Owning a home is an exciting experience that comes with a variety of responsibilities. One of these responsibilities is the proper maintenance of your home’s HVAC system. It might be obvious when a furnace or air conditioner malfunctions, but what about the cleanliness of your air ducts? How can you tell when they need to be cleaned, and how often should it be done?
In this article, we’ll take a look at how air duct cleaning works, how it can be beneficial, and how to determine whether your ducts need to be cleaned.
What Does an Air Duct Cleaning Involve?
Although the term “air duct cleaning” sounds like it targets only the ductwork of your HVAC system, it usually includes the cleaning of most or all of the system elements. Generally, technicians will clean the ducts, registers, blower, heat exchanger, air filter, coils, and other components to ensure the best possible result. HVAC professionals can also advise you on ways to prevent any future contamination or infestation by pests, as needed.
With regard to any chemical products used to clean home HVAC systems, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) prohibits the use of substances not registered with their agency and mandates that such chemicals only be used when absolutely necessary. As the customer, you should make sure that you are aware of the pros and cons of any substance used in your internal air ducts. At present, the EPA has not registered any chemical biocides for use in air ducts.
The Potential Benefits of Clean Air Ducts
The most apparent benefit of having your air ducts cleaned is making sure that air flows properly through your system and does not introduce additional dirt or debris to your home. If your air ducts are filled with dust and debris, this can be re-circulated around your home roughly five to seven times per day , ultimately settling on your things.
Similarly, it could help reduce the buildup of such dirt on the other elements of your HVAC system. If you have pets, you may also find that a cleaning reduces the amount of fur and dander floating around in your home.
In some cases, the air ducts can be infested with rodents, insects, and/or mold. In addition to serving as a home to such unwanted house guests, the air that blows through the infested ducts could become filled with various contaminants (not to mention a variety of odors). Even if you don’t notice any odd smells or other noticeable issues, you’ll want to get rid of these pests as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home.
Another great reason to have your HVAC system cleaned is that it can help improve the overall efficiency of your system’s components. Although cleaning just the ducts alone may not be enough to make a noticeable change in efficiency, having your full system cleaned can lead to improved function and, ultimately, energy cost savings if you’ve been changing your air filter appropriately.
It is important to note here that claims of health benefits directly related to duct cleaning have not been substantiated. Even so, many homeowners believe that their allergies, asthma, and/or other health issues have improved as a result of HVAC cleaning. Barstow and Sons makes no claims that our air duct cleaning services will improve your health.
Do I Need to Have My Air Ducts Cleaned? How Often Should I Do it?
While experts agree that air ducts should be kept appropriately cleaned, there isn’t one single answer to the question of how often cleaning should be performed. Unlike some other elements of your HVAC system, air ducts don’t necessarily need to be cleaned on a routine basis. Ultimately, the necessity of cleaning depends upon the kinds of symptoms you’re noticing, as well as the determination of a professional HVAC contractor.
You should absolutely consider having your ducts cleaned if you begin to notice evidence of mice or other pests, clogs caused by dust and debris, and/or the visible growth of mold (or what appears to be mold). If you believe that there is mold growing in your ducts or elsewhere in your HVAC system, you should have the substance tested by a professional laboratory to confirm whether it is or is not mold. If the substance is found to be mold, you’ll need to have it removed professionally to ensure that it is properly taken care of.
Although there is no overall guideline for how often your air ducts should be cleaned, you should keep an eye out for symptoms of HVAC trouble, including reduced air flow, climbing energy costs, difficulty heating or cooling the home evenly, etc. Even if the problem is not directly related to your air ducts, these are important signs that something may be wrong with your HVAC system.
Get Trusted, Professional Air Duct Cleaning from Barstow and Sons
As a family-owned-and-operated HVAC business in the Annapolis area, we understand the importance of making sure that your home is clean, comfortable, and efficient. When your HVAC system gets dirty, and you start to notice problems with your air quality or heating and cooling efficiency, Barstow and Sons stands ready to help. From furnace installation to air conditioner repair and general system maintenance, our trained technicians are available 24/7 for all your HVAC needs. All of our work is backed with a guarantee of complete customer satisfaction.
With more than 30 years of history as a trusted HVAC company in Anne Arundel County, we have the knowledge and experience to get the job done right. We not only provide installation and maintenance services with a specialization in high-quality Lennox systems, we also offer our customers the best in customer service and fair, competitive prices. Our technicians can help you identify any issues in your system, as well as help you keep an eye on its overall efficiency.
To learn more about the various services we offer or to set up a time to have an experienced HVAC technician examine your air ducts, request an appointment via our online form or call us today at (410) 777-9185. We look forward to working with you!