Why Your Home Needs a Proper Air Duct Cleaning
18 Nov, 2020 / Comments: Comments Off on Why Your Home Needs a Proper Air Duct Cleaning / By admin
Air duct cleaning is a sometimes-neglected part of a home or business maintenance. The ductwork in your house (or business) is a series of long metal boxes, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much to it. Heated or cooled air gets blown through the long metal boxes (or flexible corrugated branch ducts) and comes out of openings to heat and cool the place. Is it that simple? Let’s explore air ducts in more detail.
One of the main reasons duct cleaning is recommended is for the health of the occupants. Over time, an HVAC system accumulates dust, plus several other possible problems. It’s true that a fair amount of everyday household dust in the ductwork is normal and not a cause for concern. In a relatively new, ordinarily functioning system, air duct cleaning is probably not necessary.
Air ducts don’t create dust, of course, but they are very good at moving it around. Air is drawn into the air returns, travels through the HVAC system, and is evenly distributed throughout the home or business. There are filters, of course, which are meant to catch dust, pollen, pet dander, or other particulates. But no filter is entirely efficient, and from the first day of use, they begin collecting and holding particles that may break loose later and travel through the ductwork. The longer the filters go without changing, the more particles get through.
Once inside the ductwork, most of the dust and particulates are then blown out of the registers. A certain amount of material can remain trapped in the ducts, especially if there are physical damage areas. Also, some systems use flexible corrugated round ductwork to facilitate easier routing inside a crawl space. This ducting type tends to hang on to accumulated dust and particulates much more than the usual smooth-surfaced type.
Not Just Dust
Pollen is more of a problem in some parts of the country than others, but pollen can be debilitating for some people. If it gets into the ductwork, it becomes more than seasonal, as collected particles can be gradually expelled year-round.
If vermin have entered the ductwork, there can be a whole new level of health hazard. The byproducts of rodents, birds, and insects can be blown throughout your house, resulting in sometimes chronic illness. This problem can get worse in colder seasons, as vermin move inside buildings.
Mold growth inside air ducts is another potentially hazardous condition. If moisture has entered the ductwork and toxic mold forms, the particles can make the occupants very sick, to the point of requiring hospitalization. This is especially dangerous for occupants with respiratory impairment. Sometimes visible signs of mold can be found at or near the air vents, but more often than not, mold can occur in areas of the ductwork that are impossible to see. It is likely to be found near a plumbing or roof leak.
Under certain conditions, if conditions have gotten bad enough, the use of chemical biocides may be recommended. It is essential to understand the necessary precautions and risks of these chemicals. A biocide may be required to eliminate toxic mold, or mitigate an infestation, for example.
When you get your ductwork cleaned, get it done by experienced industry professionals. Improper duct cleaning can cause more problems than it solves, including reduced system efficiency, due to damage caused by the careless or untrained service provider. Unless the vacuum system is used correctly, the service provider might dislodge particles that were trapped in place without completely removing them from the system.
When your ducts have been cleaned, it is also essential to eliminate the cause of the problem. That means sealing against any water leaks or vermin infestation and repairing any structural damage. A complete inspection will reveal trouble spots, and you may want to consider replacing any flexible ductwork with smooth surfaces. A properly cleaned and maintained air duct system means better health for everyone in the house or business.