Duct inspection is usually overlooked. Most homeowners and building owners pay it no attention. This is understandable since ducts are out of sight or, when you do see them, a damaged or dirty duct does not have any obvious signs. Ducts also seem like something that should not need regular cleaning or maintenance. They are little more than tubes through which we blow hot or cold air- they have no moving parts and the air is filtered, after all.
The problem is, ducts need regular maintenance and cleaning just like any other part of your home. Since ductwork rarely gets the attention it needs, there is a very good chance that your ducts are in desperate need of cleaning and maintenance. Here is why you should schedule a duct inspection soon.
How Often to Inspect your Ducts
You are partially right in assuming that ducts do not need a lot of maintenance. They really are simple in design and function, and they are the most durable part of the central air and heating system. They do need some maintenance and cleaning, though.
You can handle some of that yourself, but you really should have a professional conduct a duct inspection and clean your ductwork. Because you are having your entire HVAC system inspected annually, it’s the perfect opportunity to ask the HVAC technician to also perform a duct inspection.
A yearly inspection will catch problems before they become serious. Ductwork rarely develops lots of problems in a short amount of time, so anything more than once per year is probably overkill. If the technician recommends cleaning or maintenance, you should have that done immediately.
How a Cleaning can Save You Money
Clean air ducts work better. The air flows more smoothly and the heat exchange mechanisms that allow you to heat or cool the air work more efficiently. They will also be blowing cleaner air into your home, which results in less dust and particulate matter being trapped in your air filter. That, in turn, also improves the efficiency of your HVAC system. Clean air ducts will lower your energy bill.
A cleaning will also help the technician identify any potential damage to the ductwork. Air leaks in your ducts can increase your energy bills by as much as 30%.
Scheduling regular maintenance work means that you can catch a problem like that early, before you spend months paying unusually high energy bills because of leaky ductwork.
Ductwork can develop leaks easily, and more often than not you will not notice a leak unless you physically inspect the ducts. Cleaning your ducts requires such an inspection, so it is one of the best cost-saving moves you can make.
Maintaining your Health with Clean Ducts
Clean air ducts are more important to your health than many people realize. During the hottest and coldest months of the year when we keep windows and doors shut tight, the only fresh air we get is the air pulled into the house by the HVAC system. Clean ducts are essential to ensuring that we have clean air.
Your ductwork can collect dust, mold and bacteria. If it is not being regularly cleaned, those things are being blown into your home all day long. Mold can be a big problem in ductwork, and if it is not cleaned out properly then your HVAC system will be blowing mold spores all over your home, which can create a huge health hazard for you.
Insects and rodents can also get into the ducts, and their droppings can contain dangerous air-borne diseases. If you do not have your ducts cleaned, you will be circulating these diseases throughout your home. Lint, dust and pet hair can accumulate in the ducts as well. Having these substances circulating through the house is not good for anyone.
Clean ducts reduce the risk of contracting the flu and other illnesses. Dirty ductwork can lead to allergy symptoms and illness for you and your family. By having the ducts cleaned regularly, you are protecting your family’s health while improving the cleanliness of your home.
DIY Tips for Preventative Maintenance
Only an HVAC technician can provide a thorough, complete duct cleaning. This only needs to be done once per year. In the meantime, there are things you can do to help maintain the cleanliness in the ducts as much as possible.
Cleaning the grates on the registers is an easy way for you to help keep the ducts clean. Remove the grate and clean it as well as you can. You should also use the hose attachment on your vacuum to clean as deep into the duct behind the register as you can reach.
Change the air filters every 2-3 months. This is a very easy task, and air filters are not expensive. Simply remove the grate over the air filter, pull the old one out and replace it with a new one. If you have pets you should consider replacing the air filter more often, since the pet hair will clog up the filter.
Check any vents or registers that are set in the floor. It is very common for small objects to fall into these and create a blockage that lowers the efficiency of the system. You should also be checking to ensure that there is nothing blocking the whole vent, such as furniture or carpet.
Working with Professionals to Ensure Proper Cleaning
Even if you keep up with all of those DIY cleaning tips, you will still need professional help once per year. Nothing you do can entirely prevent dust and other debris from getting into the ductwork. A professional HVAC technician can thoroughly clean every inch of the ducts in your home or building to make sure that they are as clean as possible.
At Presidential Heating and Air, our technicians are experts with years of experience. In addition to cleaning your ducts to ensure your health and the maximum efficiency of the system, we can also inspect the ductwork for leaks and other damage. Contact us today to schedule an inspection and cleaning.