Your Air Duct Cleaning Questions Answered
Reasons Why You Need to Keep Your Air Vents Clean – And How to Do It
1) If mold has been found in your home or your furnace/air conditioning.
Your HVAC system is the “lungs” and circulatory system of your home. If mold is found in the system or in your home, it should be cleaned so the system doesn’t make the problem worse by spreading mold to otherwise unaffected areas.
2) If your home is dusty, no matter how often you clean.
This is a potential indicator that your duct work is dirty also and should be cleaned. Homes with pets and hard floors (hard wood, laminate, tile etc.) tend to allow more dust and debris into the duct system. Through normal occupation in a home, we generate a great deal of contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust, and chemicals. These contaminants are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated 5 to 7 times per day, on average. Over time, this re-circulation causes a build-up of contaminants in the duct work.
3) If you have noticed your heating/cooling bills going up but the thermostat hasn’t moved.
Build up of dust and debris can cause your HVAC system to work harder than necessary, causing energy bills to rise. Having the interior of the air handler, e.g., a/c coils and blower housing, cleaned helps your whole system run more efficiently. When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire. As a result, less energy is used, leading to improved cost-effectiveness.
4) Is your house brand new or did you just have it renovated?
Construction is messy and even when contractors are neat, the dust and debris gets circulated and into your HVAC system. Dust from cutting sheetrock, dust from sanding, dirt from extra foot traffic in the house – this all ends up going through your HVAC system and those ducts need to be cleaned.
How often should residential HVAC systems be cleaned?
Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, not the least of which is the preference of the homeowner. Some of the things that may lead a homeowner to consider more frequent cleaning include:
- smokers in the household;
- pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander;
- water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system;
- residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system;
- after home renovations or remodeling; and,
- prior to occupancy of a new home.
How should a residential HVAC system be cleaned?
The most effective way to clean air ducts and ventilation systems is to employ source removal methods of cleaning. This requires a contractor to place the system under negative pressure, through the use of a specialized, powerful vacuum. While the vacuum draws air through the system, devices are inserted into the ducts to dislodge any debris that might be stuck to interior surfaces. The debris can then travel down the ducts to the vacuum, which removes it from the system and the building.