Dirty air ducts are a potential source of particles in a home or building that can exacerbate allergies or asthma. Pollutants might be sitting in ducts and can gather from regular activities like cleaning, cooking, smoking or simply living (after all, dust is partly made up of shed skin). Many people don’t clean their air ducts at all—but some people (and air ducts) may benefit from regular cleanings more than others.
If mold is visible, pests such as insects or rodents are in ducts, or there’s excessive buildup, professional cleaning is a good idea. However, the latter might be a wise move for any property owner just to be on the safe side. Why breathe in potentially harmful byproducts if it’s not necessary? Theirs is little you can do about outside air but you definitely have control over the air quality in your home.
According to research, cleaning components of an HVAC system including the ducts can maximize efficiency, leading to a longer system life and even cost savings. Since indoor air pollution is becoming increasingly concerning, making sure the air people breathe day in and day out is clean is important. However, only a qualified professional should undertake air duct cleaning.
Air duct cleaning can include a number of components within forced air systems, including the ducts themselves, registers, heat exchangers, cooling coils, grilles and diffusers, as well as drain pans and fan housing. An “air duct” cleaning can actually be very comprehensive. Make sure to ask the contractor what a cleaning entails, and potentially add on services a la carte as desired or necessary.
Without regular maintenance, components of an HVAC system can get contaminated with debris, pollen, dust or anything else in the air. This can attract pests. Plus, moisture can lead to mold, and all the health issues that accompany it.
When hiring a contractor, make sure the use of chemical treatments (if any) are fully understood. Check references, any state licensing requirements (if applicable) and read reviews. While air duct cleaning isn’t recommended on a regular basis by the Environmental Protection Agency, it can be greatly beneficial for many homeowners.