Dirty Air Ducts: When Is It Time For An Air Duct Cleaning?
Dirty Air Ducts: When Is It Time For An Air Duct Cleaning?
As a homeowner, there is so much to stay on top of in order to keep your house in working order to keep you and your family safe and comfortable. While it’s easy to keep up with tasks that you can see, like dirty laundry and vacuuming, what about those parts of the house that need attention, but are out of site? We’re talking about your heating ventilation and air conditioning(HVAC) system. It’s true that many homeowners give little thought to the condition of their HVAC systems simply because the intricate network of tubing and fixtures lies within the ceilings and walls of most houses. But did you know that issues like mold growth in central AC unit, high energy bills, and respiratory issues can all occur because of dirty air ducts? For this reason, it’s important to conduct regular checks and maintenance around your HVAC system.
Read on to learn how to tell when it’s time for an air duct cleaning, and what steps to take if you think you need one.
What are Air Ducts?
What exactly are air ducts anyway? Air ducts are the circulatory system of your house that allows for the distribution of hot and cold air as needed throughout the various spaces of your home. Most air duct systems are built within the ceilings or walls of a home for aesthetic reasons. There are two primary types of ductwork available for homeowners to choose from: flexible and rigid ductwork.
Flexible ducts are usually made of a wire coil that is covered with a bendable plastic, that is then fitted with a layer of insulation. Flexible ductwork is most suitable for spaces where a little give, or flexibility, is necessary. Flexible ducts are a little easier and quicker to install than rigid ductwork, and also cost less.
Rigid ductwork can be made from a variety of materials including, fiberglass, fiberboard, and sheet metal. As the name hints, rigid ductwork does not offer the same flexibility of flexible ductwork. Rigid ductwork can be constructed in various shapes and sizes but is known for being particularly strong and durable.
Do Air Ducts Need Cleaning?
You may be asking yourself do air ducts need cleaning, really? The answer is yes. Remedying dirty air ducts is important for a number of reasons. For one, dirty air ducts can waste energy and lead to higher energy bills. This happens when a significant buildup of dust and debris in your ductwork makes it more difficult for air to flow into living spaces to keep you comfortable. When this happens, your HVAC system must work harder than usual, expending energy it wouldn’t have to if the dirty air ducts were clean. As you can imagine, the more energy the system uses, the higher the bill you receive each month.
Another important reason to keep your air ducts clean is that with dirty air ducts health problems are likely. This is because debris and dust coming from air ducts can result in respiratory and allergy problems for anyone living in the house. When your HVAC system is engaged, and the air is flowing, dust can become airborne. When the dust coming from air ducts is inhaled, it can irritate the body causing symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, wheezing, itchy eyes, sore throat, and more. In particular, with mold in air ducts, health problems are a risk. Mold in central AC unit is common, because of the moisture produced. If you suspect mold in central AC unit, contact a professional as soon as possible.
A final reason why it’s important to keep air ducts clean is that regular maintenance prevents costly repairs in the future. Having dirty air ducts taken care of gives you or a professional the opportunity to inspect the components of your HVAC system to ensure everything is in working order. When issues are caught early, you can save yourself from hefty repair bills.
Signs of Dirty Air Ducts
So how can you tell if you have dirty air ducts in need of cleaning? Keep an eye out for these tell-tale signs.
1. Dust and debris around vents. One of the most obvious signs you have dirty air ducts is dirty air vents. With dirty air vents, you’ll notice debris and dust coming from air ducts that collect on and around vents. Dust coming from air ducts and onto vents shows that a significant amount of contaminants are circulating throughout your home, and the buildup inside the air ducts has reached a bad level. Make sure to do a thorough scan of all vents, including
2. Mold growth. Dirty air ducts health problems are a real risk. Believe it or not, visible mold growth can be a sign that your air ducts need cleaning. Mold growing in and around vents is a strong indicator that you have dirty air ducts, and you should call a professional immediately to remediation. In addition to vents, mold in central AC unit can happen as well. When the AC unit is engaged, it can produce moisture that in turn leads to growth of mold in the central AC unit. Without remedying mold in air ducts health problems can result that can become dangerous.
3. You don’t remember having an air duct cleaning. If you can’t remember the last time you had your air ducts cleaned, or even if you’ve ever had them cleaned before, you likely have dirty air ducts. Fortunately, it is only recommended that you have an air duct cleaning once every 5 to 7 years. However, you’re likely to remember this process taking place. If you don’t remember your last air duct cleaning, make the call to schedule an appointment.
Dust coming from air ducts, mold growth in components of the HVAC system, and pricey energy bills are no joke. If you spot any of the signs of dirty air ducts mentioned, contact a professional air duct cleaning company today to schedule an appointment. Specialists will conduct an examination to determine the extent of dirt in your air ducts, then create a comprehensive plan to get your ducts in like-new condition again.