The air ducts in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning or HVAC system are responsible for producing acceptable indoor air quality. While they are more commonly attributed for being a source of ventilation, these ducts also serve a primary purpose in air conditioning through thermal insulation. As a bonus, they also help improve energy efficiency.
Why you should have your air ducts cleaned
With these important roles and advantages, it is important to make sure that they remain in top quality. Most HVAC air ducts rarely need to be cleaned. In fact, the US Environmental Protection Agency sees no need in having your air ducts cleaned unless no one in the household is suffering from any unexplained symptoms, illnesses, or allergies, or unless there are clear indications that the ducts are already dirty and contaminated.
However, there is still a need to keep your air ducts clean even before such health hazards are already present. This isn’t just about ensuring thermal comfort in your home; it’s also about ensuring the safety of everyone at home. Your entire family breathes in the same air coming from your HVAC system, and it’s a lot better to prevent any harm than put your family’s life at risk because you’ve neglected the proper maintenance of your air ducts.
But how do you know if it is time for you to clean them? Here are some tell-tale signs:
- You sweep and dust the house more often than usual because it seems harder for you to get rid of dust. Even after cleaning, there are still some visible dusts that you see floating around in the air.
- People at home experience sinus problems, nasal congestion, and headaches during or after sleep.
- There’s very little or almost no air at all coming from the vents into the rooms in your house.
- People at home get sick constantly or experience allergies more often than usual.
- People at home experience signs of sickness such as sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue, nausea, or a burning and dry sensation the eyes, nose or throat.
- When you turn on the air conditioner or the furnace, a stale or musty odor comes off of it.
Pre-insulated HVAC duct cleaning
Just as with other types of ductwork, the duct liners and boards of pre-insulated HVAC ducts can be cleaned easily using special non-metallic bristles. However, to avoid any damage from mishandling, thorough cleaning should be performed by a professional duct cleaner. He will be able to get rid of all dust, cobwebs, calcium deposits, debris, hair, and whatever else shouldn’t be inside.
As a rule, ducts must be inspected (and cleaned if necessary) every 1 to 2 years.