When was the last time any of us thought about our home or office’s air ducts?
Unless you’re a home heating and cooling professional, the answer is probably never. But our home’s ventilation system is often the chief culprit behind poor indoor air quality. And if your family, tenants or workforce are having difficulty breathing, your property’s livability and workability is extremely compromised.
If left unattended, air ducts can quickly transform our home and office’s ventilation systems into dust farms. In worst case scenarios, dirty ducts can become living quarters for dangerous, hazardous vermin like rats and insects. The HVAC Inspection, Maintenance and Restoration Association (NADCA) estimates that in a typical six-room home, up to 40 pounds of dust is created annually through everyday living. Remember, your heating and cooling system is the lungs of your home. The system takes in air and breathes air out.
The NADCA’s rule of thumb for home and property owners is simple: “If your ducts look dirt, they probably are.” The most sure way to confirm the state of your ducts is to have them inspected by a reputable, certified HVAC professional.
Remember, ducts maintain the very air we breathe in our homes. The major, bottom line question all home and property owners need to ask themselves: Do I need to have my ducts cleaned?
Dusty Ducts Equal Dirty Ducts
Treating our ducts as an afterthought can be playing blind poker with our home’s air quality. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
Through normal everyday living, we generate a great deal of contaminants and air pollutants such as danger, dust and chemicals. HVAC systems pull these contaminants in and re-circulate them into the air 5 to 7 times per day on average. Over time, this re-circulation causes a buildup of contaminants in duct work.
Dirty ducts don’t necessarily mean unhealthy air in homes or workplaces, but they can contribute to larger health issues and especially serious problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders or some environmental allergies.
Dirty ducts are also a home efficiency nightmare. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates an alarming 25 to 40 percent of energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted. Those percentages only increase in homes and businesses with dirty ducts.
When contaminants build up in HVAC systems, they’re forced to work harder, thus shortening their life span. A clean HVAC system runs like a Cadillac, maintaining a home’s air quality and temperature with ease.
To Clean Or Not To Clean
Investing in duct cleaning can be a major expense for budget-minded home and property owners. Duct cleaning can range from $450-$1,000 or more. But professional duct cleaning can remove up to 99.7 percent of particles in the airstream.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stresses that duct cleaning has never been proven to prevent health problems. Likewise, studies have not conclusively demonstrated that particle levels increase in homes due to dirty ducts.
As HomeAdvisor’s Jon Nunan notes, “The verdict still isn’t in in whether or not duct cleaning is going to improve indoor air quality in every situation.”
But the peace of mind and the potential discovery of larger home livability issues that a duct inspection offers is indisputable. And only a professional HVAC inspection can give you an accurate assessment on the health of your home or business’ HVAC system and ductwork.
Remember, we can’t afford to duck duct problems in our home or business. For ducts ensure the quality of the very air we breathe.