Signs that Your Ducts Need Cleaning
When you feel as if you caught a bug while you’re inside, your ducts may be the culprit. Dirty ducts can expose you to pollutants like carbon monoxide, molds, bacteria, viruses and allergens. Federal scientists have said that poor indoor air quality is one of the most important environmental problems in the Unites States. Health signals that your indoor air quality may not be up to par consist of:
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Upper respiratory congestion
- Breathing difficulties
- Sore throat
If your symptoms are alleviated after you leave a particular room or building, this may be a sign that dirty duct workis the culprit.
In addition to these health signals, there are also visual signs to alert you to dirty ducts such as mold growth on hard surfaces in your home or HVAC system. You may also see dust and debris that is blowing out of the supply registers.
The Duct Cleaning Process
Duct cleaning isn’t a DIY project. It’s a detailed job for the pros. The frequency in which you need your ducts cleaned depends on where you live, how often you use your HVAC system and if you use a fireplace.
Professional duct cleaning generally involves:
- An inspection of your ducts to determine the best way to access the system.
- Installation of an access plate in the warm air part of the system if you have never had the ducts cleaned. Otherwise, the technician will use the plate already in place. If necessary, the technician will use a protective tarp if your furnace is indoors.
- The covering of every vent in your home so they remain sealed during the cleaning process.
- Attaching a hose to the access plate and running it to the technician’s truck, which contains a special vacuum.
- Vacuuming the duct system, starting with the vent furthest from the furnace. The technician will also use compressed air to loosen dirt within the vents and on the duct walls. He may also clean the fan compartment and fan on the gas furnace, as well as the exhaust vent pipe, air conditioner coils and the heat exchanger.
- Inspecting the warm and cold trunk lines, and performing any additional cleaning.
- Cleaning up and securing a cover over the access plate with screws to form a tight seal.
For health purposes, duct cleaning greatly reduces dust and other airborne debris that can cause allergies and respiratory health problems. To prevent duct contamination, use the highest efficiency filters recommended by the manufacturer, replacing them as directed. Regularly dust and vacuum your home, don’t let the ducts get wet and have your HVAC system serviced annually. By doing this, you not only will be preserving the life of your equipment, you will be improving the quality of your air and health.
Author Bio: This post was written by Tony Spezza, president of AAA Heating & Cooling, which has been providing duct cleaning, AC & heating services to homes and businesses in Portland, Oregon since 1961.