The importance of Cleaning Your Air Vents

man changing air filter in home

How much thought do you give to your indoor air quality? Did you know that, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the air inside a home can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside? That’s a pretty staggering thought. Is the air you and your family are breathing filled with contaminants? It could be if you’ve never had your air vents professionally cleaned.

Why should you have your air vents cleaned? The air in your house is circulated through your ducts repeatedly. The central air system carries the air through the ducts, out into your house, then back into the ductwork again. If the ducts are full of contaminants, those pollutants can be carried into your household air and make it less healthy for your family to breathe. Even if you regularly vacuum your registers and religiously stick to your filter replacement schedule, the dirt and debris carried into your ducts can build up over time.

That buildup is full of millions of particles of dust and dirt. When they travel through the air, they come to rest on the surfaces of your home. You can’t tell by looking at your furniture and seeing the contamination, but consider this: your surfaces aren’t the only place they land. They can easily fall onto your food or into your drinks or be breathed in by you or your family members. Worse, the dirt in your ducts could harbor bacteria and viruses. You would not knowingly subject your family to that kind of contamination but if you neglect your air ducts, that’s exactly what’s happening.

So, what does professional duct cleaning involve?

  1. Your system will be prepared for the process. You’ll need to shut your HVAC system down during the cleaning.
  2. The next step in the process is dislodging. This helps ensure the proper extraction of debris and irritants.
  3. The system will be vacuumed. Through the use of a high-powered vacuum, all dirt, debris, and allergens will be removed. These vacuums are highly effective because they can reach where a household vacuum cannot.
  4. The final step is sanitizing. This prevents mold buildup from occurring in the freshly cleaned ducts.

Once your ducts are clean, you’re likely to see a noticeable difference in your indoor air quality. Your home environment will be cleaner, and if you’ve been suffering from allergies and asthma, you’ll probably be able to breathe easier. Cleaner indoor air means fewer symptoms. Even if you don’t have asthma, you’ll probably notice that your nasal passages are less irritated after your ducts have been cleaned.

Here’s another reason your nasal passages will appreciate the clean air ducts: your house will smell better. Pets, mildew, food preparation, and even your cleaning products can leave particles in the vents and give your home unwanted odors. Sometimes people don’t even notice the bad smells in their own homes. Even when they do, they often try to mask the odors with air fresheners and candles. Unfortunately, the very products you purchase to make the air smell better can emit volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) that contribute to your indoor air pollution. Rather than masking the odors in your house by adding further pollutants, why not have your ducts professionally cleaned to stop odors at the source? Once the ducts are clean those odors are likely to disappear.

After all, that dust and debris have been removed from your ducts, the airflow will often be dramatically improved. Particularly if you’ve had mold in your system, the air may have been impeded as it flowed through the system. Once all of that is removed, there will be no more blockage to cause a problem. This can lead to an improvement in energy efficiency, and maybe even lower energy bills.

Another thing contributing to lower energy costs will be the better function of your HVAC system. Airflow is not the only thing hindered by dust and debris building up in the ducts. All of those contaminants can clog not only the ducts, but also the machinery of the HVAC system itself. When this happens, the result can be a system that doesn’t work as efficiently as it should, or, worse, breaks down often and requires frequent service calls. Neglect your ducts for too long and you may even shorten the lifespan of your heating and cooling system.

When you would like your ducts clean, need annual maintenance, or have a problem with your HVAC system, contact Barstow and Sons for help. Full-service heating and cooling service company, we’ve been providing high-quality service to customers throughout Anne Arundel County, Severna Park, Pasadena, and Annapolis since 1980. We’ve built a reputation for our dedication to excellence, and we’re here for our customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call (410) 777-9148 to learn more or contact us through our website.