If you rely on an HVAC system with air ducts to cool, heat, and/or air condition your home, you probably know the importance of taking proper care of your ductwork as part of HVAC system maintenance. In case it sounds a bit like Greek to you, the air ducts are the piping system that delivers and distributed cooled or heated air to indoor spaces and rooms that need it throughout your home or commercial premises. In addition to insulation and sealing, air duct cleaning is one of the most important aspects of maintenance for this system. You will find that with time, dust, mold, allergens and other types of contaminants may buildup in your air conditioning ductwork, whether your HVAC system is functional or not. Dangers of dirty air ducts are many; including the fact that mold can breed there according to Andrea Atkins for the Washington Post.
Obviously, system isn’t designed to function well in such a situation, just like your body isn’t programmed to function best when you go days without taking a shower. Air duct cleaning is a huge concept with a lot to discuss, but the following pointers will hopefully give you an idea of what it is all about along with some important things to note as a homeowner who values his/health and comfort and that of your family or other residents in the premises. Here’s air duct cleaning 101.
Cooking fumes, tobacco smoke, mold, dust, pollen, and household products, are all sources and causes of indoor air pollution, just to mention a few. Some of these originate from indoors whereas other comes from the outside environment. Here, we are more interested in the pollutants that come from outside air and gain their way into the living space. This can happen through various ports of entry, your ductwork and ventilation systems being one of them. With time, your ductwork may suffer from the buildup of debris and grime, which may contain dust particles, mold spores, pollen grains, and other potential allergens such as fungi and bacteria. As your HVAC system functions to provide cool or heated air into your living spaces, some of these allergens and toxins may be carried along. This affects indoor air quality, and puts the dwellers at risk of acquiring respiratory infections and allergies, especially for kids and people with a history of seasonal allergies such as hay fever.
Duct Cleaning Benefits
When you notice some signs that your air ducts are dirty, the best option is to call a duct cleaning professional company. The buildup of debris also affects air flow through the ductwork and HVAC systems end up struggling to deliver. As a result, HVAC units become more prone to failures and damages. If not, the unit ends up using more energy that it would have, were the air ducts clean and free from obstruction. Air duct cleaning can help improve indoor air quality, sanitation, health, and energy efficiency for HVAC systems. It can also extend the lifetime of the HVAC unit while reducing the chances of unnecessary repairs being needed. It improves the homeowners’ comfort and convenience they get from their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
According to a veteran of the industry I spoke with, the air duct cleaning process involves inspection by experienced professionals as a first step, who may then recommend cleaning or not depending on the situation at hand. During the cleaning, specialized tools and equipment such as vacuum cleaners are used, which can get rid of debris, molds, allergens, and other buildup materials from your ductwork to eliminate the obstruction and sanitize the place. Even though there are DIY tips on how to clean air ducts, professional cleaning will do you more good than harm. On average, it is recommended that professional air duct cleaning be done at least once every 1-3 years for the best outcome with your heating, cooling, and air conditioning systems, and for the sake of both your health and indoor comfort.