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Clean kitchen, check. Clean bathrooms, check. Clean air ducts…what?

Neglected air ducts can directly affect Your air quality.

When was the last time you thought about the air ducts in you home? Probably not lately, right? The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that people spend 90% of their time indoors, but that indoor air quality can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Neglected air ducts can directly affect the air quality of your home and can affect your health, safety and wallet.

Duct cleaning involves the  cleaning of all heating and cooling system components of forced air systems which includes the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles/diffusers, heat exchangers, heating/cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and housing, along with the air handling unit housing.

Over time, these components may become contaminated with particles of dust, dust mites, pollen, and other

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debris and if moisture is present, the potential for mold is increases. When present, mold spores can ultimately be released into the home’s living space, causing allergic reactions or other symptoms in those living in the home.

Besides air quality, dirty ductwork can cause other problems such as

  • Efficiency issues: Clogged ductwork forces your heating or cooling system to work harder, using more energy.
  • Worn parts: Clogged ducts can cause motors, igniters and thermostats to work harder and wear out  faster than normal, costing you more money in replacement parts.
  • Less comfortable environment: Dirty ductwork holds dampness in during humid weather and absorbs heat during cold weather, creating a less comfortable living environment.
  • Unwanted house guests: Birds, rodents and insects who enter through exterior vent outlets can become entangled in debris, can die and ultimately add to the duct’s congestion.
  • Increased fire hazzards: Cotton lint, paper fibers and other debris can increase the chances of a fire hazard when collected in duct corners.
Air ducts should be cleaned once a year so consider including them in your Spring or Fall Cleaning routine. If you are handy and motivated, you can do a basic cleaning yourself with a few tools you have around the house and a vacuum. If you cannot remember the last time your air ducts were cleaned or if you want a thorough cleaning, you might want to hire a professional to do your dirty work.
According to the EPA, you should consider having your air ducts cleaned by a professional if:
  • There is substantial visible mold growth is present in hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system.
  • Ducts are infested with vermin (e.g., rodents or insects); or
  • Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are actually released into the home from your supply registers.
Sometimes the dirt you cannot see can hurt you and your wallet so make sure you always keep those hidden spots in your home sparkling clean!