Is Air Duct Cleaning Necessary?
The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA states that it is unnecessary to clean the air duct every time you conduct maintenance. It might not be a bad idea, but it’s usually not necessary. Having said that, air duct cleaning is still useful on some occasions. It could help infestation problems regarding mice and other vermin.
Homes and working spaces require good indoor air quality. Air ducts regulate and deliver this air to every room of the building to provide a comfortable living. The problem is that these ducts become dirty over time. For this reason, cleaning them is necessary on some occasions.
Importance of cleaning air duct
Cleaning your AC or HVAC’s air duct plays a vital role in your home’s indoor air quality. Listed below are reasons you should clean your air ducts:
- Ensure a good air quality
The air that passes through the ducts is also the air that your family inhales on a daily basis. Allergens like pet dander and pollen can build up in ducts when left uncleaned and re-enter your living or working space through supply registers.
Generally, these particles aren’t harmful to people’s health. But, they can cause problems for those people with allergies, asthma, or other respiratory ailments. Cleaning your air ducts will improve air quality and keep it clear of airborne pollutants.
- Improve energy efficiency
The flow of air across the parts of your HVAC system is obstructed by dust and dirt. Your AC or furnace has to work more and use more energy to accomplish its work when the air ducts are clogged. Keeping your air ducts clean and clear of any debris will let your units operate at maximum efficiency.
- Protect heating and cooling system
Fouled blower wheels, clogged air conditioner coils, and other difficulties caused by a dirty ventilation system can result in pricey repairs. Cleaning the air duct of your HVAC or air conditioning system will allow you to avoid spending money on unnecessary expenses.
Issues that might arise when leaving air ducts uncleaned
Neglecting air ducts could result in simple to complex issues. It might also risk the health of those dwelling in living or working spaces. Let’s take a look at the problems that might occur when air duct cleaning is neglected:
Ducts get clogged
Dust and debris gathered in air ducts will eventually clog them. At some point, dust will stick together, accumulating within the duct and around outlets, filters, and vents. It will restrict the airflow, reducing the efficiency of the air conditioner or HVAC system.
Aside from that, it will make the machine work harder than usual. When the clog is left for a long period, it could damage the ducts altogether.
Mold build-up and spread
One of the major problems, when you let air ducts uncleaned, is mold. It is typical in insulated vents. The moisture will remain if water seeps into your vents or condensation build-up. Without regularly cleaning the air duct, moisture will produce mold and mildew over time.
However, the real issue is the distribution of air across a building or room. Air ducts infested with mold will most likely contaminate your indoor air by dispersing mold-contaminated air throughout your space. Aside from giving off an unpleasant, musty odor, it could also risk the health of those inside the building.
Below are among the common types of molds that thrive in air ducts:
- Acremonium – Acremonium, which looks like a white powdery substance, is a mold that can release toxins. Usually, it appears in damp areas like drain pans, cooling coils, window sealants, and humidifiers. You might catch bone marrow and immune system disease if exposed to Acremonium for too long.
- Chaetomium – The texture of Chaetomium mold is cotton-like, and at some point, its color changes. It thrives on water-damaged walls, although you can also see them in air ducts. This type of mold has a musty smell and can infect the skin.
- Stachybotrys – Also known as black mold, Stachybotrys usually flourish in air ducts and vents. This type of mold might be easy to identify, but it is very toxic as it quickly spreads and might trigger allergic reactions. It’s critical to keep your children safe from black mold, so once you notice it, call a mold treatment expert immediately.
- Mucor – Mucor is a potent allergic mold that could trigger difficulty breathing and asthma attacks even to a healthy person. It appears as a white or gray mold that thrives in thick spots due to humidity from condensation. Once you see signs of Mucor mold infestation in your air ducts or near your AC or HVAC system, call a professional to eliminate them right away.
- Trichoderma – Trichoderma thrives on moist surfaces like air conditioner filters. Like Mucor, this allergic-type of mold looks like spores and is usually white with green areas. It spreads quickly and is a continual hazard in homes, especially where there is a lot of dampness.
Pests might appear
Dust and dirt, as well as moisture, provide ideal conditions for pests to breed. A number of home pests, such as crickets, cockroaches, mice, and rats, thrive in untreated air ducts. When you leave your air ducts uncleaned longer, the more probable it is that they will become home to some nasty crawlies.
Repairs will cost you money
Ignoring your air ducts will result in costly repairs. Maintaining heating and cooling will be more difficult, which will result in higher electricity bills. In the end, you’ll have to pay for more intense problem-solving services. When you keep your air duct clean, you can avoid these issues.
All things considered, it is vital to have good air quality, whether it is at home or working space. It’s important to breathe healthy indoor air for one’s health, especially since most people spend more time indoors. Air duct cleaning should be done whenever necessary since cleaning them during your regular AC or HVAC maintenance is not recommended. But once air ducts are contaminated, some professionals require cleaning the entire HVAC or AC, not just the air ducts.