When thinking about cleaning your home, often times you air ducts can slip your mind. However, it is extremely important to schedule air duct cleaning on a regular basis to not only have a cleaner environment, but also to promote better health and to make your HVAC system as efficient as possible. Most people don’t realize the health risks that can be associated with poor air quality due to dirty air ducts. Some of the symptoms can be extremely subtle like a congested nose, but others can be more serious such as asthma-like or flu-like symptoms. Reaching out to a professional HVAC contractor to schedule regular maintenance can easily help prevent poor air quality from leading to these symptoms.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
Being proactive about your air ducts can help you avoid a lot of problems. If you’ve started to notice that you or your family are having irregular symptoms, like struggling with allergies that weren’t present before, then you’ve waited too long to clean your air ducts. The solution is simple enough; schedule air duct cleaning. Staying on top of regular air duct cleaning after that will help to ensure that the symptoms don’t recur.
What Could be in Your Air Ducts
While a little bit of dust isn’t bad for you or your ducts (unless your allergic to dust), the problem is there are many parts of your heating and cooling system that you have not have visible access to. In these places you can’t see, there could potentially be mold growing – and mold is a serious problem. Symptoms of mold exposure include wheezing, rash, watery eyes, runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, and redness of the eyes. If you have insulated air ducts and it is discovered that the insulation is wet or moldy the insulation cannot be cleaned, it should be removed and replaced. Not only does the current mold need to be taken care of, but the conditions causing the mold in the first place should be addressed to ensure that mold growth won’t recur. Mold detection is a major part of your regular maintenance, as mold will contribute to indoor air pollution.
While a little bit of dust is nothing to worry about, excess amounts of it can cause problems. You know you have an excess amount of dust when you notice that dust and debris and/or particles are being released into your home for your supply registers. Many people actually have a minor dust allergy they aren’t aware of, so making sure the air is as clean as possible will help to promote better health.
Ducts can also become infested with vermin such as rodents or insects. Not only is this unpleasant, but their presence in your ducts can contribute to poor indoor air quality. Regular maintenance will ensure that these vermin are discovered quickly before they become a serious problem. Just like with mold, whatever conditions were allowing the vermin to get inside your air duct need to be corrected.
Indoor Air Quality Concerns
Lots of people think about air pollution and how it’s affecting our environment as a whole and health on a large scale, but what they fail to realize is that the air pollution can be inside our homes as well. Indoor air pollution is a problem that many more people are becoming more aware of, especially because there are easy solutions to the problem.
Some studies have shown that the air within homes and other buildings can sometimes be more polluted than the outdoor air in large and industrialized cities. Most people spend a majority of their time indoors, which means the risk for pollution exposure can in some cases be greater indoors than outdoors. Groups such as the young, elderly, and chronically ill, especially those suffering from respiratory or cardiovascular disease, are the most susceptible to indoor air pollution.
Indoor air pollution is a broad term that covers many things such as the presences of asbestos and dangerous chemicals in paint. It also includes the quality of the air that is coming out of your air ducts. By keeping up with air duct cleaning, you helping to lessen your exposure to indoor air pollution.
Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality
Because there may be multiple sources that contribute to causing poor indoor air quality, it can be hard problem to address since it is often difficult to find the source on your own. There are many parts of your air ducts that you can’t visually see, so it’s necessary rely on a professional HVAC contractor to find these hidden problems for you. Many contaminants that grow in damp environments inhabit your air duct as a result of problems that aren’t addressed. Addressing these mean not only discovering the problem, but also fixing it to ensure the problem doesn’t occur again. Contaminants that can be found in your air ducts include mildew, mold, bacteria, dust mites, and animal dander.
Effects of Poor Air Quality
Some of the initial effects of poor air quality can be mistaken for other things. Systems that arise from poor air quality can include asthma symptoms, throat irritation, allergic reactions, and flu symptoms. If the cause of the symptoms is not addressed and properly taken care of, they will only continue to get worse over time. The best and quickest way to get over them an ensure that they don’t return, is to have an HVAC contractor perform routine air duct cleaning.
Hire a Professional HVAC Contractor
You should avoid air duct cleaning on your own, as an inadequate vacuum collection can release more dust, dirt, and other contaminants into your duct, making the problem even worse than it was before. That being said, it’s still a good idea to regularly have a look at your air ducts, but remember that there are many places where your untrained eye won’t be able to diagnose the problem. Your HVAC contractor has the expertise to look for you. Even having a careless or inadequately trained service provider clean your vents could potentially lead to damage to your ducts, or heating and cooling systems. To prevent this, hire a professional HVAC contractor for all of your maintenance and for more information regarding your air ducts.