Did you know that your home creates an estimated 40 pounds of dust every year? If you are wondering where that dust goes, the answer is into your air ducts and out in to the cool or warm air pumped into each and every room in your house.
What is in Your Ducts?
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) advocates for routine air duct cleaning and maintenance, and not simply to regulate dust. Other contaminants, such as pet dander, pollen, powdery mold and mildew, and chemicals, can also be circulated and also the dust.
Why Clean Your Ducts?
Over time, your air ducts create their own inner lining of dust, debris, and toxins, which are then circulated and re-circulated throughout your home, leading to your HVAC system to work harder than it takes, to heat and cool your home.
How EPA Certified Duct & Vent cleaning Works
When you contract with a professional to clean your air ducts, it’s important to know what will be achieved during the cleaning. Only a thorough cleaning will prevent contaminants from spreading throughout your whole duct system again. Having a professional duct cleaning job, each of the following will receive an inspection and thorough cleaning:
Diffusers and grilles
Coils for heating and cooling
Drain (drip) pans
Fan, including housing and motor
HVAC unit housing
Benefits of Cleaning Your Ducts
There are many benefits that come along with cleaning your ducts, but these six are in the best of our customers’ lists.
1. Reduce the levels of dirt and debris
Throughout each year, dust, dirt, and debris will naturally find their way in to the duct system at home. This doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong-it is just part of what goes on when nature encounters man-made structures.
Not only can dusty, dirty air create more housework as you continually clean away the dust and then contain it as quickly return again and again, but also cozy, dusty vents and ducts with a nice lining of debris can attract rodents and other unwanted house guests who may be searching for a destination to have a nest or spend the winter.
2. Reduce the levels of other toxins
Mold, mildew, bacteria, and germs don’t need much help to take hold and start growing. In humid conditions, the growth cycle can be greatly accelerated. In some cases, ductwork can get so infested with mold or mildew that only replacement is practical.
But if you regularly clean and maintain your duct work, you ought to be in a position to avoid pricey replacements while keeping the growth of toxins at bay.
3. Reduce symptoms from allergies and asthma
Perhaps some members of your family are especially sensitive to allergies or even suffer from asthma or other breathing issues. For those who have pets in your household, the dander, hair/fur, and dust they shed can exacerbate existing issues.
In the same way, air ducts that contain allergens (dust, debris, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, mildew, etc.) will probably exacerbate any existing health problems as toxin-filled air circulates throughout your home. Cleaning your vents regularly can reduce sick time, doctor bills, personal illness and discomfort, and more.
4. Prolong the life of your HVAC system
The dirtier your ductwork system becomes, the harder your HVAC unit must work to push air through the ducts and keep it circulating evenly during your home. As stated earlier (see No. 2 here), you may face having to replace compromised ducts if you do not clean them as needed. Your HVAC system motor will experience less deterioration if its work is made easier by clean ducts.
Perhaps most importantly for your family’s budget, regular preventative maintenance is less pricey by far than needing to replace your HVAC unit prematurely.
5. Save on monthly electricity costs
If the occurrence of dirt, debris, rodents, or toxins is leading to your HVAC unit to work harder than it was made to work, this will also cause the device to draw more power to keep doing its job. This cycle will drive up your monthly utility costs, especially in temperature extremes of hot and cold.
If you are noticing an upward creep in your energy usage as well as your monthly bill, dirty air ducts may be the reason why.
6. Ensure your home is safe
Every year many homes catch fire because of debris that has collected in duct work. This tragic situation can be prevented by simply ensuring your home’s ducts are cleaned and maintained as needed.
The risk grows exponentially if you have an older HVAC unit and you also use propane or other fuels to operate your furnace, stove, fireplace, or lightweight emitters. When debris comes in contact with any of these appliances or devices, fire risk increases accordingly. An easy air duct cleaning can drastically reduce your risk and also determine your home for any other existing HVAC-related fireplace risks.
What to Do Next
If you have recently moved to a fresh home or have replaced your HVAC system, this is always a great time to get your air duct work cleaned. As well, if someone in your loved ones is struggling with allergy or asthma symptoms or other breathing issues, cleaning your air ducts can help alleviate symptoms. In case you have recently had your carpeting, upholstery, and/or draperies professionally cleaned, your air duct system cleaned is a superb complement to take care of indoor air purity.