Indoor air pollution is a growing issue in many modern, well-insulated homes. While this insulation helps you achieve high HVAC efficiency, it can also trap you with a variety of contaminants. Frequent furnace and air conditioner use during the year allows dirt and debris to continually settle in your ductwork, potentially obstructing airflow and worsening your air quality. Duct cleaning refers to the sanitizing and cleansing of your ductwork, registers, blower fan and other components vital to the heating and cooling process. Keep reading to learn more about when you should schedule your home’s expert duct cleaning.
When to Schedule
The average home needs a duct cleaning every three to five years in optimal conditions. However, this rule of thumb can change depending on your household’s health needs and HVAC system. If you have pets in the home, it’s better to schedule cleanings every couple of years to stop the hair and dander from accumulating. Living in an arid area will also result in more dust in your home, which will make cleanings be needed more frequently.
Children or those with respiratory sensitivities like allergies or asthma can gain benefits and live more comfortably in a household with homes with fewer allergens in the air. You should also consider scheduling a cleaning when you’re first moving into a home or moving out to help ensure all the homes current and/or future occupants have clean air in the home.
Signs of Dirty Ductwork
Constant day-to-day HVAC use allows a range of particulates to invade your ductwork. When the accumulated dirt, dust and hair reach unsafe levels, you’ll likely begin to notice unfortunate side effects in your home. Call for a duct cleaning soon if you spot any of the following issues impacting your household’s quality of life.
Dirty Vent Covers
Buildup on your vents and registers indicates that there’s too much debris in your ductwork. It may have been a while since your last cleaning or the ducts could be compromised or torn. There’s even a possibility that your filters aren’t pulling enough contaminants out of the air before sending it through the ductwork. This debris can negatively impact your indoor air quality as it is circulated through your home.
Sudden drops in air quality are often associated with ductwork or HVAC issues. You may find more sediment on your counters, tables, blinds, fan blades and around the edges of your rooms. There can even be more visible debris in the air that can make you feel itchy and uncomfortable. Dirty ducts make it much harder to keep your home clean. Leaving this problem for too long can result in increased dust mites and higher risk for allergic reactions.
Dusty vents usually lead to dark filtration lines along your walls, baseboards and carpets. These lines are made up of large quantities of dust and dirt that can fall out of your ducts and settle on your belongings. Don’t confuse filtration marks with the presence of soot, which indicates a greater problem with your HVAC system. Filtration lines are made up of dirt and sediment while soot is a black, powdery substance that will also be around your furnace.
As seasons change, you should be keeping an eye on any temperature changes present in different areas of your home. If you notice some rooms are warmer or colder than other areas, ductwork buildup may be affecting airflow. Too many obstructions in the ducts can lead to unsafe levels of static pressure or air resistance. This makes it harder for your HVAC to deliver heat to every room of your home. When there’s too much static pressure, your furnace will experience extreme strain and a decrease in efficiency.
Unexplained Allergies or Cold Symptoms
With poor air quality comes unexplained cold symptoms like sneezing, coughing, watery eyes and fatigue. You and your family members may struggle to relax or even sleep. Dirty ducts also hold onto pet hair, dander and allergens that flair up your sensitivities. Some people can even experience small red bumps on their skin that may be itchy, dry or painful.
Increased Energy Costs
Your air filter stops debris from getting into your HVAC system and disrupting its normal functions. When this filter fills up, it allows dust to accumulate on the furnace’s coils, motors and fans. The more filth is clogging up your system, the harder it has to work day after day to keep your home comfortable. This increases your energy bills as well as your need for HVAC maintenance and repairs. Keeping your ductwork clean is an essential part of caring for your home’s heating and cooling system.
Without routine duct cleanings, hair, dander, skin flakes and more will create a grimy residue that sticks to the inside of your ductwork. This film holds onto moisture that can then attracts mold spores, insects and pests. You can notice unpleasant, lingering odors around the home that get stronger when the HVAC system kicks on. No matter how much you clean, the smell won’t go away until you tackle it at the source.
Other Household Factors
Poor indoor air quality habits can make your ducts dirtier much faster. This includes smoking in the home, not using your bathroom/kitchen ventilation fans or only purchasing low-quality air filters for your HVAC system. Smoking indoors, for example, introduces harmful chemicals into the air that stain your furniture, drapery, walls and floors. The fumes and odors can also work their way into your ductwork, creating lasting smells and damage. If you smoke in the home or believe it used to be smoked in, schedule a duct cleaning soon to refresh and restore your HVAC system.
Finally, as well as calling for cleanings when you first move into a home, you should also schedule them after remodeling or renovation projects. Construction work pushes sawdust, drywall dust and other contaminants into your ductwork. This debris is then drawn around the house, dirtying your floors and carpets and worsening your allergies. Even if you tape up your vents and registers beforehand, you should still get a duct cleaning to make sure no lingering particulates are inside your ductwork.
Jacksonville’s Best Indoor Comfort Team
Bold City Heating & Air is a premier HVAC service provider in Jacksonville, FL. Our team believes in delivering high-quality workmanship, upfront pricing and honest, reliable service. We employ experienced NATE-certified technicians who are trained to handle every HVAC make and model available. Trust us to maintain, repair or install your home’s heating and cooling system. We offer helpful maintenance plans as well as both residential and commercial duct cleaning services. Call Bold City Heating & Air in Jacksonville to learn more about how we can improve the safety of your ductwork today.