Did you know that your home creates an estimated 40 pounds of dust each year? If you are wondering where that dust goes, the answer is into your air ducts and out into the cool or warm air pumped into each and every room in your home.
What is in Your Ducts?
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) advocates for routine air duct cleaning and maintenance, and not just to control dust. Other contaminants, such as pet dander, pollen, powdery mildew and mold, and chemicals, will also be circulated along with 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, causing your HVAC system to work harder than it needs, to heat and cool your home.
How Duct Cleaning Works
When you contract with a professional to clean your air ducts, it is important to know what will be done during the cleaning. Only a thorough cleaning will prevent contaminants from spreading throughout your whole duct system again. With a professional duct cleaning job, each of the following will receive an inspection and thorough cleaning:
- Air ducts
- Air registers
- Diffusers and grilles
- Heat exchangers
- Coils for heating and cooling
- Drain (drip) pans
- Fan, including housing and motor
- HVAC unit housing
6 Benefits of Cleaning Your Ducts
There are many benefits that come along with cleaning your ducts, but these six are at the top of our customers’ lists.
1. Reduce the levels of dirt and debris
Throughout each year, dust, dirt, and debris will naturally find their way into the duct system in your home. This doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong—it is just part of what happens when nature encounters man-made structures.
Not only can dusty, dirty air create more housework as you continually clean away the dust only to have 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 looking for a place 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 makes sense.
But if you regularly clean and maintain your duct work, you should be able 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. If you have pets in your family, 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.) are likely to exacerbate any existing health conditions 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 throughout your home. As mentioned 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 wear and tear 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 having to replace your HVAC unit prematurely.
5. Save on monthly electricity costs
If the presence of dirt, debris, rodents, or toxins is causing your HVAC unit to work harder than it was designed to work, this will also cause the unit 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 and your monthly bill, dirty air ducts may be the reason.
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 avoided 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 run your furnace, stove, fireplace, or portable heating units. When debris comes in contact with any of these appliances or devices, fire risk increases accordingly. A simple air duct cleaning can drastically reduce your risk and also assess your home for any other existing HVAC-related fire risks.
What to Do Next
If you have recently moved to a new home or have replaced your HVAC system, this is always a good time to have your air duct work cleaned. As well, if someone in your family is struggling with allergy or asthma symptoms or other breathing issues, cleaning your air ducts can help alleviate symptoms. And if you have recently had your carpeting, upholstery, and/or draperies professionally cleaned, having your air duct system cleaned is a great complement to maintain indoor air purity.
You can learn more about the difference air duct cleaning can make by watching this very short video that includes “Before” and “After” pictures from a typical air duct cleaning session. If you have further questions or wish to schedule a consultation, we invite you to contact us by phone at 905-544-2470 or online.