Air ducts have long been used in American properties to effectively distribute both warm and cold air to all parts of the home, helping to maintain a comfortable temperature year round, but it's only in recent times that greater emphasis has been placed on the maintenance of these ducts. This can be attributed to growing concerns about indoor air pollution and the affect that poor air quality can have on both our quality of life and our health. That brings us round to the purpose of this article: Should you have your air ducts cleaned out periodically? We're going to provide you with several reasons why you should seriously consider it, based on our own personal experience of assisting home and business owners in and around Boulder, CO.
A Quick Introduction to Air Duct Cleaning: What Is It?
When you see air duct cleaning services advertised, this generally refers to an intensive "deep-clean" of the various components of your HVAC system, including but not limited to the supply and return air ducts and registers, the heat exchangers, the grilles and diffusers, the fan motor and its housing, the drip pans and the housing around the air handling unit. Each of these components of your HVAC system will likely accumulate dust particles, pollen and other types of debris over time, which can affect the performance of your HVAC system and potentially lead to other sorts of problems, including mold growth if moisture is present.
Several Reasons to Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned
Ultimately, no matter how much advice you are given or what your heating and cooling contractor tells you, the choice is yours as the property owner. However, before deciding you should inform yourself as well as you possibly can. Below you will find some compelling arguments for air duct cleaning, based on our years of professional experience as air duct and carpet cleaning contractors.
- Considerable Energy Savings - Many home heating and cooling systems run extremely inefficiently, wasting as much as 40 percent of the energy consumed according to studies completed by the U.S Department of Energy. Contaminants such as dust and debris building up in the air ducts and other parts of the system such as the filters can put considerable strain on your furnace and air conditioning unit, forcing them to work harder to maintain the temperature inside your home at the same level. This inevitably increases energy consumption, leading to ever increasing bills. Air duct cleaning ensures that these contaminants aren't allowed to build up, lowering your annual energy costs, sometimes quite considerably (heating and cooling usually accounts for half of the total amount spent on energy over the course of a year for most households).
- Extend the Lifespan of Your HVAC System - Another effect of the build up of dust and other contaminants in your air ducts is the increased wear and tear that your heating and cooling systems endure. The extra pressure put on the system forces its components to work harder and consequently they generally won't last as long, making repairs and, in extreme cases, a complete replacement of your system much more likely. Air duct cleaning is a great (and extremely cost effective) way to protect your home's heating and cooling systems and prolong their useable lifespan, saving you lots of money, not to mention potential headaches, in the long run. The carpets in your home should be thoroughly cleaned for many of the same reasons, as you can read in this article.
- Possible Health Benefits - We say "possible" as according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency duct cleaning has never actually been proven to have any health problems or prevent medical conditions. However, that's not to say there's isn't any health related benefits. If there's any moisture in your ducts and that combines with containments such as dust and other debris, mold growth is highly likely. If this growth takes place in the air ducts, mold spores will likely be carried into your living spaces, and mold in certain cases has been known to cause severe allergic reactions, as well as irritate serious respiratory conditions. Dust itself is a known trigger for asthma suffers and air duct cleaning improves the overall air quality inside your home.
Signs that Your Air Ducts Need Cleaning
As we've already established, the benefits of air duct cleaning can have a big impact upon your life, most notably in a financial and health sense. But even if you decide air duct cleaning is something that you should do, knowing when to do it is another question entirely. Below you'll find a few clear indicators that indicate you need to get on the phone and hire a contractor right away.
- Visible Signs of Mold Growth - If simply left to its own devices this will never end well, causing problems for both you and your home heating and cooling units. As previously mentioned, mold growing in air ducts will lead to mold spores being distributed right around your home.
- Own Several Shedding Pets - If you own a number of animals that shed large amounts of hair, this can force your air ducts to become clogged with pet dander, reducing the efficiency with which they perform.
- Evidence of Animal Infestation? - If you have seen evidence of rodents or insects living in your air ducts, it's definitely time to get them cleaned by a qualified professional.
- Clogged With Dirt And Dust - Even air ducts that were installed perfectly and are well cared for will gather dust. It's your responsibility to ensure that this doesn't spiral out of control and cause deteriorating living conditions inside your home.
Air ducts, just like carpets and other parts of your home, need to be carefully maintained if they are going to continue to do their job properly. If you suspect your air ducts need cleaning, getting a second opinion from a qualified contractor is the next step and make sure that you ask them to show you evidence of anything they find. If you reside in Boulder, CO or the larger Denver Metro area and require air duct cleaning, carpet cleaning or assistance with water damage, don't hesitate to give us a call.