Most HVAC companies offer an air duct cleaning service, but some people question whether or not it’s really worth it.
Is this a service you actually need, or can you skip it?
Most homes can really benefit from air duct cleaning, because it prevents illness by clearing out mold and insect infestations. Or, if the ducts are dusty enough that the dust is coming into your home through your register, it’s time to schedule your appointment! Air duct cleaning prevents that dust from getting into your heating and cooling coils and your air handler. It could be especially bad for your HVAC system if too much dust got into your fan motor.
Moisture and Mold
But, like we said, these cleanings aren’t only important for the inside of your HVAC equipment, but also to keep your insides clean! In addition to getting dusty, your ducts can also accumulate moisture and become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.
There are some things you can do to yourself avoid this condensation, like using a dehumidifier, or getting your ducts insulated (especially in naturally damp areas like the basement). However, there are many more issues that can create moisture in your air ducts:
- a water leak on the roof
- blocked or leaky vents
- being a “fan” of cranking your humidifier up constantly
Be on the lookout for any black debris when you change your air filter or are looking through your registers. The color matters because that means these contaminants have been run through your system many, many times and the ducts are probably not clean!
If you think any of these things may be the case, that’s a situation where an air duct cleaning service is important because of the duct inspection part of the service. It will take a weight off your shoulders knowing your ducts are dry and clear. As temperatures and humidity change and fluctuate this month, condensation becomes more likely.
If your ducts are wet, bacteria and mold will love it in there! Mold spores can be blown right into your kitchen, living room, bathroom… if you are experiencing a mold allergy, the symptoms are similar to hay fever, which makes sense especially difficult to identify. Runny nose, sneezing, coughing, even shortness of breath. What’s your allergy, and is it coming from outside or inside your home? Only you can determine if it’s worth looking into an air duct cleaning to find out.
Get a Qualified Professional
One thing that is very important, though, is making sure you get a qualified HVAC consultant because some of them don’t know that they’re supposed to clean and investigate all your home’s registers and grilles. And then they should also look at, in the HVAC system itself:
- the air handler
- all fans and motors
- cooling coils
- heat exchangers
So yes, and air duct cleaning is worth it, but make sure it isn’t just a duct cleaning, but that they’re actually cleaning your heating and cooling elements and devices as well!
All of these conclusions have been reached by the Environmental Protection Agency. They do mention that duct cleaning can be done on an infrequent, as-needed basis. They also say that most of the research points toward benefits of cleaning all HVAC elements, not only cleaning the ducts.
For most people, this won’t need to be a yearly service. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association says that every three to five years is a good benchmark to aim for.
Are you nearing that three-to-five-year mark? Call us at (610) 444-3333 or schedule an appointment online for a full, thorough air duct cleaning and inspection service. Feel free to call us with any other heating and cooling questions you have, too!