In many movies and television shows, characters tend to loosen vent covers and pull out either wads of cash, a collection of prized jewelry, or even an arsenal of weapons. While ducts and vents may seem like perfect “hiding” places, tampering with your HVAC system in this regard could result in unintended damage and place your family in imminent danger.
Damage to Ducts & Vents
The duct system of your home is designed to circulate conditioned air throughout your living spaces. It is not created, however, to be used as a secret hiding spot. If you use it as such, your duct system has the potential to cause expensive damage.
The following common reasons why having foreign objects stored in your ducts and vents is a bad idea:
- Restricted air flow. Using your ducts and vents as hiding spaces will instantly limit airflow throughout the HVAC system. Repeated removal and reinstallation of vent covers to gain access and hide items could damage the vent cover’s fins, as well as the mechanisms within the cover that can restrict airflow into the living areas. Furthermore, airflow blockages will force your air conditioning and heating units to exert an excessive amount of energy to move conditioned air throughout your home, causing stress to your systems and making them susceptible to malfunction.
- Fallen duct runs. The ducts in your home are not designed to support the weight of your belongings. Adding extra weight by storing foreign objects within the ducts could cause them to break, and cause connections to separate and entire runs to collapse.
- Lost items. Lightweight items, such as important documents or cash, can be picked up by the airflow and carried through the system. In addition to losing these loose items, papers can clog air filters or come in contact with sensitive components, causing significant damage.