Our homes are the safest place to return to at the end of each day. Here we can spend quality time with our friends, family, pets, or even just ourselves as we unwind from the day’s chaos, kick back, and relax. Our homes are deeply important to us for these reasons and more, so it can be quite concerning to discover that they could potentially be causing you more problems than they’re solving.
Air ducts are an important part of your home as they circulate warm or cold air throughout. As this happens, the air will collect any dust, pollen, bacteria, and more that might be floating through it. This air will be recycled through the system multiple times daily, resulting in these contaminants growing and reaching every part of your ducts frequently.
This may not seem too concerning when the weather is nice and you can keep your windows open. However, it may quickly become a noticeable issue once undesirable weather occurs, such as extreme temperatures and precipitation, and you must shut them again.
If your indoor air quality is poor, you may notice that you start coughing and sneezing more, or your eyes may start to water and itch. These same contaminants that cause these undesirable effects may also help other, more dangerous contaminants to spread and grow, such as fungus, mold, or bacteria.
Watch for the Signs
Despite all of this, regularly cleaning your air ducts may not be necessary. Instead, you’ll need to pay attention to some signs indicating that it’s time to clean them.
Increased Sneezing or Coughing
As mentioned above, if you suddenly start to cough or sneeze or if your eyes become watery and itchy once the windows are shut, it may be time to examine your air ducts and give them a good cleaning. If no other signs have presented themselves, you may need to have them thoroughly vacuumed. This will remove dust, pollen, dust mites, and other simple contaminants and put an end to your sniffles.
Keep in mind that as the ducts are cleaned, and shortly after, your symptoms may temporarily worsen as the contaminants are disturbed and removed. Waiting up to twenty-four hours should allow everything to settle and your allergies to calm down. If the symptoms persist, however, a deeper inspection may be necessary.
Dust or Mold Begins Building Up Around Intake Vents
Another sign that your air ducts need to be cleaned is the state of your intake ducts. To locate them, search for any vents that are larger than the rest and have no way of being closed. The slats may also look different.
When you think you’ve found one but want to be certain, place a hand near it when the air or heat kicks on. If you’ve found the intake vents, you’ll feel the air being pulled into them instead of being pushed out. Don’t stick your hand inside the vent, however, as this could impede the vent, cause you physical harm, or create several other issues.
Once found, examine these vents every now and again. If you notice dust begins to build up around it or notice a growth on the grill or in the vent itself, it may be time for an air vent inspection and cleaning.
Strange Noises When the Air or Heat Kicks On
Have you noticed your air conditioning or heating unit making strange, unfamiliar sounds as it operates? In that case, it’s definitely time to call an HVAC repair company to take a look at the unit. While you’re at it, you may as well also request that they inspect your air ducts.
They may do this anyway, depending on what they determine the cause of your system’s issues to be. If they recommend cleaning, then it’s time to get it cleaned. Doing so may not solve your system’s issues completely, but it will help.
Benefits of Duct Cleaning
Cleaning your air ducts every now and then has a wide range of benefits and can solve problems you didn’t even know you had.
If you suffer from allergies, asthma, or another condition affecting your breathing, cleaning your air ducts may improve your symptoms. It won’t remove them completely, as pollen from plants, the smell of freshly cut grass, and other allergy triggers may still be in the air, but it will allow you to breathe easier as you avoid these allergens.
Extend HVAC Lifespan and Efficiency
The more contaminants there are in your system, the harder your air conditioning and heating units must work to maintain the temperatures you set them to. This results in them straining and potentially running longer, increasing their energy usage and decreasing their lifespans. Once the dust and debris are removed, however, these systems can relax. They’ll be able to work faster to maintain your desired temperature, meaning they’ll use less energy and last longer.
Boost Air Quality
Removing the dust, debris, mold, and whatever else was building up inside your air ducts will boost your air quality, allowing you to breathe easier. You may begin to cough and sneeze less, and your eyes will also stop watering and itching. There is another positive about this boosted air quality, however.
As the contaminated air was pushed through the ducts and into your house, not all of it would remain in the air. Some of it would settle, causing your surfaces to become much dirtier much quicker, requiring you to clean more often. Removing it from the air ducts allows you to clean less and leaves your house looking spotless for longer.
Cleaning your air ducts has massive benefits, and failing to do so has consequences, as we’ve illustrated in this article. It doesn’t need to become a part of your routine, but watching for the signs of when it’s time for cleaning should. When you start to notice the signs, it’s time to get your air ducts cleaned to enjoy a happy, healthy home once again.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of cleaned air ducts without doing it yourself, consider reaching out to Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration today. They have the equipment and services needed to give you a clean home with exceptional air quality.
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