Most American homes have comprehensive ductwork to allow their central heating and cooling system to maintain an ideal indoor temperature. These ducts are responsible for circulating the treated air throughout the home (supply ducts) and carrying the warm air to the AC to cool it once again (return air ducts).
Circulating Air Is Not Always Clean
Despite cleaning and keeping doors and windows shut, dust, dirt, pollen, and other air contaminants still find their way inside the house. The air that passes to and from the ducts carries these particles and deposits them inside the ductwork. Slowly and steadily, the ducts become dirty. Now comes the very critical question – do the ducts need cleaning?
Ducts Should Be Cleaned Once In 5 Years
The good thing about air ducts is that the air contaminants tend to stick to their walls. So they are not freely floating about everywhere. Nonetheless, as the dirt accumulation within the ducts increases, there is always a chance of the circulating air picking up particles from within the ducts and spreading them indoors. Duct cleaning is the best solution as it ensures clean ducts. Once the ducts are professionally cleaned, you no longer have to worry about what hides inside them for the next couple of years.
Possible Issues You May Face When Dealing With Dirty Ductwork
Nobody can say with certainty what precise problems one will face when the ducts are dirty. However, here are a few possibilities:
1. The airflow will become slow and sluggish.
2. The efficiency of your HVAC system will drop.
3. You may even see dust blowing from the vents when the heating and cooling system is switched on.
4. Strange odors may exist in the house with no known or identifiable source.
5. Allergies and illnesses may become more frequent amongst the residents.
Benefits Of Ductwork Cleaning
When we talk about ductwork cleaning, we refer to its cleaning by licensed professionals. Now that this little tidbit of doubt is out of the way, let us concentrate on its benefits.
1. Hello, Clean And Healthy Air – Given a choice, everyone would want to breathe clean and healthy air. Outdoors ensuring such a thing is never wholly in our hands, but indoors is a different story.
Air ducts house microorganisms, allergens, and other pollutants that cause allergies and ailments. Professional cleaning of the duct ensures its elimination. Once they are removed from circulation, no family member will have to suffer from the possibility of related illness or allergy. Also, you will realize that despite having a strong constitution, all family members can now breathe far more easily. So ductwork cleaning guarantees improvement in indoor air quality.
2. Goodbye Odors – The dust particles that accumulate inside the ducts trap the VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and other odors originating from the kitchen, washroom, or other parts of the house. Together, when their concentration within the ducts becomes too much to keep contained, they travel along with the passing air and find their way indoors. Consequently, some weird and often repulsive odor may become a part of your living area. Foul odors are hard to ignore. They make the house unwelcoming and, in some extreme cases, even inhabitable, spoiling even the best of moods. If your house also suffers from some unexplained foul odor, there are high chances the culprit is the ductwork.
Often small animals also tend to make their abode inside the ductwork. They live, excrete, shed, and die there. Their droppings and rotting bodies are also an inevitable cause of bad smells indoors. Again, only air duct cleaning can help you get rid of it.
3. Improved Airflow – When the accumulations of filth inside the ducts become massive, the air struggles to pass through. As a result, the HVAC system no longer gets an adequate air supply. This may cause problems with the heating and cooling unit, forcing it to develop snags or shut down.
Furthermore, similar accumulation in the ducts connected to the supply vents reduces the flow of treated air. The result is your home no longer feels comfortable. To address both the concerns, ductwork cleaning by trained professionals becomes essential.
4. Better HVAC Efficiency – Sluggish airflow causes the heating and cooling system to work hard. No matter how robust the unit, it is still meant to get some rest in between, which gives it a chance to cool down. Accumulation in the ductwork makes it hard for the unit to get that much-needed rest.
Insufficient airflow forces the HVAC system to work long hours to reach the desired indoor temperature. Sometimes, even then, the desired cannot be achieved. This continuous work puts a lot of strain on the unit. Its overall impact is that the system becomes unreliable, and its efficiency is compromised. Cleaning the ductwork will bring a definitive relief.
5. Cleaner Indoors – When the ducts are filthy, the air coming out of them is bound to blow some of the dust and dirt indoors. Also, the air will pick up the lighter particles of the dust and debris and deposit them on surfaces throughout the house, giving it an unclean and unkempt look. No amount of cleaning will restore the home’s clean appearance as dust will soon cover the surfaces again. The ideal solution is following a strict ductwork cleaning routine once every 5 years.
6. Mold Prevention – Warm air, darkness, and condensation from the AC make the ducts an appropriate place for mold to establish its foothold. Mold is a health hazard and should not be given admittance anywhere in the house. A strict duct cleaning regime will ensure that mold and mildew do not get a chance to spread their colonies in your home.
Gist Of The Matter
Ductwork cleaning may not be mandatory, but if you wish to have a happy and healthy home and an efficient and reliable HVAC system, it is required. As it is, the activity does not have to be carried out every year. So the expense, when spread out, does not make it too expensive. Our honest suggestion is that you put away some money for it each year so that by the time the ductwork cleaning is due, you have the funds to support it. Remember, clean ducts mean a happy home and a healthy family.