Even though we hate to admit it, summer is coming to an end and fall will be here sooner than we know it. As the colder weather arrives, many homeowners will be turning up the heat but if your house has dirty ducts you may be heating up a lot more than just your house. The air ducts in your home can collect allergens like dust and trap other things like mould and fungi, which can then be blown into the air and throughout your house.
Why is it important to clean your ducts?
While dirt and debris are the more common issue homeowners face with their duct systems it’s not the only one. Paul and Michael agree that poor duct design and leaky damaged vents can significantly impact the cost of your heating bill. Poor air quality and higher bills are two things we all want to avoid.
When and how often should ducts be cleaned?
Frequency is dependent on the sensitivity and allergies of those in the home. Other factors like living near (or in) a construction site, near a highway, if you have smokers in the house, or how many pets you have, may warrant a more frequent cleaning. Otherwise, Michael recommends every 3 to 4 years.
What is the best cleaning method?
The method used by the company to clean the vents is very important and is something you should ask any company about before you hire them. Paul uses “Source Removal” methods of cleaning. He explains, “This requires a contractor to place the system under negative pressure, through the use of a specialized, powerful vacuum. While the vacuum draws air through the system, devices are inserted into the ducts to dislodge any debris that might be stuck to interior surfaces. The debris can then travel down the ducts to the vacuum, which removes it from the system and the home.”
What happens if you never clean your ducts?
Paul and Michael agree that your heating and cooling systems are working harder if your ducts are dirty which means your furnace and AC systems might not last as long as you thought. It also translates into paying more in energy bills just to blow dirt and dust (and possibly mould, dead rodent fur and who knows what else!) all over you home.
What else can impact your ducts?
Regularly changing your furnace filters is important for both the maintenance of your furnace and the cleanliness of your ducts. Keeping an eye on your furnace filter is an easy way to help improve the air quality in your home.
Michael says that if you find you changing your furnace filter more frequently, it can be a good indicator that your ducts need cleaning. If you can see dust in your return vent grills or just find you’ve been dusting your home more often this may also be an indication of dirty ducts.
Paul mentions that if you have “unexpected guests” (a recent infestation of insects, mice, rats, or some other unexpected visitor) you should consider having your ducts cleaned. These creepy crawlers love living in air ducts and can leave behind dead bodies, waste, hair, and dirt. Check out your families health as well: the allergens and mould that live in your ducts can irritate those with sensitivities or allergies and even bother people who are otherwise not so sensitive.
Consider what our experts have to say and take a look at your ducts and see if it’s time for your home to be cleaned. Breathe easier by checking reviews for companies in your area to be sure you are hiring a company who can do it right!