Air ducts are a vital part of your home’s HVAC system. They deliver fresh, clean air to your living spaces and remove stale, polluted air. In addition, your metal ducts take warmed or cooled air from your furnace or AC to the rest of your home, making the inside more tolerable than any outside weather.
Small amounts of debris or dust aren’t a health risk, so your air ducts only need to be cleaned infrequently, like every three to five years. In some worst case scenarios, the detritus in your air ducts can pose health problems to your household.
As with any other appliance, air ducts can become dirty and clogged over time, leading to a number of problems like:
- Poor indoor air quality
- Increased energy bills
- Mold growth
- Allergies and respiratory problems
Mold growth and allergies can lead to larger health issues, so it’s important to consider the cleanliness of your air ducts. Cleaning frequency will depend on a number of factors – the age of your home, the number of people in your household, and the level of activity in your home.
Most experts recommend cleaning your air ducts every three to five years. If you’ve noticed that your HVAC system hasn’t been working up to your expectations, you may want to start cleaning your ducts every one to three years instead of every three.
Symptoms of Faulty HVAC or DuctWork
There are a few telltale signs that your ducts need cleaning. Some of these symptoms signify issues with your AC or heating, but they also point to dirty ducts. If you haven’t had your ducts cleaned in a while and you experience some of these symptoms, cleaning your ducts may be the solution.
- Spikes in your energy bill – If you’ve been noticing spikes in your bills without much explanation, your ductwork may be dirty, which would explain the reduced efficiency. If you’ve noted steadily climbing bills, you may have blockage or a leak somewhere in your system.
When the cooled or warmed air that your HVAC system is attempting to circulate through your house encounters a block, it tries to escape through rents or little gaps in your ductwork, making your system work harder and longer than normal.
- Dust and debris in front of vents – A rule of thumb followed by professional air duct cleaners is that if it looks dirty, then it probably is. If you see build-up of dust and debris around your vents, it probably means that too much is accumulating inside the ducts as well.
- Mold – One of the worst symptoms of dirty ducts is that mold will grow on the interior, and the air flow will transport mold spores into the air you breathe all throughout your home, threatening the health of any creature living in the structure.
- Recent changes – If you’ve made some big changes like a massive renovation in the recent past, your ductwork could’ve been compromised through the upheaval. No matter how careful your contractor and workers are, construction is messy, no matter what.
- No record of previous duct cleaning – In the sale of a home, previous owners disclose all recent procedures on a home inspection list. Check your paperwork for evidence that the previous owner had the ductwork cleaned or not, which will inform your future choices.
How To Clean Your Ductwork
There are a few different ways to clean air ducts – hiring a professional to clean them, or cleaning them yourself. If you’ve decided to hire a professional, contact our experts at At Home Pros, and we can help you find the right service provider in no time at all.
If you choose to clean your air ducts yourself, there are a few things you’ll need to do:
- Purchase a duct cleaning kit. These kits typically include a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment, a brush, and a cleaning solution.
- Disconnect the power to your HVAC system.
- Open the access panels to your air ducts.
- Vacuum the dust and debris from the air ducts.
- Brush the walls of the air ducts to remove any built-up dirt or grease.
- Apply the cleaning solution to the air ducts and let it sit for the amount of time specified on the product label.
- Vacuum the air ducts again to remove the cleaning solution and any remaining dirt or debris.
- Reattach the access panels to your air ducts.
- Turn the power back on to your HVAC system.
Cleaning your air ducts is a relatively easy task, but it’s important to do it properly to ensure that your home has clean, healthy air. If you’re not comfortable cleaning your air ducts yourself, be sure to contact At Home Pros.
Here are some additional tips for cleaning your air ducts:
- Wear a mask and gloves to protect yourself from dust and debris.
- Open windows and doors to ventilate the area while you’re cleaning.
- Be sure to dispose of all cleaning materials properly.
Cleaning your air ducts is a simple way to improve the quality of the air in your home. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your family is breathing clean, healthy air. If you’re looking for the right professional team to help you clean your HVAC system, At Home Pros has you covered.