Air ducts play a key role in keeping your home comfortable during the cooler winter months. The warm air created by your home’s furnace is transported through those ducts to your bedroom, living room and other interior spaces. Of course, if they are covered in dirt, dust or other debris, you can expect those irritants to be cycled throughout your house on a regular basis. Therefore, cleaning them may improve indoor air quality. Scheduling an air duct cleaning this fall may also have benefits for your air conditioning system as well.
Debris Can Clog Your HVAC System
Dust and dirt can accumulate quickly, which can result in a heavy buildup of materials that can force your heating and cooling systems to work harder than it has to. Eventually, the weight of the debris covering fans, motors or other furnace or air conditioner components can result in one of these items breaking or otherwise failing. It’s also possible for debris to get inside of a furnace or other HVAC components that might be kept in the basement, garage or attic.
Scheduling a duct cleaning can help to keep your heating and cooling systems from unnecessary damage and the repair costs that go with them. Sticking to a regular maintenance schedule may also help to ensure that your furnace lasts for the entirety of its useful life. When properly taken care of, it should last for 10 to 15 years. A central air conditioning system should last for about a decade if taken care of properly.
It’s worth noting that failing to keep a furnace or air conditioning unit clean may void any warranty that came with it when it was purchased or installed. Therefore, you may be required to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to fix a thermostat, valve or motor. In extreme cases, it may be necessary to replace a faulty furnace, which may cost more than $10,000. You can expect to pay up to $5,000 to replace a central air unit.
You Don’t Want Mold in Your Home
Mold thrives in dark and damp areas of a home such as a basement or attic. It can also thrive in a garage, a kitchen or a bathroom that isn’t properly ventilated. In some cases, mold will grow inside of your ducts as they are generally shielded from light and can become moist or damp if they are improperly installed or poorly maintained. However, spores will often be transported throughout your home after hitching a ride through your home’s duct system.
Constant exposure to mold can cause a variety of cognitive or physical health issues. If you have pets in your home, they can also experience a variety of health ailments if they are regularly exposed to mold spores. Cleaning ducts on a regular basis can help to eliminate this contaminant and significantly increase the quality of the air that you breathe while inside your house.
Minimize the Risk of an Insect or Rodent Problem
Creatures such as wasps, spiders and mice have no problem making your home their home as well. This is because it is warm enough to keep them comfortable throughout the winter when they hibernate. It may also provide them with an important source of food, water and protection from anything that may want to eat them while they are asleep or otherwise too weak to defend themselves.
During an air duct cleaning, a technician can look for signs of insects or rodents. These signs may include discarded wings, droppings or dead mice laying in plain view of whoever is working within your home. If there are signs of a possible infestation, there are several steps that you can take to eliminate pests.
For example, you could opt to spray chemicals that are harmful to invaders but are not harmful to humans and most pets. You can also choose to place traps or other types of bait where pests are likely to travel within your house.
Having ducts cleaned can be ideal if you have just gotten over an infestation. This is because droppings can emit dust that is full of bacteria or other diseases that can make you and others in your home sick if inhaled. In addition, dead rodents in your home can emit a foul odor that can permeate your entire property. Therefore, getting rid of them should be a top priority even if they no longer pose a direct threat to yourself and your property.
Verify the Adequacy of Existing Air Ducts
Having your home’s air ducts cleaned means that you are able to check for any cracks, leaks or other problems that might negatively impact the rest of your home. If an air duct is loose or unstable, putting it back into place may prevent pests from entering your home almost undetected. It may also prevent cold air from entering your home while warm air is allowed to escape.
Fixing vents that are cracked or damaged at the first sign of trouble may keep the cost of repairs to a minimum. It’s possible that the repairs may be covered under a warranty or covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. Even if they aren’t, making repairs in a timely manner may prevent surrounding components from being damaged or otherwise placed under more strain than they can handle.
You’ll Clean Less Often
If you fail to keep your ducts clean, the debris that builds up inside of it may force its way through vents and other passages around your home. This may result in dusting your kitchen, sweeping a hallway floor or vacuuming the living room floor more frequently than necessary. If you have pets, cleaning ducts means that there is less of a chance for hair, fur or dander to circulate around your home and cover surfaces that you walk or sit on. Getting rid of fur or dander also ensures that it doesn’t have a chance to float its way onto your kitchen table or other surfaces that you eat from.
You’ll Save Money on Utility Bills
HVAC components that are not covered with dust and other grime will generally run more efficiently than those that are weighed down by airborne debris. A furnace or air conditioner that runs more efficiently will need to use less energy to heat your home. Ultimately, you can keep your home at a comfortable temperature without having to take out a loan to pay the utility bill at the end of the month.
You May Save Money on Medical Expenses
If you suffer from allergies, asthma or other breathing issues, it’s imperative to get rid of as much dust, pet dander or other irritants as possible. This is because it may lower your risk of breathing issues that could result in an expensive trip to the hospital. It may also reduce your reliance on nasal sprays, pills or other medications designed to help treat your condition.
Getting rid of allergy or asthma triggers may also reduce your risk of missing work because you aren’t physically capable of walking, lifting heavy objects or completing other tasks. Having the ability to get to work on time and stay there for your entire shift will further reduce the amount of money lost because of health issues exacerbated by poor indoor air quality.
Have You Just Moved into Your Home?
Ideally, you will have your home’s ducts cleaned at least once a year to get the best value for your money. Of course, if you have just moved into your home, you may not know when the ducts were last cleaned. If the current owners can’t show proof that this has been done in the past 12 months, you should go ahead and have it done as quickly as possible after taking possession of the property. There is a chance that whoever is selling the property will pay to have the ducts cleaned or to have other HVAC components serviced as part of the sale agreement.
Have You Made Improvements to Your Home?
If you have recently had work done to your home, there may be extra debris floating in the air. For instance, putting an addition on to your home may result in drywall dust or particles being thrown into the air while sanding or otherwise preparing surfaces to be painted. You may also see additional dirt or dust tracked into the home while bringing in materials to complete a bedroom or kitchen makeover. Hiring someone to clean ducts after a major project can help to ensure that this extra material doesn’t linger in your home for weeks or months after it’s completed.
If you’re like most people, you probably spend several hours a day in your home. Therefore, it’s important that it is free of pollutants that can make it hard to breathe or make it harder for your HVAC system to operate. Having your ducts cleaned this fall can help to ensure that your home is a safe and comfortable place for yourself, your family and your pets to live.