In order to maintain healthy indoor air quality, your home air ducts require cleaning and maintenance every three to five years. Because dust and mold buildup can obstruct airflow and cause a strain on your AC system, regular cleaning also allows your system to remain energy efficient.
Reasons to Clean your Air Ducts
Mold develops in areas where inadequate ventilation meets moisture. If mold develops inside your heating and cooling system, it can make the air around you unhealthy to breath. As air travels, it can pick up spores that have diffused into your living areas. Check your vents every so often for buildup and if you notice any development, it might be time for a duct cleaning. However, the only way to definitively ascertain that you have mold is to conduct a lab analysis of samples from your vents.
Your home’s air ducts can also accumulate debris over time and become clogged. It’s not uncommon for rodents and insects to congregate inside them as well. In particularly unfortunate cases, particles of decaying organic matter may be released into your living spaces through your home vents.
Dust buildup can be a major contributor to your clogged system as well. Most systems are designed to catch dust and prevent it from being released into your home. However, having too much dust accumulated in the ducts will produce some funny smells. Your house will smell like a stale basement in the warmer months and like a burnt tire in the winter months.
Get an Estimate from a Professional
Most duct cleaning companies offer free estimates, so you may want to consider having your heating and cooling system inspected by a professional. You don’t want to conduct your own inspection because air systems are usually complex and they travel through areas of the home that are difficult to access. However, it’s a good idea to supervise the estimate process so you can see how the representative arrives at an estimate. If he/she suggests that you have mold buildup, insist on a lab analysis before proceeding with mold removal.
Choose your Cleaning Company Wisely
Research the businesses in your area that offer duct cleaning. Read testimonials and see what their customers have said about them. You’ll also want to check the Better Business Bureau to find out if any complaints have been put forth against them. Always get an estimate before agreeing to any services, and make sure the work itself is contracted.