Closeup view of clean aluminum air duct tubing against orange background

Since first-time home ownership is no small feat for most Americans today, home maintenance and upkeep is nothing to be taken lightly. It’s essential to maintain the value of our lifetime’s largest investment - and maintain the health and comfort of the space our families spend their days. Leaky and unclean air vents are harmful in a number of serious ways - causing costly risks to your health, your home’s longevity, and even your hard-earned cash.

What problems can arise from air ducts which aren’t properly cleaned and maintained? Our ventilation experts are here to explain the most common and concerning issues caused by improperly maintained air ducts - and what you can do to prevent these in your home.

Biggest Consequences of Leaky Air Ducts

Ductwork is comprised of galvanized metal, which is continually fluctuating in temperature as we heat and cool our homes and workspaces. With every increase in temperature, our ductwork expands, and it contracts when temperatures lower. In time, the continual expansion and constriction of our air ducts takes a toll - loosening the connectors, flanges and various clamps holding then together. Tiny leaks in the air ducts’ surfaces gradually begin to appear. If these aren’t addressed in a timely manner, they grow into major problems. Here are just a few unwanted effects of leaky air ducts.

Leaks Hurt Longevity

Most of us know that if we hope to improve our life expectancy, we have to minimize needless strains on our body’s essential functions - including our respiratory and cardiovascular systems. The airflow systems of our home bear striking similarity to these core systems of our bodies - and they require similar maintenance if we hope to improve longevity. Unfortunately, leaky air ducts cause increased strain to your entire HVAC system. Every function of the heating and AC processes requires more energy if leaks permeate the surface of your ductwork. Much like overtaxed livers, hearts, or lungs, HVAC systems operating at higher-than-intended levels for extended periods of time to meet their basic functions will eventually lead to excess physical wear and breakdowns. In other words, leaky ducts lead to a reduced span of functioning before your ductwork needs to be replaced.

As Benjamin Franklin once famously quipped, “a stitch in time saves nine.” The cost of regularly-scheduledresidential air duct maintenance pales in comparison to the price of emergency duct repairs or premature replacement.

Clog in the Works

Your air filter is intended to keep unwanted contaminants out of your air ducts. Much like we mentioned above, clogs in your air filters and ducts harm your HVAC systems health in the same ways plaque harms your arteries. Unwanted contaminants make essential circulation more difficult to achieve - straining your system or even preventing functioning entirely. Everyone in your home will be forced to breathe contaminated air if your airflow system is clogged with debris which continually seeps into your airflow. Which brings us to our next point...


Most of us have combated allergies to some degree. However, not everyone knows that many common airborne allergies are caused or exacerbated by unclean air ducts. Approximately 25% of known allergies have been linked to dust mites in residential and commercial HVAC systems. Your home is constantly subject to contaminants from inside and outside your walls. Mold spores, pollen, and airborne bacteria readily flow into your home from the outside spaces surrounding it. Bacteria also stems from inside your walls - including pet dander, mildew, mold, dust and dust mites. Without regularly scheduled air duct cleaning, these allergens and more will remain in your home, flowing through your ventilation system again and again.

Interior view of aluminum air duct, split into clean and dirty halves to show difference before and after vent cleaning

Lingering airborne allergens in your HVAC system are known to contribute to countless common ailments. These include sneezing, sniffling, headaches, irritated eyes, and even trouble sleeping and breathing. For the sake of your family’s health and everyday comfort, it’s crucial to prevent these difficulties with regularly scheduled air duct cleaning from professional air duct cleaners.

Dangerous Mold

The 2010 death of beloved 32-year-old actress Brittany Murphy and her husband brought the topic of environmental molds to the forefront, as medical experts theorized that it could have been a factor in the couple’s early deaths. While the coroner declared that pneumonia killed both Murphy and her husband, further analysis suggested that both individuals suffered respiratory problems from mold in their shared home. Dangerous mold permeating your airways can worsen the respiratory health of everyone in your household, leaving your family susceptible to more frequent or serious illnesses. Reduce your risk by calling professionals like our air duct cleaning team for regularly scheduled cleanings.

What’s That Smell?

Ever come home from a long trip to your vacant household, only to be hit with its distinct odor or aroma (for better or worse)? We don’t often think of our homes as having a smell, as we tend to adjust to the air within our commonly used spaces. Unwanted odors accumulate so slowly that many of us don’t notice them in our homes - and your visiting friends may be too polite to tell you when something smells a little funky. If your air duct’s been contaminated with mold, pet dander, and other foul-smelling debris, those odors circulate through your living space day in and day out, regardless of your best efforts at air freshening. Nip unwanted smells in the bud, and free your mind of related worries by cleaning your air duct system regularly. You’ll breathe a little easier knowing that your air is fresh and fragrant.

This Room’s Too Hot...This Room’s Too Cold!

Ever find yourself shivering or shedding a layer as you walk from room to room? If the temperature of your home is subject to noticeable differences, loose and leaky air vents are usually to blame. If a joint is loose or leaky in certain spots of your air duct system, warm air flowing through your ductwork can leak out into the room below and not reach its intended destination - overly warming the space adjacent to the leak, and leaving other rooms without that warmth. From there, the cold room will often suck heat from the rooms immediately around it, further deepening the temperature divide. Consistent air duct maintenance staves off these inconsistencies in temperature throughout your home, generally reducing discomfort and complaints from your family members.

Negative Pressure

Air duct leads frequently cause an issue known as “negative pressure.” This occurs when air from the outdoors is sucked back into your home. Negative pressure can cause back drafting, which takes place when appliances suck air back into your home. This can be a cause for concern when that air isn’t entirely clean. For instance, if your dirty dryer vent expels airflow with carbon dioxide and unwanted gases, negative pressure will suck this air into your ventilation system and disperse it throughout your home. Inhaling gases and excess contaminants can lead to serious respiratory issues and other unwanted health risks.

Save Your Energy - and Your Home’s

Illustration of aluminum air duct tubing with cash blowing away against white background

Needless to say, heating and cooling your home costs money every month. The harder your air ducts have to work to maintain the temperatures you like, the more energy you’re using - and the more hard-earned money you’re spending every month. Leaky ductwork leads to expensive heated and cooled air wasted as they’re removed from your home’s circulation. Because air ducts deteriorate gradually, the rise in costs may occur so gradually that you don’t notice how much money you’re wasting. However, as the years roll by, you’ll find your energy bill has risen by as much as five to ten percent - adding up to hundreds or thousands of dollars down the drain. For this reason, consistent air duct maintenance is an investment in your ongoing home costs - paying for itself by improving your energy efficiency and saving you money every month.

Increase All-Around Home Value

Home ownership is a major, hard-won milestone for most Americans. The National Association of Realtors reported in 2019 that the median age at which Americans purchase their first home is 33 years old - an all-time high in nearly three decades of annual data collection. The median age of all home buyers was 47 for the third consecutive year - up significantly from an average of 31 in 1981. Economic difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to further delay these milestones for the average adult today. With more than a trillion dollars in total student loan debt, and half a million new medical bankruptcies each year, financial obstacles have significantly reduced the economic stability and investment potential of countless everyday citizens.

As we’ve explained above, consistent air duct maintenance and cleaning improve the air quality in your home and longevity of your HVAC system. However, air duct cleaning improves your home’s value in a number of other ways. Proper air circulation in homes helps to extend the life of wiring, insulation, carpeting, wood framing and flooring, wallpaper, and more!

Schedule Air Duct Cleaning Today!

It’s crucial to maintain well-functioning air vents with consistent, professional air duct cleaning and rapid repairs to air vent damage. By keeping your air ducts and ventilation system clean, you’ll improve your home’s comfort, value, and longevity. You’ll also protect your finances and the health and wellness of your loved ones.

Ready to schedule residential air duct cleaning? Steve’s Carpet Care’s family-owned team has offered professional air duct cleaning and other essential home services for more than forty years. We’re proud to offer air duct cleaning, dryer vent cleaning, carpet care and much more in Westminster and throughout the greater Denver metro area. Call our professionals today at (303) 530-4900 to learn more about the benefits of residential air duct cleaning or to schedule our top-rated services. Your house, family and wallet deserve it.

Search Articles

Local Reviews