An essential part of HVAC care, most homeowners have no idea their their ductwork requires any maintenance whatsoever.
Why Do Ducts Require Cleaning and Maintenance?
Closed to the naked eye, many assume this isolated component of their HVAC system see no abuse that requires a follow-up. But your air ducts see a lot of action, especially during temperature extremes. As dust accumulates, it creates a buildup that supports microbial growth and effects system performance. In fact, in cases of extreme buildup, system performance can be reduced as much as 40%!
How Often Should You Clean Your Air Ducts?
A necessary part of routine HVAC maintenance, The National Air Duct Cleaners Association recommends having your air ducts cleaned every 3 to 5 years. However more frequent cleaning may be recommend based on circumstances. Fiberglass ductwork collects contaminants more easily than sheet metal, and may require more frequent cleaning. In addition, those with allergies and asthma, homes with pets, pest infestation, mold issues, and those having recently purchased a new home or undergone home renovation (drywall and sawdust) should consider cleaning ductwork more frequently.
Signs Your Ducts Need a Good Cleaning Include:
- Poor airflow or signs of a blocked air duct.
- Visible dust, debris, or cobwebs blowing from registers.
- Signs of mildew or mold growth around vents or in visible areas of ductwork.
- Water damage to ducts.
- Insect/rodent infestation.
- Offensive odors when the system kicks-on.
- Frequent allergy/illness in your household.
What is the Ductwork Cleaning Process?
The exact ductwork cleaning process is dependent on the level of buildup and specific contaminants found. It is not uncommon for HVAC professionals to notice black dust from air vents, pest remains or mold in air vents in need of a good cleaning. These factors all play a part in selecting the ideal cleaning method. Because of its potential to effect indoor air quality, duct cleaning must be performed when your home is unoccupied, using special filters, containment barriers, and ventilation equipment for safety reasons.
Should I D-I-Y?
Duct cleaning involves safety risks, not to mention specialized brush, vacuum, ventilation and pollution control equipment. Poor duct cleaning practices can also lead to a decrease in efficiency as well. For these reasons, duct cleaning is best left to a trusted, licensed HVAC professional.
Winter weather is on its way. Take comfort in the warm refuge of your home this holiday season. Schedule a duct inspection and cleaning with the licensed professional services of Aire Serv® today.