Cleaning of the air ducts is still a matter of open debate. Some people consider it essential, and yet others are unconcerned. Often scare tactics like potential hazards hiding in the ducts are used to convince people to ask professionals to clean the air ducts in their home. Instead of using such unethical practice, we decided to educate you about the advantages and disadvantages of cleaning your air ducts. This knowledge will give you a chance to make a wise choice without any pressure.
But, before we begin, let us know a little bit more about the air ducts and their cleaning.
What Are Air Ducts?
Air ducts are channels, tubes, passages, or pipes that are used in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) to deliver and remove air.
What Is Air Duct Cleaning?
The process of cleaning the conduits that transports air to and from the HVAC is called air duct cleaning. Usually, there are two ways in which this is done:
1. Rotary Vacuum Brushing – In vacuum brushing, a spinning or rotating brush is used to loosen the dust and debris accumulated in the air vents. Once that is done, a vacuum is used to trap all the dislodged impurities.
2. High-Pressure Air Washing – In high-pressure air washing, a truck-mounted vacuum is used to blow pressurized air through the ducts. During this process, all the air registers are covered so that the loosened impurities do not fly indoors. After blowing air through all the air ducts, another air wand is inserted to suck out all the released accumulations.
Advantages Of Cleaning Air Ducts
The key advantages of air duct cleaning are:
1. Improves Efficiency Of The Unit – The HVAC unit needs to be able to breathe easily to perform to the best of its capability. If there are any restrictions preventing the heating and cooling system from transporting air effortlessly, its efficiency is bound to suffer. Ducts that have blockages in the form of dust, debris, dander, or any other impurities force the unit to work harder to give the same amount of output. When the unit operates under strain, it consumes more power and is still unable to deliver to satisfaction. Cleaning out the accumulations inside the ducts will make the system deliver and remove air smoothly and effortlessly, eradicating the need to operate under pressure. So, clean air ducts make for improved efficiency of your HVAC unit.
2. Reduces The Risk Of Transmitting Diseases – Unknown to most homeowners, rodents, pests, and critters tend to make homes in the ducts. This is especially true when you live close to nature. These small animals are a threat to the ducts as well as your health. The critters may eat through the ducts to make passages, and from these tears, the air escapes. As a result, your home is unable to reach and maintain the desired temperature. But that is the least of the troubles, especially if the next concern is your health. Breathing in dust that carries the droppings or urine of the pests and rodents can cause many ailments. You can even fall gravely ill. To avoid both these situations, your best option is duct cleaning.
3. Reduces Allergies – Breathing in the air full of dust, dander, and other allergens are not suitable for the health of infants, elderly, and those who suffer from allergies. When the accumulations in the ducts loosen, they travel with the air and find their way indoors into our breathing space. People who suffer from respiratory illnesses find even small quantities of dust can trigger major allergic reactions. Duct cleaning is the only way to ensure that you have more control over the indoor air quality.
Disadvantages Of Cleaning Air Ducts
The known disadvantages of duct cleaning include:
1. The Need For Duct Replacement – If your ducts get wet and develop mold, cleaning may not be enough. You may have to replace sections of the duct for an effective solution. However, something like this happens only when homeowners don’t contact professional duct cleaners for the job. Duct cleaning is not a DIY project, refrain from making it one.
2. Damage To The Ducts – Long hoses are used for duct cleaning which, if not used correctly, can damage the ducts. Trained professionals are meticulous and take all precautions that such untoward incidents don’t happen. However, there are swindlers claiming to be professional duct cleaners, but aren’t really so, who are the root cause of the trouble. Since these con men lack proper training, they are more susceptible to damaging the ductwork. Beware while choosing the contractor for duct cleaning. Don’t fall for a low ball figure instead look for their certification, insurance, and reputation. You cannot go wrong when your contractor ranks highly on all three parameters.
3. Duct Cleaning Is Expensive – Duct cleaning requires industrial-grade specialized equipment. Also, it is a job that takes time and cannot be completed in a few minutes. The sensitive nature of the work involved also makes it slow going to prevent harm to the ducts. Due to these reasons, the cleaning of ducts is an expensive activity. Nonetheless, the good news is that you need to bear this expense once every couple of years, so it does not dig a hole in your pockets.
How Often Is Cleaning Air Ducts Recommended?
Usually, it takes three to five years for the ducts to become full of dust and grime. So if you stay in an area where a lot of dust blows, cleaning the ducts once in 3 years is a good enough solution. For others, cleaning air ducts every 5 years is advisable.
Now that you know the pros and cons of cleaning air ducts, it is up to you to decide whether you want to go for it or not. Ideally, there is no harm in getting them cleaned every 5 years. If nothing else, you will at least be able to get rid of any pest and rodent infestation inside it before they can do severe damage to the ducts.