If you thought that the air filters trap all the dust and allergens and do not let them pass, you’ve got another think coming. Air ducts happen to be one of the most contaminated areas of your home. Over the years, when left untouched, the level of dust and grime in them increases and, in extreme cases, may even cause blockages. As a result of these blockages, you may find your home at an uneven temperature. The air coming from the blocked vents may be sluggish to non-existent. Most importantly, if these impurities find their way back into your home, they will deteriorate the indoor air quality and put the health of all the family members at risk.
In essence, you need to ensure proper cleaning of the air ducts. But how often should the air ducts cleaning be done? There may be a lot of conflictory information available online, but right now, you are at the most appropriate place to gather the correct set of information.
How Often Should The Air Ducts Cleaning Be Done?
There is a legitimate association called the National Air Duct Cleaners Association or the NADCA that has determined the frequency of cleaning the air ducts. It is based on their cumulative research and experience. According to them, the air ducts should be cleaned every 3 to 5 years. Additionally, if you live with aged parents or grandparents, or if somebody in your home suffers from breathing ailments, you should get the air ducts cleaning done at least once in every 3 years. Air duct cleaning will get your home rid of allergens and prevent the slowing down of the airflow.
Best Time For Air Ducts Cleaning
The ideal time for air duct cleaning is when the temperatures are still low. In case you are suffering from persistent allergies even inside the house, with all due precautions, it is best to get your air ducts cleaned by professionals. Here are a couple more scenarios in which you can think of duct cleaning:
1. When you are moving into a home where others have already lived, especially if they had pets.
2. When you have got some construction or renovations done in your home.
3. When you are getting a new heating and cooling system installed in an old home.
Signs That Your Home Needs Air Duct Cleaning
Some homeowners get air ducts cleaning done, but some don’t. Of those who get them cleaned, very few would remember when they got it done last. If you don’t know the last time the air ducts were cleaned or if you have never got it done before, here are a few signs that indicate a need for immediate action:
1. When the air flows out of the registers, it leaves behind in its wake floating particles in spite of regularly cleaning the house.
2. If there is, or you suspect there to be a pest or rodent infestation in your home or the ductwork.
3. If you see visible signs of mold in and around the ducts.
4. When there is an unpleasant odor in your home whose origin you cannot pin-point.
5. When there is visible black debris on the outer side of the filters or the vents. These occur only when the indoor pollutants have again become a part of the circulating air.
Can I Clean The Air Ducts Myself
You can superficially clean the air ducts, but no homeowner can do their thorough cleaning by themselves. They are restricted both by the expertise and the right equipment. At best, you can clean the air ducts as far as the hose of your vacuum cleaner reaches. There may be accumulations deep inside which your vacuum cleaner may not be able to reach. Thorough cleaning of the air ducts is possible only through professional duct cleaners.
Why Should Air Ducts Cleaning Be Done By Professionals
Air duct cleaning professionals have not only the right equipment, but also the appropriate knowledge, skill, and gear to carry out thorough cleaning. They use truck-mounted and high-powered vacuum cleaners to suck out all the impurities stuck inside the ducts. Their long hoses can cover the ductwork more extensively and ensure that every nook and cranny is free of any foreign particles.
Benefits Of Air Ducts Cleaning
Air duct cleaning is crucial to maintaining good air quality indoors. Nonetheless, that is not the only perceived benefit of air ducts cleaning. Another lesser-known benefit is getting rid of all the unwanted materials stuck inside the ducts allows free flow of air from and to the heating and cooling system. When the air flows without any barriers slowing it down, the efficiency of the unit is at its peak and puts minimum strain on it.
Cost Of Air Duct Cleaning
The average cost of cleaning the air ducts is $35 for one air vent. Most homes have 10 to 15 vents, so the cost of cleaning them lies between $300 to $500. There are a few other factors that govern the final price. These include:
1. Size of the home.
2. Ease of reaching the air ducts.
3. The length and configuration of the air ducts.
Based on these factors, the final price of cleaning the air ducts may vary. There is no one fixed cost that covers all. Every house has its own set of unique challenges, so you may have to pay differently from your neighbor for the same work.
To sum up, the best time for air duct cleaning is towards the end of winter when the temperatures are still low. The frequency of air duct cleaning varies from home to home. If you have pets, live with aged people, or someone in your family suffers from breathing ailments or allergies, get the ducts cleaned once every three years. If you have got any renovations done to your home, get the cleaning done as soon as the renovations are over. Others can get their air ducts cleaned anywhere between 3 to 5 years. Though try not to exceed this time period. Remember, air duct cleaning will help you and your family members breathe easier even if no one suffers from allergies of any kind.