Why Cleaning Your Air Ducts is a Must
You’ve probably seen flyers by duct cleaning services that remind you that you need to get your HVAC system cleaned if you are to keep your family healthy. If you’re not sure about the necessity of it all, you should think of the last time you got into a car, and found that it smelled musty. That smell comes from the car’s dirty HVAC ductwork. As short as car ductwork tends to be, it can collect unhealthy mold in a short period of time. Given the size of residential ductwork, there’s much greater scope for mold growth.
Just as auto service centers routinely clean out smelly HVAC duct system in your car each spring, residential ductwork needs some cleaning on a regular basis, as well. There are real health benefits involved.
How much dust can your family take?
The average residential household generates 8 pounds of dust annually. In addition, atmospheric contaminants such as pollen, spores, traffic exhaust and volatile chemicals, add to the mix. When the cocktail is handled by the ductwork, a certain amount of deposits on the sides. It attracts moisture, and becomes prime breeding ground for mold and bacteria.
While such growth does not have health consequences for everyone, some families do tend to be have trouble with respiratory ailments. If allergies, autoimmune complications, asthma and related health conditions seem to trouble family members, you should consider a professional air duct cleaning service.
Do you have a fuel-burning fireplace or furnace?
Ideally, fuel-burning fireplaces and furnaces exhaust all smoke and soot outside. In practice, however, some soot does get into the ductwork. It can add to problems with air quality.
How long has it been since you last cleaned?
In the average American city, it can take between three and four years for a residential HVAC duct system to pick up a high level of contamination. When this happens, you can tell by the visible clumps of dust that gather various points through the network. It tends to happen to a greater extent in HVAC ductwork systems made of fiberglass or plastic (metal tends to accumulate such dust at a slower rate).
With a single air-conditioner blower driving airflow through the system, these slight hindrances manage to cause enough of a slowdown in airflow speed. Some studies indicate that efficiency can drop by as much as 25%. Cleaning tends to improve efficiency.
While there are certain benefits to cleaning HVAC ductwork, it’s important to find a good, qualified cleaning crew. A business certified by NADCA or another industry body would guarantee good, scientifically sound work.