HVAC systems keep us cool in the summer and warm in the winter. As most of us know, it's a good idea to keep our systems maintained to achieve maximum efficiency and extend the life of our investments. But how many homeowner's know how important it is to ensure that the “arteries” which carry warm and cool air throughout your home, should also get regular maintenance?
What is a Duct System?
A duct system (or ductwork) is a series of tubes that deliver air throughout the home. Leaks in ductwork can cause our HVAC systems to work harder, which can result in higher utility bills, and also reduce the life expectancy of those systems. Leaky ducts can also contribute to mold. Mold can be redistributed throughout the rooms in your house, along with dust and debris, which may lead to increased allergy symptoms and other health issues.
Most homes generate several different pollutants on a daily basis, including dust, pet dander, and smoke. These items collect in our ductwork over time and can re-circulation through our systems up to seven times a day.
Should I Get My Duct System Cleaned?
When we have our duct systems cleaned by a Duct Cleaning Service Provider, it improves the circulation of clean air, which keeps our HVAC system from having to work as hard to distribute air throughout the home.
- Results in less dust in the home
- Reduces pollen, dust mites and other allergies from being redistributed
- Helps spot potential leaks that could be contributing to increased energy bills
- Helps to extend the life of our heating and cooling systems
How Do I know When to Clean My Duct System?
For most homes, it’s recommended to have your duct system cleaned by a professional when you move into a new home, or when you notice:
- There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system. There are several important points to understand concerning mold detection in heating and cooling systems:
- Many sections of your heating and cooling system may not be accessible for a visible inspection, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they say exists.
- You should be aware that although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination of whether it is mold or not can be made only by an expert and may require laboratory analysis for final confirmation. For about $50, some microbiology laboratories can tell you whether a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or simply a substance that resembles it.
- If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced. If the conditions causing the mold growth in the first place are not corrected, mold growth will recur.
- Ducts are infested with vermin, e.g. (rodents or insects); or
- Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are actually released into the home from your supply registers.
Most professionally cleaned duct systems should remain clean for several years. If you’re unsure if your ducts need cleaning, contact our HVAC experts online or at 804-798-1371.
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