Using and Maintaining HVAC Systems in Rental Properties

Why Your HVAC Contractor Has To Install New Air Ducts After A Fire

If your home suffered some damage from a fire, you may be inclined to try to save as much of it as possible. Your home's ventilation system may look like it survived the fire, for the most part, and you may think that there is nothing wrong with it. Your HVAC installation contractor, however, wants to replace the entire system, right on down to the last air duct. Here is why he or she insists on replacing all of your home's air ducts after a fire. 

Smoke Damage

Smoke from a fire goes anywhere and everywhere. It will head into your ventilation system via all open vents and circulate around like a bad image in your head. If the ductwork is not replaced, your home will stink like the fire every single time you turn your heat or air conditioning on in the future. Nothing gets rid of that smell once it is trapped in your air ducts. 

Toxic Particles

As a fire burns, it creates a lot of ash and toxic particles from the insulation, drywall, paint, and more. If ash does not make it into your ventilation system, the toxic particles definitely will. These particles can cause lung and pulmonary diseases and disorders, in addition to the possibility of cancer if you breathe enough of it. Replacing the ductwork removes all of the ash and toxic particles that escaped into the system, thereby removing the major health risks associated with these issues.

Weakened Integrity of the Ductwork

Extreme heat causes the aluminum/steel ductwork of a ventilation system to weaken. The heat causes the ducts to bow outward, and rapid cooling can cause them to collapse. Seams can weaken as well under these changes in pressure and temperature during a fire, which means that, at any time, this or that piece of ductwork could break and fall down.

It can also cause the ductwork to separate inside the walls, creating hot and cold spots when the furnace or air conditioner are running. The breaks make your system far less efficient, of course, and then these appliances work even harder to cool or heat your home. Replacing all of the ductwork after a fire ensures that none of it will break, collapse, or leak in places. 

Hidden Standing Water

Guess what happens when firefighters are putting out fires? Some of that water gets into the ventilation system and travels downward toward the furnace. As soon as the ductwork goes from a vertical position to a horizontal position, the water only moves so much farther, and then it stops. This standing water in your ductwork then begins to act as a Petri dish for bacteria, mold, mildew, and lots of other allergens. You do not want that blowing around your house after you rebuild. Replace the system.

For more information, contact a local HVAC installation contractor.