Air ducts are passageways that transport cooled and heated air throughout your house. Just like any other HVAC system, air ducts require regular maintenance to ensure maximum efficiency. As a general rule of thumb, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends air duct cleaning every 3 to 5 years. With certain methods, that cleaning recommendation can be extended to 6 to 8 years. The buildup of mold and other pollutants causing allergic reactions may be a consideration for a more immediate air duct cleaning for the health of your home and family.
Is Air Duct Cleaning Necessary?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that indoor air can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. These impurities present in the air recirculate throughout your household via air ducts, which can harm your home and family. In addition to regular ductwork cleaning by a licensed HVAC and indoor air quality contractor, a more prompt appointment to get your ducts in a row may be required under the circumstances below.
Changes To Your Home Or Place Of Residence
When is it important to clean your ducts? That’s a question that confronts new and current homeowners. A cleaning should be done when moving into a new home, especially if the previous owner was a smoker, pet-owner, or if they did not service the ducts within the last three years.
When building a new home, air duct cleaning works to rid your house of drywall dust and other construction debris that accumulate in the process. The completion of a home remodeling project should warrant a proper cleaning as sawdust and other remnants can infiltrate your ducts.
Visible Mold Or Musty Smell
Mold loves to grow in humid and damp, hard-to-reach places, like your air ducts. If you see physical mold, smell a mustiness in the air, or are experiencing symptoms from itchiness to coughing, a cleaning should be administered on the contaminated ductwork. A trusted service provider can mend the mold by sanitizing the area to kill current growth, and help to prevent it in the future.
Creepy crawlers can make themselves at home in your ducts and contaminate the air that is carried throughout the house with their debris and odor. If you see pests in or around ductwork or notice a decline in your system’s performance, a proper cleaning can eradicate vermin and prevent them from bugging you any longer.
Excess Dust or Debris
Another reason why to clean air ducts: dust, pet dander, dead skin cells, and dangerous allergens can build up over time in ductwork. This excess debris can manifest visibly in poofs of dust that are released from air vents. Build up can put you and your family at risk for respiratory and other health issues, while decreasing the system’s air flow and performance.
The NADCA states that, “According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted.” This can decrease the longevity of the system and your wallet. This begs the question of how to increase the airflow in air ducts? A professional cleaning can sweep your air ducts free of this accumulated filth to ensure maximum airflow that is clean and safe for your family to breathe.
Excessive Cold Or Allergy-like Symptoms
Those with clean ducts report overall better health. However, if your ducts are indeed dirty, they circulate contaminated air that can trigger or even cause allergy and cold-like symptoms for those living within the home. Dust mites that feed on human debris can reside within buildup in air ducts and cause asthmatic and allergic reactions.
Family members who already have respiratory issues are especially susceptible to becoming sick when exposed to unhealthy air quality. When children, the elderly, or newborns live in the house, it is important to take care of your indoor air quality and opt for air duct cleaning.
Do I Need to Clean My Air Ducts? A Question of Urgency
If you or your family are experiencing health and respiratory issues that can be linked to indoor air quality, the strongest course of action is to align with the recommendations of the NADCA and EPA. Pay attention to the necessity of air duct cleaning as a regular part of your ongoing home maintenance.