Why You Should Clean Your Ducts This Fall

A home’s ductwork needs to be cleaned every three to five years or six to eight if you take certain precautions. If your air ducts have not been cleaned in a while, you’ll want to get it handled this fall.

Remove Mold

When mold is growing in your ductwork, you need to have a professional remove it. Otherwise, the mold spores will circulate throughout your living space when the HVAC system runs. Allergy symptoms, like a runny nose, watery eyes, frequent coughing or sneezing, itchy eyes and sinus headaches, could mean that there’s mold in your home. People who have asthma or another respiratory condition may have worse attacks. A musty odor throughout the house is another sign that mold is inside your ductwork.

You can reduce the chance of mold growth in your home by maintaining low humidity levels. A hygrometer is an inexpensive tool that measures humidity. Indoor humidity shouldn’t be above 40% in the winter. A slightly higher humidity of 50% is safe during the summer.

It’s important to also know that air that’s too dry isn’t good for your health or home. Low humidity can cause wood to crack. It also makes viruses spread more easily. Winter humidity shouldn’t drop below 30%, and summer humidity shouldn’t fall below 40%.

Less Likely for Mold to Develop

Having your ductwork cleaned every three to five years or so reduces the chance of mold growing. Dirt and debris that collects inside the ducts serve as a breeding ground for mold when there is high humidity.

Prevent Pest Infestations and Re-Infestations

If you recently removed a pest infestation from your home, then you may want to schedule a duct cleaning to thoroughly clear away any eggs or remaining pests. Dirty ductwork is a desirable place for many types of insects and rodents to reside. By keeping your ductwork clean and humidity levels appropriate in your home, you reduce the risk of infestations. If you currently have a pest problem, you’ll need to first get rid of it before you pay for a duct cleaning. A cleaning isn’t the same as pest removal, although it helps prevent them from returning.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air is more susceptible to unhealthy and unsafe levels because it’s not as ventilated and open as the outdoors. You may want to regularly check on your indoor air to ensure it hasn’t fallen to a dangerous level. Dirty ductwork is one of the many possible causes behind polluted indoor air.

Mold on Your Heater

If you found mold growing on or inside your heating system, then you’re going to need to have the ductwork cleaned after the system is professionally cleaned. When HVAC systems blow air through the ducts, mold spores travel with it. You should schedule maintenance for your heating system on an annual basis to prevent it from growing mold and experiencing other problems.

Poorly maintained systems drive up your energy bills and harm your indoor air quality. They are more likely to break down, and their lifespan becomes shortened as well. Fall is the best season for heater maintenance because it has been dormant over summer. There could be issues from the last cold season that only become noticeable on a particularly cold night. Annual heating maintenance reduces the risk of emergency repair needs.

Someone in Your Home Has Allergies or Another Respiratory Condition

Those who have respiratory conditions like allergies or asthma will be more sensitive to dirty ductwork. You might have to clean the ductwork more often if their symptoms begin to worsen sooner than the recommended cleaning frequency. Each household is different, so you may want to ask a duct cleaning professional like All Seasons Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Co Inc. for your recommended schedule. Duct cleaning isn’t something that you’ll need to do on an annual basis like heating and cooling maintenance. However, it does need to be done every several years.

You Have Pets That Shed Hair

Pets that shed hair, like cats and dogs, release indoor air irritants that can get into your ductwork. Thus, you might have to schedule a duct cleaning more frequently than a household that doesn’t have pets. It’s not just hair that pets shed but dead skin cells too. These irritants collect in the ductwork over time.

Reduce How Often You Need to Clean Your Home

When the air ducts become too dirty, they pump out higher levels of dust into your home. If you have found that you need to clean more often, then it may be time for a duct cleaning.

You or Someone Else Smokes

Smoking also increases the contaminants inside of the ductwork, and it reduces indoor air quality. You may want to implement a rule that everyone must smoke outside to help protect your indoor air. A duct cleaning will remove both the contaminants and odor from the ductwork.

Noticeable Dust Is Coming from the Vents

If you’re able to see dust coming from your vents, then the ductwork is in bad need of cleaning. You’ll want to promptly schedule an appointment to protect your lungs and keep your home clean. Breathing in those particles is harmful to your health.

You Have Recently Renovated Your Home

Home renovations cause a lot of dust, dirt and particles to get inside of your ductwork. Paint particles and other fumes that may have come with your renovation lower your indoor air quality. Because they collect in the ducts, this lowering of your indoor air quality isn’t temporary. You must have the ducts cleaned to thoroughly remove the contaminants.

Your Basement Is Damp

High humidity in the basement increases the risk of mold growth in the ductwork and causes them to become dirty faster. You’ll want to resolve the humidity issue, then have your ducts cleaned. All Seasons Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing Co Inc. offers dehumidifiers to prevent your basement from being too humid.

Your Basement Was Recently Flooded

If you had a flood in your basement, then there’s a high chance that you have mold growing somewhere. The mold could be inside your ductwork. You should have a professional search your home for mold, then remove the contaminant and clean your ducts.

You Have Moved into a New Home

Because you don’t know when the previous tenants last cleaned the ductwork, you’ll want to have it cleaned. There could be all sorts of buildup from chemicals, dander, hair, saw dust, secondhand smoke and other contaminants. You might even find some pests living in there.

Reduce Energy Consumption

When a lot of gunk builds up, it restricts airflow from your heating and cooling systems. Blocked airflow may cause higher energy bills because your system works harder to maintain your ideal temperature.

Extend the Lifespan of Your Heating and Cooling Systems

Excessive strain on heating and cooling systems reduces their expected lifespan. Examples of putting too much strain on the system are failing to clean dirty ducts and lack of system maintenance. Dirt buildup makes the heater and AC work harder than they were designed to.

How long a heater and AC should last depends on what specific type you have. Gas furnaces, a recommended type of heating system for the cold climate of Ohio, typically last 15–20 years. Oil furnaces, also suitable for northern climates, have an expected lifespan of 25 years. Electric furnaces may last 20–30 years, but they may cost more to operate than fuel-based systems.

You can expect 15–20 years out of a central air conditioning system. As for heat pumps, they have the shortest life expectancy of 10–15 years. However, heat pumps deliver both heating and air conditioning, which is why they need to be replaced sooner.

Catch Hidden Problems in Your Ductwork

It’s possible for your ductwork to develop holes, gaps, rust and loose connections. A duct cleaning company will inspect the ductwork for damage before cleaning it. Problems decrease the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.

Longer-Lasting Air Filters

When the ductwork is extremely dirty, your air filters will become clogged quickly too. Clogged air filters are a problem because they restrict airflow and increase energy consumption.

Decreased Need for Heating and Cooling Repairs

By keeping your ductwork clean, your heating and cooling systems are less likely to break down. The strain that HVAC systems go through when the ductwork is excessively dirty wear out their internal components and could cause improper operation or total system failures. Common HVAC problems include weak airflow, noisy operation and poor temperature control.

Reduce the Risk of House Fires

Debris inside of the ductwork that has collected over the years is a fire hazard. Your risk of a house fire is even higher if you use a propane stove, fireplace or furnace. If you use an outdated heating system, then this also further increases your risk of a fire starting in the ductwork.

Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh

Odors accumulate in the ductwork over the years. They eventually get to the point where they cause your home to smell bad. Those who have a sensitive sense of smell are especially bothered by it. Sometimes, scented products aren’t able to cover up the odor either. Cleaning your ductwork when it needs to be cleaned helps keep your home smelling fresh.

Routine air duct cleaning is a preventative method to reduce illnesses, home fires and infestations that all homeowners should do. Neglecting the ductwork could have negative consequences for your health and the state of your home.