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Category Press Release
Publish Date 6/21/2018
Author Paul Cochrane
Title Dirty Ductwork and Indoor Air Quality Issues in Homes and Offices across California
Introduction LA Testing provides air testing services, sampling supplies, easy-to-use test kits and monitoring instruments to identify airborne pollutants.

Huntington Beach, CA, June 21st, 2018

To create a comfortable indoor environment, millions of residential and commercial properties across California depend on ductwork as a crucial component of the building’s HVAC system. Air ducts allow for ventilation and a path for conditioned air to reach throughout a home or building.

However, if the ducts become dirty and contaminated, they may not operate efficiently and could create indoor air quality (IAQ) concerns. Dirty ducts could cause issues for people with allergies, respiratory conditions such as asthma or COPD, and other ailments. To help prevent air duct contamination, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides the following tips:

  • Use the highest efficiency air filter recommended by the manufacturer of the heating and cooling system.
  • Change filters regularly.
  • If filters become clogged, change them more frequently.
  • Be sure there are no missing filters and that air cannot bypass filters through gaps around the filter holder.
  • When having the heating and cooling system maintained or checked for other reasons, be sure to ask the service provider to clean cooling coils and drain pans.
  • During construction or renovation work that produces dust indoors, seal off supply and return registers and do not operate the heating and cooling system until after cleaning up the dust.
  • Remove dust and vacuum regularly using a high efficiency vacuum (HEPA) cleaner or the highest efficiency filter bags the vacuum cleaner can take.
  • If the heating system includes in-duct humidification equipment, be sure to operate and maintain the humidifier strictly as recommended by the manufacturer.


“Ductwork can also become wet and support microbial growth,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager at LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “To prevent this from becoming an issue, the EPA recommends promptly and properly repairing any leaks or water damage. The agency also recommends paying particular attention to cooling coils, which are designed to remove water from the air and can be a major source of moisture contamination of the system that can lead to mold growth. Make sure the condensate pan drains properly and also check that ducts are properly sealed and insulated in all non-air-conditioned spaces, like attics and crawl spaces.”

For residents of California, LA Testing helps to identify IAQ issues and air duct contamination by offering comprehensive indoor testing services. With multiple laboratories in the state, they also provide air monitoring instruments for particulate matter and inspection tools that can be helpful for diagnosing air duct systems. LA Testing has even sponsored an educational video with tips to help prevent air duct contamination that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/wDt9jeFyTFI.

To learn more about indoor air quality, environmental or occupational testing services and monitoring equipment, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794. For access to indoor environmental quality test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.   

About LA Testing

LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals.  In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, CDC Elite, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states.  LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro and San Diego.