Most people in America are aware of the growing concerns regarding indoor air pollution and the ever-increasing numbers of our population that suffer from environmental allergies. The expanding visibility regarding these issues have opened many discussions from professionals about how to keep indoor air pollution to a minimum I would consult indoor air quality experts in your area if you are experiencing allergy related symptoms.
One way that experts are finding the air of a home can be polluted is through dirty, damaged or contaminated ductwork. Because of this, duct cleaning is becoming a recognized way to improve home air quality, as well as a way to determine if there are any system leaks that are causing heating and cooling systems to work overtime.
Duct cleaning generally involves the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of the air systems. A thorough job would include cleaning the supply and return air ducts and registers, all vent grills and diffusers, heat exchangers, heating and cooling coils, condensate drip pans, fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.
Signs You Need Your Ducts Cleaned
When heating and cooling components are not properly installed or maintained, it is possible for them to sustain damage that allows air to escape, or to become contaminated with dust, pollen, debris, and mold. If ductwork has been infiltrated with moisture from ductwork leaks, the dangers become even greater, as moisture increases the potential for microbial growth. These types of invasions usually release spores into your living spaces, causing serious health conditions in family members, such as triggering allergic reactions or producing allergy-type symptoms.
You should consider having your air ducts cleaned if:
Ducts have been infested with vermin, such as mice, bats, or insects
Ducts are visibly clogged with dust or debris
If particles of dust or other debris are being blown out of the vents
There is visible mold growth inside the ductwork or on any components of your heating or cooling system
Your house is an older structure and the ductwork has never been cleaned before
Your home has recently been remodelled (this builds up a substantial amount of construction dust and debris)
You’ve just purchased a new home—consider it as normal as having your carpets cleaned before you move in
Anyone in the home suffers from allergies or is experiencing unexplained symptoms or illnesses related to the respiratory system or skin.
It can be hard to get a good look into your ducts work to make a substantiated choice about whether or not the dirt levels are too high for you to handle with a vacuum. We suggest removing the vent grill and taking a peek. If you have a smartphone with a camera, reach down into the vent as far as you can and snap a few pictures.
If the dust and dirt are only within the first several feet (the most common place for dust and debris buildup to occur) then you’re probably doing alright. You should be able to easily snake a vacuum hose down the vent to get it cleaned up. Ducts that have gunk all the way to the edge of where you’re able to see, however, are probably good candidates for a professional cleaning.
Any indication of mold or deceased vermin should make you reach for your phone. If you give us a call we can recommend someone for you in your area.
If you have found that, despite how long you run the heating or cooling systems in your home, it never seems to keep the temperature at an appropriate level, or there are sudden fluctuations in temperature, it may indicate that you have leaks in your ductwork.
Making The Choice:
The air in your home circulates throughout your ductwork an average of five to seven times each day. Any air that passes through spaces that have been exposed to the outdoors or areas that do not require heating or cooling is lost there, driving up energy costs. Any air that moves through your air ducts carries with it the dust and debris accumulated there, contaminating your home.
Professional cleaning removes all the dirt, dust, and mold growth so that these contaminates aren’t shed into your household, polluting your indoor air. Many families have found that family member’s allergies have greatly diminished by a thorough cleaning of the home, including ductwork.
Additionally, taking the opportunity to have your ducts investigated can reveal whether or not your home has air leaking. Air leaks are a large contributor to indoor air pollution and sky high energy bills, as the air pushed through the ductwork is also being released outside. Removing debris, cobwebs, and gunk build up can increase the airflow and efficiency of your home. In extreme cases, homeowners have seen a 40% increase of system efficiency following a professional cleaning.
We believe that keeping your indoor air safe and your home energy efficient is incredibly important. In fact, we recently were honored by the PSE for contributing time and energy into educating our customers about ways to keep their homes healthy and efficient.
Contact our office for additional information on possible energy rebates, cleaning and air sealing services, or even just advice on how to best keep your home and family healthy. We would love to hear from you.