The ductwork is often a neglected part of your HVAC system when it comes to cleaning and servicing. With time, the air ducts would be filled with dirt, dust, and debris, which would affect your indoor air quality and may cause allergic reactions to people. Pests like rodents and insects may also camp inside the air ducts and damage the components if not cleaned properly.
Regular air duct cleaning is necessary for all commercial and residential places utilizing heating and cooling equipment. However, some of us are not knowledgeable enough to determine whether your system needs cleaning or not. Here are some signs and indicators you can consider to know when to call a cleaning company for your air ducts.
Dust and Debris Clogging the Vents and Ducts
An obvious sign that something needs cleaning is the presence of dust. When a small puff of dust appears as the HVAC system starts running, it is one clear sign that your vents and ducts need some wiping.
You would find the dust presence notable, as, in normal circumstances, the air ducts would not release visible dust or debris when switched on. Hence, visible dust would simply mean dirty air registers.
Vents are expected to deliver consistent airflow throughout your bedroom, living room, bathroom, kitchen, and throughout the house. An inconsistent airflow is an easy sign to spot air ducts that need immediate cleaning. If this is the case in your HVAC system, you should contact a technician to clean your ductwork.
Presence of Mold and Mildew Causing Unpleasant Odors
An unpleasant odor like a pungent rotting wood that you can’t seem to find where may be a sign of mold growth in your ducts. Mold and mildew grow in wet areas, so you should inspect vent covers and air conditioning units to quickly assess if there is mold in these areas.
If you have people around the house with allergies or respiratory problems, the presence of mold in your air system, which can spread quickly in the house, may worsen these illnesses. Verify your suspicions of mold growth by getting a close sniff at your air registers. You can also call for a technician, so they can professionally assess your duct system and locate where the bad smell is coming from.
Air Filters are Clogged
Air filters filtrate dust, debris, and other airborne contaminants in the duct system. It should, for no reason, be free of dirt and should be changed regularly after a few months of use. Hence, swapping air filters is normal in the duct system.
What is not normal is if you keep changing filters after a few days because of too much dirt that the filters are clogged. If this is the case, a visual inspection of your air ducts is needed to assess if it needs cleaning.
Rodents, Vermin, and Insect Infestation
Pest infestation at home can escalate up to your duct system, causing damage to your components and a potential source of allergens and disease-causing microbes. These allergens could mix up with the air circulating your house, causing serious health problems to your family.
Another way to detect pest infestations in your duct system is when you hear strange or unusual noises in the ductwork. These strange noises that are not the sound of a running motor may be coming from rodents’ feet running around your duct system. In this case, cleaning is the best method to eliminate them before further damaging any components in the system.
Higher Heating and Cooling Bills than Usual
No matter what season, spring, summer, fall, or winter, your heating, and the cooling bill should be predictable each year, as you are using the same amount of energy. Dirty ductwork may be to blame if you notice a significant rise in your bills compared to the previous months.
With dirty air ducts, the airflow is blocked, making the heating and cooling equipment use more energy to sustain the same temperature set at the thermostat. In return, increased consumption is recorded, and a higher bill would be expected for the month.
After Undergoing Renovation or the House is Recently Built
House construction or renovation is sure to produce a hundredfold of dust and debris, which your air duct cannot escape to. Whether you cover the duct system or turn it off while the construction is ongoing, this dust would still find its way to every corner of your house, including the small spaces of the duct system. Hence, cleaning the air ducts after renovations is necessary.
Benefits of Having Your Air Ducts Cleaned
Air duct cleaning is necessary for your HVAC system, like how we regularly clean our homes. However, you should not do it monthly or yearly. A visit from a cleaning service every three to five years would suffice to ensure that the duct system is kept clean from any dirt or mold growing inside it.
There are numerous reasons to consider air duct cleaning. For one, any material or equipment would become dirty over time and need to be serviced. In the case of air ducts, you should have professional technicians from established duct cleaning companies to do the job for you.
Air duct cleaning requires the use of special tools, equipment, and skills from technicians to get rid of all the dirt problems in your system.
The cleaning would enhance the overall performance of the HVAC system and let your heating and cooling equipment work efficiently without higher bill costs every month. Furthermore, cleaning air ducts lessen or even prevents expensive repairs on your HVAC system caused by the wear and tear of the equipment over longer times of use.
As mentioned above, dirty air ducts could lead to allergens spreading throughout the house. Hence, cleaning the air ducts can lower the likelihood of spreading allergens causing respiratory problems and allergies to people at home.
Note that the cleaning process is not as easy as wiping dust and should be done strictly by professional technicians with proper knowledge and skills in air duct cleaning. We strongly discourage any do-it-yourself cleaning unless you are an HVAC system professional, as the process is not an easy task.
It is better to spend money in a cleaning company that can surely resolve your dirt problems than doing it yourself and possibly causing more damage to your air duct and whole HVAC system.