The air duct is an essential component of your home’s HVAC system. It is a conduit or pipe that is used for conveying air around your home. It helps in the temperature regulation inside your home to make it more comfortable, whatever the season may be. A well-maintained and cleaned air duct keeps your cooling and heating system in excellent condition and peak performance when you need it. A clean air duct also ensures a long operational life for your HVAC system.
With regular HVAC use, dust, dirt, and airborne particles accumulate in your filters and air ducts. Thus, it is essential to watch out for signs that your air duct needs to be cleaned and save on repair and energy bill costs. Read on as we share some of these indicators below.
Dust is usually microscopic and gets easily lifted into the air, and accumulates inside the air ducts. Dust can be quite tricky to see when dispersed, so a good way of checking for dust is to remove the vent cover or filter and inspect the ductwork. If dust is visible inside and outside the vent, it means that a large quantity of dust has accumulated in the vents, and cleaning the air duct is a must. Dust buildup can be difficult to remove, especially in moist areas where dust deposits often solidify. For a thorough cleaning of the air ducts, you need to hire duct cleaning professionals to get the job done. DIY cleaning of the air ducts might seem like a good idea, but it will only aggravate the dust buildup most of the time. It is because you do not have the appropriate cleaning agents and equipment. Professional HVAC and air duct cleaners have specialized equipment and cleaning agents that thoroughly clean your air ducts, vents, and filters to make your living spaces more comfortable.
Another health hazard aside from dust is mold, and it can accumulate inside or around your air ducts. Molds can cause respiratory tract infections and allergies and may also cause skin and eye irritations.
Your HVAC system can develop condensation, especially when there is a difference in temperature between your heating and cooling system and the surrounding air. Living in an area with a humid climate can be problematic due to moisture accumulation in the air ducts and other areas of the HVAC system. A moist environment is conducive to mold growth, and they are often difficult to detect visually. However, you can detect molds’ presence from the musty odor that emanates from your HVAC system.
Mold accumulation in your heating and cooling system should not be taken lightly, and you need to take action quickly to protect your home’s indoor air quality. It is another reason why you should seek cleaning expert services to effectively remove molds and prevent their reaccumulation. You should also consider taking preventive measures to stop the excess moisture in your home. Adjusting your thermostat settings or installing a whole-home dehumidifier are excellent precautions against moisture buildup. Correcting the conditions that lead to moisture growth is a key step in preventing mold buildup recurrence.
Pest and Rodent Infestation
Cockroaches, insects, and rodents like mice and squirrels can make their way into your air ducts. They not only disrupt the function of your heating and cooling system, but they also contaminate the indoor air quality of your home. Rodents and insects are also vectors of diseases and carriers of bacteria, which can be detrimental to your home’s occupants’ health.
Rodents can damage your air ducts by chewing their way into the ductwork and make nests inside. You’ll know that rodents are in your ductwork when you hear tiny footsteps and squeaks from these areas. You may also notice droppings, furs, chewed up materials, and unpleasant smells.
A good two-step solution to this is to hire pest control or exterminators and then air duct cleaners. The rodents need to be thoroughly weeded out first and be prevented from returning to your ductwork. Once this is done, you can proceed with having the air ducts cleaned. Keeping your air ducts pest and rodent-free helps keep your HVAC system working efficiently and keeps your energy bills from increasing.
Increased Energy Costs
If you have an established energy consumption pattern, then your heating and cooling costs can be relatively predictable. A noticeable increase in your energy costs can be a telltale sign that you need to get your ducts cleaned. However, you need to prove first that the increase is not due to the changes in the cost of electric or gas companies. If it isn’t the cause, then it is highly likely that your ductwork is dirty and needs cleaning.
Dirty ductwork constricts or clogs the flow of air through your HVAC system. When this happens, your air conditioner and heater are forced to operate in overdrive to compensate for the diminished airflow and keep a comfortable temperature.
A reliable duct cleaning company will send over a technician to determine the cause behind your rising energy bills. If the technician could not find any faults in your HVAC system’s power supply, components, or settings, they will inspect the ductwork and most likely find it dirty; They will then recommend a thorough cleanup of your ductwork to get your energy costs back to normal.
Uneven Indoor Airflow
Under optimal conditions, your HVAC system should evenly distribute the airflow throughout your home. Your bedroom, bathroom, and all other rooms and areas in your home should receive the same level of airflow. If you notice that one or several rooms are cooler or warmer than the rest of the rooms, it might be due to dirty air ducts. The buildup of dirt, dust, dander, and other airborne substances can cause inconsistent airflow from room to room. Do not ignore this indication, as it can lead to rising energy costs and shorten your HVAC system’s operational lifespan.
Cleaning your air ducts is important, but you should not do it yourself. You need professionals with advanced knowledge of HVAC systems and specialized equipment to carry out the task. We hope that this discussion on the signs indicating the need for air duct cleaning has helped you pay more attention to your HVAC system. It doesn’t hurt to invest in maintaining good indoor air quality for your home. You and your family will be thankful for the comfort and health benefits of quality indoor air.