Why Duct Cleaning Is Necessary
Because ducts must have an airtight seal along their length to prevent a loss of air pressure, it is easy for dust, dirt, and other contaminants to begin to accumulate inside with no way out—except to get blown out the vents and into the air of the home’s living space. It only takes a year before a thin dust layer develops that will place friction against the airflow from your heating and air conditioning system. Within two years, you may have a heavily contaminated ventilation system that forces your heater and AC to strain in order to work. This will mean increased energy bills, poor comfort, and even system repairs that you could have avoided.
The contamination in the ducts will also result in a drop in the air quality of a home. The U.S. EPA links low indoor air quality with a variety of ailments, many of them respiratory. Poor air quality is particularly dangerous for people who suffer from asthma or allergies.
How Cleaning Air Ducts Works
When a team of skilled air duct cleaners comes to your home, they will first seal off all the vents into the rooms. They then attach a large power vacuum onto the supply duct as it leaves the heater and air conditioner cabinet. This vacuum alters the pressure inside the sealed ventilation system so the contamination floats away from the duct walls. The vacuum can then easily remove most of the pollutants. Cleaners will also use special agitation brushes to reach inside vents and provide deep cleaning to areas that require it.
When Should You Schedule Ductwork Cleaning?
If you’ve never had professional duct cleaning for your home before, than the answer to this question is: as soon as possible. You probably already have a large amount of contamination collected inside your ducts that needs removal.
In general, homes should have professional duct cleaning done once every two to three years, depending on the house. If you are in doubt about whether you should arrange for this service, open up one of the room vents and reach down inside with a digital camera to take a snapshot. If the image you see resembles a clogged car filter, then you definitely need to call for air duct cleaners. The professionals can advise you during the visit as to how often to arrange for the service in the future.