Your air ducts aren’t something you generally think about – at least, not until there’s a problem. The HVAC system is humming along, heating or cooling your home and you’re blissfully unaware of the ducts carrying air from the heart of the system to the rest of the house. Air ducts run through the walls, they make brief appearances in basements and they work their way throughout the house.
From the indoor air quality to the energy efficiency of your HVAC system, clean air ducts can impact your home in more ways than you might be aware. When ducts are clogged, filled with debris, or caked with dust, that’s when you may start noticing them.
Whether it’s itchy eyes, a stuffy nose or a cough, dirty ducts can turn every day into an allergy adventure (and not the good kind). They can also cause a seemingly strange spike in your electric or gas bills, due to the excessive energy use that it takes to move the air through constructed ducts.
So, what’s really behind your dirty ducts and what can you do about it? Look at these common duct-clogging culprits and the ways that you can clean things up.
Mold and Mildew
Both mold and mildew grow in warm, damp places. When the heat is on, those ducts warm as well. Add in condensation or water from a leak and you have a recipe for fungal growth.
Mildew typically is not a major problem and is fairly easy to clean and doesn’t cause serious health problems like mold can. Mold is more insidious and infests and infiltrates beyond surfaces. It is a much larger challenge to clean and can cause respiratory issues such as difficulty breathing or even trigger asthma attacks.
When it comes to your ducts, you need a professional to clear the mold out. Leaving behind a few spores may mean that you run the risk of a infestation. If you are sensitive or allergic to the spores, cleaning mold yourself can cause a reaction (such as itchy eyes, a sore throat, stuffy nose, and trouble breathing). A professional duct cleaning can take care of the problem without adding extra allergens.
The cozy warmth of your ducts can attract some unwanted guests. Critters, creatures, and creepy crawlies all want to make their homes in your unobstructed ducts. They set up shop, without your knowledge, and suddenly the airflow isn’t exactly as it should be. Along with clogging your ducts, pests can cause not-so-pleasant odors (that the HVAC system pumps through your home) and physical damage. Holes, gaps, and cracks that pests cause can let air leak out, making your furnace or AC system work overtime.
After getting the pests out (a pest control contractor can help you with this), you need a duct-cleaning expert to remove the leftover mess. This might include droppings, fur, parts of a nest or other unsightly things that creatures leave behind.
You love your pets, but not so much with their hair. While your pet is soft to the touch their hair is clogging your air ducts. Air that your HVAC system draws in can also pull in pet hair into your ductwork. If the filter clogs or doesn’t catch all the hair, it can start filling your duct system. Unlike the fur on your furniture, which you can easily vacuum away, you need a pro to remove it all from your ducts. Luckily, a duct-cleaning contractor can remove the hairy problem and keep your ducts fur-free.
Do your ducts need a professional-level cleaning? Air Doctor Duct Cleaning & Lining can help you!