Although you may not think about them too often, the air ducts in your home are extremely important. Whenever you have your heating or cooling system running, those ducts serve as the means to move warm and cool air around the living space. When your air ducts are clean and in good condition, your furnace and air conditioning unit have clean pathways to circulate air smoothly and efficiently. However, the interior of the ducts tends to become dirty over time, and that can lead to a variety of undesirable results. In fact, if you neglect your ducts, it can have a negative impact on your comfort, finances, and even health. That’s why scheduling professional duct cleaning every three to five years is so important.
While it may be tempting to procrastinate having your home’s air ducts cleaned, you should resist that temptation. The service is quick and relatively affordable, yet the benefits are significant. Here, we’ll take a closer look at why it’s imperative to regularly schedule this crucial service.
1. Better Indoor Air Quality
When you have your ducts professionally cleaned, one of the biggest improvements you’ll notice will be the quality of your indoor air. Over time, it’s likely that many different contaminants will accumulate inside your air ducts. This includes things like dust, dirt, pollen, dander, mold spores, and random debris. As the air from your heating and cooling appliances circulates through the ducts, it can pick up many of those contaminant particles, which then end up contaminating the air that you and your family breathe every day. If you allow your home’s air ducts to get too dirty, it can be especially rough on anyone in the household who suffers from allergies, asthma, or any other respiratory issues. More than likely, their symptoms will be noticeably worse if the ducts aren't cleaned at least semi-regularly.
By staying on top of regular duct cleanings, you can make sure that those pathways contain as few contaminants as possible. The fewer pollutants there are in the ducts, the fewer pollutant particles your circulated air will pick up, and the cleaner your home’s air will be.
2. Improved HVAC Performance, Efficiency, and Health
Scheduling professional duct cleanings can also make a massive difference when it comes to the overall performance of your HVAC system. Because the ducts are the pathways for your heating and cooling units to cycle air around the house, their cleanliness and condition tend to have a big impact on the appliances.
HVAC Performance - For one, having clean ducts can make a big difference when it comes to your home comfort. If the air ducts become overly packed with contaminants, they can obstruct the airflow of your heater and air conditioner. That makes it harder for those systems to provide enough warm and cool air to keep you and your family comfortable. It can also lead to uneven temperatures around the home, particularly if certain areas of the ductwork are dirtier than others.
HVAC Efficiency - The condition of your air ducts can also have a significant effect on your HVAC system’s energy efficiency. When the ducts are nice and clean, it’s very easy for the system to smoothly circulate air without requiring too much energy. However, when the ducts are filled with dust, dirt, and other contaminants, your heater and air conditioner have to work harder to consistently push air through. That extra strain leads directly to more electricity being used, which causes your monthly energy bills to rise.
HVAC Health - Dirty air ducts can also increase the likelihood of your HVAC system experiencing mechanical problems. When the ductwork pathways are excessively dirty or obstructed by contaminants, the extra effort required to push air through puts more strain on your HVAC equipment. That not only worsens the system's performance, but it also increases the odds of a malfunction or breakdown.
3. Revealing Ductwork Problems
While dirty air ducts can have lots of negative effects, they aren’t the only ductwork issue that can occur in your household. In some cases, it's also possible for your home’s ducts to become damaged or develop leaks. When your ductwork is damaged or leaking, it can be just as detrimental to your home’s comfort and energy efficiency as dirty ducts, if not more so. Ductwork leaks can even let insects and rodents find their way into the air ducts and make it much easier for mold and mildew to flourish. These potential issues make it even more important to keep up with regular duct cleanings.
When a duct cleaning professional gets to work removing the contaminants from your air ducts, they’ll also have the opportunity to check for any gaps, cracks, or other damage. Otherwise, those kinds of problems could linger for weeks, months, or even years without you realizing they’re present. Once you know about the issues, you can have your air ducts repaired promptly and prevent any further negative effects. By discovering damaged or leaking ductworks early, you'll likely save yourself quite a bit of money, hassle, and discomfort in the long run.
4. Keeping Your Home Smelling Fresh
If you allow your air ducts to go too long without being cleaned, they may start to create unpleasant odors that will soon become noticeable for you and your family. For one, there’s the potential for mold, mildew, and other bacteria to grow in the ducts, creating a stale, musty smell that can spread through the house. Other odors can become trapped in the ducts as well, such as paint fumes, tobacco smoke, cleaning agents, and even old food smells. The longer those particles are left to fester inside the ducts, the worse the odors will get. And unfortunately, when those smells are trapped in your air ducts, simply opening a few windows or using air fresheners will likely be ineffective solutions. Rather than waiting until you start noticing that your home smells unpleasant, you can do yourself a favor by being proactive and having your ducts cleaned on a regular basis. That way, it should be much easier to keep your dwelling smelling fresh and clean.
5. Eliminating a Fire Hazard
Although most homeowners don’t realize it, neglecting your air ducts for too long can actually create a safety hazard for your household. When things like lint, dirt, and random debris are given the chance to accumulate and linger, they can potentially become dangerous. When those materials heat up, it’s possible that they could ignite and start a fire. And if that happens, it will put your entire home as well as your family’s safety at risk.
If your home uses an older HVAC system or you use propane for your furnace, fireplace, or stove, the potential for a ductwork-related fire rises significantly. Even if you don’t, though, scheduling regular duct cleanings is absolutely worth the time and money to eliminate any possible safety hazard.
6. Prolonging the Life of Your Air Filters
Your home’s HVAC air filters have a very important role in your household’s comfort and the health and efficiency of your HVAC system. The filters are tasked with trapping any airborne contaminants that try to pass through as your heating and cooling systems circulate air. That way, the pollutants are stopped before they can get cycled into the HVAC system and the air you breathe. However, if those air filters don’t get replaced regularly, they will become dirty or clogged. When that happens, it can restrict the airflow of your HVAC system, worsening its performance and efficiency and increasing the likelihood of a mechanical failure.
The more contaminants your HVAC air filters catch, the more frequently they’ll need to be replaced to keep things running smoothly. And typically, more contaminant particles accumulating in your air ducts lead to your air filters filling up more quickly. As a result, you’ll have to spend money on new filters more often, and it will become much easier to accidentally wait too long before making the switch. If you're proactive about getting your air ducts cleaned, though, your HVAC air filters should last significantly longer before needing to be replaced. This is just another way in which the service can contribute to keeping your home comfortable, energy-efficient, and fully functional all year long.
7. Prolonging the Life of Your HVAC System
It isn’t a stretch to assert that by scheduling a professional duct cleaning every year, you could extend your HVAC system’s lifespan by up to several years. There are a couple of reasons why this is the case. For one, when your home’s air ducts are dirty or otherwise in bad shape, your HVAC system typically has to run for longer to get your living space to a comfortable temperature. In a sense, HVAC systems are a lot like cars; they can only handle so much mileage before they start to decline or experience major problems. The more often you have to keep your HVAC unit running, the more likely it will become that its productive life is relatively short.
There’s also the fact that piling up mechanical problems will almost certainly shorten an HVAC system’s lifespan. When your air ducts are obstructed by dust, debris, mold, and other contaminant particles, your heating and cooling systems have to increase their air pressure to get enough warm or cool air through. That can potentially lead to equipment problems, and if you’re having to get your HVAC system repaired all the time, it’s likely that the system will run out of steam sooner than it otherwise would.
Duct Cleaning Professionals You Can Trust
As you can see, keeping up with duct cleaning offers quite a few advantages, and no disadvantages whatsoever. When you’re ready to schedule this important service, you’ll want to go with reputable professionals who you know will do an excellent job. If you’re in Western Wisconsin, you can always count on our team at Clean Air Pro to handle your air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning needs. At Clean Air Pro, we understand just how important it is to have clean, healthy air in your home, and we want to help you achieve that goal. We also take great pride in doing every job right the first time. If you’d like to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, give our offices a call today at 715-440-0166.