee.