Contaminated air ducts are one common source of particles present in your home. While your health may not be adversely affected by particles emitting from air ducts, pollutants can become trapped in your air ducts and affect the quality of your indoor air over time. While the EPA does not make any conclusive claims about dirty air ducts leading to health problems, there are conditions where you should consider comprehensive air duct cleaning services. The underlying causes of poor air quality should be addressed first, and many times these causes reside in the air ducts. Here are a few instances where a duct cleaning may be necessary and some of the benefits of maintaining this system.
Causes for Duct Cleaning
If there is visible mold growth in your ducts or on components of your central heating and air system, you will need to have them cleaned. The release of mold spores into the air can cause respiratory problems and needs to be professionally addressed. It may be difficult to determine if there is mold in the air ducts since many sections are not easily accessible for visual inspection. If you suspect there may be mold present, you can call a professional and have the ventilation inspected and any substances tested for mold. Even if it looks like mold, it may not be. Insulated air ducts that become wet and develop mold may need to be replaced.
Infestation & Excessive Debris
If your vents are infested with mice or other vermin, you should call a professional air duct cleaning service to have the ducts thoroughly cleaned. Infestations may require the services of a pest control company. Excessive amounts of dust and debris in the vents can necessitate an air duct cleaning since this debris can be released from the supply registers into your home. This is considered a potentially unhealthy level of dust or debris and requires a professional cleaning service. The underlying causes of such contamination will have to be addressed to prevent the problem from recurring. This should happen before or soon after any cleaning, retrofitting, or replacing of ducts.
Benefits of Duct Cleaning
Keeping your home heating, air, and ventilation system clean can not only improve the quality of your indoor air, but may improve the efficiency and lifespan of the system as a whole. Of course, only extremely contaminated systems may show any marked improvement after cleaning. If your home has a wood burning stove or fireplace, duct cleaning may be much more necessary since ash and other particulate matter can easily accumulate in air ducts–particularly in compartmentalized or poorly ventilated spaces. This, of course, varies by the home and HVAC system. Having your entire HVAC system cleaned, in general, is good for reliable operation and higher quality indoor air.