Air duct cleaning is a sore point with many homeowners. Most consider it unnecessary, and others simply don’t even know the ducts may need one. Nobody is at fault here. The problem is a lack of awareness which has led to this ignorance. To answer your question – Do you really need your air ducts cleaned? – Yes.
Before getting into the “why” of air duct cleaning, let us quickly brush up on what the air ducts do. Air ducts are an extensive network of tube-like passages hidden behind the walls of your home. They carry air to and from the HVAC system. One cannot see the ducts due to their concealment, yet they play a crucial part in maintaining a comfortable indoor environment.
If Ducts Are Hidden, How Can They Get Dirty?
The air that passes through the ducts often carries dust, dirt, and other particles. These settle inside the surface of the ductwork. With time, their buildup increases and sometimes reaches a level that impairs the airflow.
Most people who live close to nature would have discovered that the air ducts present an attractive alternate habitat to small animals like critters. These animals eat and excrete in the ducts. They also live and die there. They drop hair and dead skin cells. All of these can be picked by the treated air traveling through the ducts to enter your living zone. It will make for poor indoor air quality and spread foul odors and illness or allergies in the home.
Cleaning Of Air Ducts Serves These Purposes
Cleaning the ducts will make the ducts clean, but how does that help you? What purpose does it serve when nobody can see inside the ducts? Well, here’s how cleaning the ducts will be beneficial:
1. No Foul Odors – For germs, ducts are the best place to thrive. Here nobody disturbs them, and they can freely multiply. Also, the dust particles inside the ducts absorb VOCs. The cumulative effect is that strange, offensive odors start coming from the vents and spread throughout the house. No homeowner wants to be mauled by such unpleasant smells. Moreover, these odors deteriorate indoor air quality. Breathing in unhealthy air wrecks ailments on the human body, especially on those who are old or prone to allergies.
2. Relief From Allergies – Pollen, dust, dander, VOCs, etc., are common allergens found in any household. You would be surprised to know that their concentration is usually the highest inside the ducts. It is because their particles settle inside them, trapped by other particles already inside in ducts. If anyone in your home is sensitive and prone to allergies, you feel their symptoms lessen when outdoors but worsen when indoors. This indicates a possibility the circulating air is picking up allergens from within the ducts and introducing them into your living area. Air duct cleaning is bound to deliver relief in such circumstances.
3. Riddance From Infestation – Insects and critters living in the ducts result in repulsive smells of rotting food, waste, and even dead bodies. But that is not all. These little pests also tend to chew through the ductwork and spoil it. No homeowner wants their indoor comfort compromised because an animal living inside it destroyed it. Cleaning the ducts would help get rid of all infestations and extend the life of your expensive ductwork. Ideally, one would not know their ducts are infested. But those people who live near the woods should always assume the worst. Even if air duct cleaning is not on your mind presently, its annual inspection should still be a vital consideration. This way, you will at least learn the condition of your ducts and what lurks or hides inside them.
4. Goodbye Mold And Mildew – Mold, and mildew love the ductwork due to its dark, damp, and warm environment. These are also every homeowner’s nightmare. They reduce the value of your property in the eyes of a prospective buyer and for obvious reasons. Mold and mildew are known health hazards. They result in a range of illnesses varying from skin ailments to breathing troubles and sometimes even nausea and dizziness. Secondly, their presence raises a big concern about the stability of the structure. They can destroy the woodwork and weaken the walls. To evict mold, mildew, and their spores from the air ducts, ductwork cleaning is the best and optimal solution.
5. Cleaner Indoor Space – If you notice your house getting dirty despite regular cleaning, which is accompanied by a sighting of small particles blowing from the ducts, you are dealing with dirty air ducts. The only way you will be able to keep your house clean for longer is by ensuring air duct cleaning.
Good News! Air Ducts Don’t Require Annual Cleaning.
Air ducts don’t get dirty in a matter of days or months. It takes years for something like that to happen. The best-case scenario dictates ductwork cleaning once every 5 years. Worst case scenario, i.e., if you stay in an industrial area or somewhere prone to dust storms, air duct cleaning once every three years is the popular recommendation.
Professional Ductwork Cleaning Only
When planning to get the ducts cleaned, please get it done by professionals only. Firstly, because your standard household equipment will only be able to reach the tip of the iceberg. You require industrial-grade powerful tools to reach every corner of the ductwork.
Secondly, it is very easy to damage the ducts. Rectifying the damage may become a costly venture. Therefore, do not think of air duct cleaning as a DIY activity. The professionals will do a far better job without any damaging repercussions.
The Core Of The Matter
The ductwork is a part of your residence. Thankfully because it is concealed, it does not get dirty quickly. Nevertheless, when it does, ignoring its condition will have a negative impact on the cleanliness of your living space and the indoor air quality. Consequently, you should not ignore it. To aid in their cleanliness, dust the vents and registers often, keep your home clean and change the air filters every month. Clean air ducts mean a healthy home.