Poor indoor air quality can cause problems and have serious consequences such as:
- Increased health issues including coughing, eye irritation, headaches and allergy symptoms.
- Reduced productivity due to discomfort, stress and increased absenteeism.
- Accelerated deterioration of furnishings and equipment.
Studies have shown that indoor air can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than outside air. Most disposable filters remove about 10% of these pollutants allowing 90% to enter the air system, even during the construction of a new home. The pollutants contain dust, pollen, mold spores, animal dander and much more. These materials collect in the furnace, air conditioner and ducts, just as they do on furniture and floors. Furniture and floors can be cleaned regularly but ducts are hidden from view and can only be reached using specialized duct cleaning equipment. These pollutants can migrate back into the room again or become a food source to mold and bacteria, while biological growth can release mold spores or toxins into the air.
Do I really need to have my ducts cleaned?
Indoor air quality is just one of the concerns homeowners have when they decide to have their ducts cleaned. A typical six-room home, creates up to 40 pounds of dust annually through everyday living. And that doesn’t include hair from your pets or contaminants created from smoking or from living in an extremely dry environment.
Your heating and cooling system is the lungs of your home – taking air in and breathing it out. This means those contaminants found in your home, through normal occupation, are re-circulated five to seven times per day, on average. This can lead to a build-up of contaminants (dust and dirt) in your duct work.
While dirty ducts don’t necessarily mean unhealthy air, they may be contributing to larger health issues or harboring contaminants that could cause serious problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders or some environmental allergies.
How do you know if your ducts need to be cleaned?
Here are some clear signs that you might need ducts or vents cleaned:
- An excessive amount of dust (including gray or pink ‘fuzz’)
- You have allergies/itchy eyes/excessive sneezing while in your home
- Strange smells or odors coming from your ductwork
- Recent construction
- Dust related weather i.e. dust storms or haboobs
- You found ductwork disconnected or can see holes/breaks in ductwork
- Recurring mold growth
- Ducts have rats or other vermin crawling in them or their droppings.
- Visible mold inside the ducts or vents
Should you try and clean your duct and vents yourself?
While it may be tempting to try to clean ducts and vents yourself, without the right equipment you will at best only reach a portion of your ductwork and at worst damage your ductwork. Most ductwork is hard to reach as it runs underneath floor or in the wall. And if your ductwork isn’t secure or is flex you can damage or disconnect it making the issue even worse. Although it may help in clearing some of the dust and debris, you really need a professional cleaner to guarantee your system is truly cleaned out.
How can you reduce the need for duct cleaning?
Although cleaning your ductwork can help for a short time, the best remedy is treating the problem – leaking ductwork. By sealing your duct work it can prevent dirt and dust from getting sucked into your ductwork.