It’s imperative to have the air ducts in your home cleaned if there is significant visible mould growth in any of the components or parts of your heating and cooling system. Sometimes the ducts may also be infested with vermin (rodents and/or insects) and they may as well be clogged with significant amounts of debris. The frequency of cleaning the air ducts depends on several factors.
Before we delve into how often we should clean the air ducts to make our ventilation, HVAC systems efficient, it’s good to know the benefits that come with cleaning these vents. Cleaner air ventilation systems ensure that the atmosphere in your home is ‘pure’, free from dust and other allergenic particles. Research carried out by the Total Health & Better Health Magazine shows that 1 out of every 6 people with allergy-related conditions say that their predicaments are linked to fungi, bacteria, debris and dust particles present in the air duct systems. About 90% of heating and cooling failures is caused by an accumulation of moulds and dust in the vents.
So, some of the factors that determine how often you should clean the air ducts of your heating and cooling system are highlighted below.
Weather Conditions – Changes in weather conditions determines when and how often should you clean the ducts of the registers, diffusers, drip pans, fan motors and heat exchangers. If you reside in an area subjected to severe climatic conditions (hot and humid) then you need to clean the vents and air ducts more frequently. Humid air encourages the growth of moulds in the ducts. Winds often leave airborne particles such as dust inside the ducts. So a windy, hot and humid weather means that air ducts and vents should be cleaned regularly.
Pets – Another prominent element that clogs air ducts is pet hair. If there are shedding pets in your home, their dander will eventually make their way into the air ducts through the air that is circulated by the ventilation system. So, if you’ve highly shedding pets in your home, cleaning the system frequently is paramount.
Home Construction & Remodelling – A recent renovation or even construction of your home makes an imperative consideration for the HVAC system cleaning. Also, if you’re relocating to a new house, it is crucial to check the ducts because you never what it’s inside them. Construction projects spread sawdust throughout the home and it’s almost impossible to keep away the dust from soiling the ductwork.
Previous Cleaning Works – It’s normally recommended that you should inspect the air ducts after 3 to 5 years. If a previous cleaning work wasn’t done to the expected standards, the dirt that remained will re-contaminate the entire system within a short time. Therefore, it’s always good to make sure that your system is cleaned to perfection.
Furnaces & Fireplaces – If you’ve a stove, a fireplace or a furnace, it’s to have it inspected every year to ensure that it doesn’t release carbon. Carbon will be circulated by the ventilation system into the ducts where they settle and pile up with time. Otherwise, you might end up cleaning up your air ducts every now and then.
Illness & Smoking – If one of your family has respiratory related complications or an allergy-related condition, air duct cleaning should be a priority at the onset of every season. Moreover, is there’s someone smoking in your home, it’s important to pay a closer look into the air ducts more frequently.
Issues with the Cooling & Heating System – An efficient system is characterised by consistent and smooth air flow. It’s time to clean the HVAC system, if air flow from the ducts is greatly reduced, then the vents must be clogged with either debris, pet dander, or dust. Also, when registers get clogged up with debris, it’s time to clean them.
Smelly Odour – If there is a smelly odour that you aren’t sure where it is emanating from, check your vents. There may a growth of bacteria or fungi which produces smelly gases. Whenever you suspect the odour is emanating from the air ducts, it’s good to clean them as soon as possible.
So for anyone using the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) to heat and provide fresh air for their home, it is important to clean your vents depending on the aforementioned factors. Remember that you can hire a professional to do this or you can decide to do-it-yourself if you’ve the expertise.