In recent years, many homeowners have embraced the use of an HVAC system. This is because of their many benefits in providing desirable atmospheric conditions. Nevertheless, these benefits may come with an increase in expenses due to breakages, leakages, and constant system upgrades. However, you can enjoy these services for a long time with proper maintenance. You only need to understand the HVAC system components and how to take good care of them.
What Are the Functions of HVAC Air Ducts?
Your HVAC System consists of indoor and outdoor units. Air ducts are part of a greater system charged with transportation responsibility. They are passageways that move heated or cooled air from the system to the entire house. The ductwork channels are also responsible for exhausting waste. They remove air and waste heat from the interior to the exterior of your home. This process enhances ventilation and improves the quality of your indoor air.
How Often Should You Clean Your Air Ducts?
The air ducts are passageways for cooled and heated air throughout the house. Given their role, problems in your air ducts can disrupt the proper functioning of the whole system. It can compromise the quality of indoor air, leading to health issues. It is therefore essential to come up with a cleaning schedule as a preventative measure for its efficiency.
The National Air Ducts Cleaners Association recommends cleaning your duct after every three to five years. This can vary depending on individual systems and the owner’s preference. Some of the factors that influence the frequency of cleaning your air duct include:
1. Having Smokers in the Household
With tobacco smokers in your home, your air ducts will have to deal with two types of smoke—that which comes from a burning cigarette, as well as exhaled smoke from the mouth. As tobacco smoke travels throughout the house, it gets captured in the air ducts. Your HVAC system then distributes these smoke residues all over the house. The evidence of these residues manifests in yellow and brownish stains on walls and curtains. When you start seeing these residues, please note that it’s time to clean your air ducts.
2. Having Pets That Shed High Amounts of Hair and Dander
Even though you may love your pets very much, they can contribute to air contamination. As they move around and scratch themselves, they shed hair and dander. This can then find a way into the ductwork, compromising the quality of your indoor air. It is therefore important to clean the air ducts frequently if you live with pets. Also, consider brushing and grooming them outside to remove loose fur.
3. Family Residents With Preexisting Allergies or Asthmatic Conditions
Preexisting conditions, such as asthma, require a clean living environment. If you have family members with such conditions, the remedy is to maintain high-quality air. You can achieve this by frequently cleaning your ducts to remove allergens.
4. Visible Molds and Musty Odor
Mold thrives in dark, humid, and hard-to-reach areas. Even though it may take some time to see it, a musty odor in the air is a clear sign that mold is present. When you start smelling these odors in adjacent rooms, it’s an indicator that you need to clean your ducts. Sometimes, the mold problem is so severe that you can spot growth around ducts and vents. This type of infestation requires professional cleaning. They can also sanitize the area to mitigate further development of the mold.
5. Frequent Upper Respiratory Infections
Frequent upper respiratory infections may result from contaminated air. They pose symptoms such as cough, wheezing, and runny nose. The persistence of these symptoms among your family members calls for more in-depth scrutiny of your indoor environment, as the symptoms could be a sign of a buildup of mold and other pollutants in your air duct. It is important to address mold problems so that they don’t cause serious respiratory infections. Therefore, a regular cleaning schedule is mandatory.
6. Pest Infestation
Pests are unfortunately known to make homes in your air ducts, evidenced by the presence of debris and strange smells in the air. This calls for cleaning to eradicate and prevent them from further multiplication.
7. After Significant Home Renovation
Renovating your house can be dusty and messy. Despite taking all the safety precautions, some dust and debris will likely find their way into your HVAC system. Unless it was completely turned off and covered during the process, you’ll need to clean it after renovation.
8. When Moving into a New Home
After switching houses, it is wise to clean your air ducts. This is because your system can pick up unwanted substances during the transition. This will help in removing any dust, germs, and particulate matter.
9. Uneven Airflow in Your House
Uneven airflow in your HVAC system is one of the signs that your ducts need cleaning. You will notice a variance in the strength and pressure of air in different rooms. This tells you that there may be dust and debris blockages in your passageway.
This is also a definite indicator of a leaky duct that needs proper attention. There are, however, procedural ways to check the leaks in your air ducts. These procedures consist of turning on your HVAC system. Then check the duct joints for any tears so that they can be sealed. The process, however, is delicate and requires a professional touch. For residents of the Northern Valley and greater Sacramento area, you can contact [company name] to fix any leakages.
Can Dirty Air Duct Affect Your Health?
Dirty ducts affect the quality of indoor air. This can pose a lot of negative consequences for your family. These issues may include:
Worsening Preexisting Health Conditions
Low indoor air quality deteriorates health conditions such as asthma. This is due to the presence of allergens in the air that continuously trigger allergic reactions. With unclean ducts, germs and pollen circulate throughout the entire system. This causes inflammation in respiratory organs through the inhalation of contaminated air.
Developing of Respiratory Infections
Some consistent and unexplained respiratory infections may come due to dirty air ducts. These ducts will harbor specks of dust, viruses, mold spores, and mildew. With prolonged exposure to such pollutants, you may start experiencing flu-like symptoms. This includes coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, throat irritation, and sinus infections, compromising the quality of your life and general productivity.
Unexplained Body Fatigue and Stress
As you continue to inhale the contaminated air, your body may try to fight back. The constant fighting of your immune system can lead to general body fatigue. Your family will continuously feel unwell and run-down when at home. Over time this can create stress and imbalances in your daily life.
Frequent cleaning and routine serving of your air duct are crucial for the effectiveness of your HVAC system. At Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, we pride ourselves on being experts and top providers of plumbing, air conditioning, and heating services. Contact Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning today and enjoy unlimited support and advice.