Cleaning the air ducts involves removing dust and dirt from the air ducts as well as keeping them sanitized. This can be done by professionals on a regular basis. It is also necessary to get your air ducts cleaned by professionals when you notice that your air conditioner and heating system performance is deteriorating. The appearance of particles in the air coming from your vents also means that you need to get your heating and cooling system cleaned out as soon as possible. It could be harmful to your health if you do not clean them because they are full of pollutants, dust, dirt and other contaminants.
When you get your air ducts cleaned on a yearly basis, you ensure that the vents are not clogged with any debris. Sometimes, some debris like dust and dirt gets trapped in the vents and because of this, it can cause a lot of trouble. When the filters are clogged with dirt and dust particles, it can cause a lot of problems with your health as these particles can get into your lungs and respiratory system. Also, when these vents are filled with dirt and dust particles, it can cause damage to your AC systems.
Trying to decide when it’s time to clean your air ducts? Here are a few things you should keep in mind:
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends getting your ducts cleaned if you haven’t had them professionally serviced within the past three years. Air duct cleaning is often included in a home energy audit, which is an inspection of your home done by a professional energy auditor. If you have your ducts cleaned as part of an energy audit or other service, consider having the unit cleaned again after 10 years just to ensure that all the dust and debris that has collected inside the unit has been completely removed.
If you don’t have your air ducts professionally cleaned, think of it like this. If you used a vacuum cleaner on your carpet once a month and never did anything else to clean your carpets, they would still show dirt and be pretty gross after 10 years, right? It’s best to think of air duct cleaning in the same way.
To keep your air ducts clean, you should:
- Get an annual checkup from a professional to make sure everything is running smoothly and efficiently;
- Limit dust and grime in your home by keeping windows closed when you’re not there, using ceiling fans and running exhaust fans when cooking or showering;
- Install a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperature throughout the day instead of using the heat or AC full-blast;
- Clean or replace your air filters regularly (typically once per month); and
- Use a dehumidifier in basements and other humid environments to prevent mold growth.
Does my home have an HVAC system?
Of course, this is the first question to ask. If you don’t have air ducts, then you’re not going to need professional air duct cleaning. If you’re lucky enough to live in a home with central heating and cooling, then your ducts are probably located in your attic or crawlspace. These ducts can be expensive and difficult to replace so it’s worth getting them cleaned every 3-5 years (more often in areas with high levels of airborne pollutants).
Are there noticeable signs of mold or mildew?
If so, you were probably better off hiring a pro for the job. Cleaning mold and mildew from hard-to-reach areas can be very difficult for a DIYer. It’s also important that any cleaning products used are safe for use in your HVAC system. A professional will know exactly which products to use and how best to remove all traces of mold and mildew from your ducts.
If you do end up needing to get more comprehensive treatment, make sure to find out what the proposal entails so that you don’t end up in over your head with cleaning services you don’t need.