Up until recently, I hadn’t thought much about the installed duct system within our home. This branching network of pipes has always been concealed inside walls, ceilings, and crawl spaces, and had been easy to ignore. I’ve been diligent about service and associated air filter changes for both our furnace and the air conditioner, I have never bothered with a professional service for our air ducts. I often run the air conditioner for 4-5 months annually. I then rely on our furnace for the remaining 6-7 months. If either the air conditioner or furnace are operating, the ductwork tends to impacting comfort, air quality, safety, and ultimately energy efficiency. The heated and cooled air passing through these pipes many times per day transfers contaminants such as mold, dust, pollen or bacteria, to the rooms within the home. This causes unwanted smells, dusty surfaces, and potentially health problems. Even small holes within the ducts could allow heated or cooled air to escape and may bring in outside air. If only a small portion of the conditioned air is reaching the rooms, both the furnace and cooling system work harder to maintain ideal temperature. This then leads to unnecessary wear and tear on the system’s components, greater energy usage, more expensive utility bills, and will even affect the home’s environment. The home simply fails to be as comfortable. I finally hired a licensed HVAC business to send a technician to inspect our ducts after the home began to stink badly of dead mouse. I realized the stench had originated from our ducts and had intensified each time that we ran the furnace.