If there’s one invention that many people cannot imagine life without, it’s the HVAC system. The air conditioner offers much needed relief from hot summer days, while the heater creates a cozy atmosphere in your home during the cold winter months. 

But if you have an HVAC system in your home, it’s important to make sure you have it regularly serviced so that it can continue to run properly. No one wants to deal with a broken air conditioner in the middle of July. 

One part of your system that is important to have regularly cleaned is the ductwork.

Why Get Your Air Ducts Cleaned

There are several reasons why you should have your air ducts cleaned. According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), cleaning heating and cooling system components, such as fans and heat exchangers, can improve the efficiency of your system, result in longer operating life, and save you money on energy and maintenance costs. 

When You Should Get Your Air Ducts Cleaned 

Aside from lowering your HVAC system’s efficiency, however, having dirty air ducts can impact the time you spend cleaning and your health. If you experience any of the below issues in your home, it’s time to consider having your ducts cleaned. 

#1 There’s Lots of Dust in Your Home

Do you find yourself wiping down the surfaces in your home, only to notice that a lot of dust has once again accumulated the next day? That could be because of your air ducts. When your air ducts are dusty, the dust particles flow into the air and settle on surfaces, furnishings, and rugs, resulting in your need to dust and vacuum frequently. 

Having your ductwork system regularly cleaned can eliminate this need, getting rid of the dust and keeping the air you and your family breathe pure. 

#2 You Have Aggravated Allergies Due to Dirty Air Ducts

Indoor air is up to 60 times more polluted than outdoor air. Harmful airborne particles like dust, fungus, pet dander (and dead skin cells), and mold spores lead to aggravated allergy and asthma symptoms. Just as air ducts can recirculate dirty air and make your home look filthy, they can put out air that makes breathing difficult for your family. 

Dirty air ducts can also contribute to aggravated symptoms of respiratory illnesses like pneumonia, bronchitis, and COVID-19. Put your family’s health first by having your air ducts—and other components of your HVAC system—regularly serviced and cleaned. 

#3 You Notice Visible Mold or a Musty Smell in Your Home 

If there is substantial mold growth visible on your air ducts or other components of your HVAC system, you should definitely consider having your ducts cleaned. Mold is not just a common allergen. If allowed to grow substantially, it can cause damage to structures in your home, which can be difficult to fix. 

Mold is identifiable as a fuzzy or slimy substance that can be white, green, black, or brown. However, mold might also develop in hard to see areas. If that’s the case, you can often identify the presence of a serious mold issue when the air in your home begins to smell musty. 

How Often Should You Be Cleaning The Air Ducts In Your Home?

According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, how often you have your HVAC system and air ducts cleaned depends on several factors. For instance, if you are remodeling or renovating your home, you may consider having the air ducts cleaned afterward to clear them of construction debris. 

If you have a pet who sheds fur and dander, you may want to consider having your ductwork cleaned more frequently than other homeowners. Additionally, if you’ve experienced any of the situations above—lots of dust, aggravated allergies, mold—you may want to consider more frequent duct cleaning. 

It’s important to note that many of the reasons to have your air ducts cleaned often have serious underlying causes. Prior to cleaning, you should speak with your air duct cleaning service about fixing the issues so cleaning is less of a frequent necessity in the future. 

How to Keep Your Indoor Air Pure Between Air Duct Cleanings 

Because having your air ducts and HVAC system serviced regularly can get pricey, there are ways to keep your ducts from getting too dirty between cleanings. 

One way is to stay on top of cleaning or replacing your air filters. Every few weeks, remove your filter and wipe off any trapped dust or filth with a microfiber cloth, then rinse the filter with warm, soapy water. If the filter is damaged or beyond cleaning properly, you can replace it for just a few dollars. 

You may also choose to purchase an air purifier for certain areas of your home. An air purifier is a portable, electric appliance that removes fine particles like dust and pollen from indoor air. This keeps your air filter from doing all the work to keep your indoor air clean, and it’s a good option if you have pets or if occupants in your home suffer from seasonal allergies. 

Simple and easy ways to keep your ducts and HVAC system from getting too dirty include opening windows throughout your home more frequently to let in fresh air. You might also want to leave your shoes at the door of your home to limit the amount of dirt and other outdoor particles you track throughout the house. 

If you have more questions about the maintenance of your air conditioning system’s ductwork—or if you’d like to avoid the hassle of air duct cleaning and invest in a more efficient and cost-effective ductless system—give Flotechs Plumbing and Heating a call.