Do You Need To Schedule Air Duct Cleaning Every Year? We Take A Closer Look
When something goes wrong with our HVAC system, the first places we look or worry about are either the furnace, usually in the basement, or the condenser located beside the house. The one thing we usually forget about is the air ducts, but it’s easy to see why.
Air ducts are built to last. In many instances, the air ducts built into a home will last the entire duration of a family living there, or even three or four successive families without ever suffering a physical issue. But while the durability of air ducts is something you can often rely on for decades, the cleanliness is another issue entirely. You may need to get an air duct cleaning, but why? And how often?
Clean Ducts Mean A Healthy Home
Dirty air ducts mean that your home is a potential health risk. Air ducts can become dirty as a result of dust and pet dander getting lodged inside and building up, or allergens from outside, like pollen, getting pulled in. Even mold can take root in air ducts and send spores to every room in a home once an infestation takes hold.
All of this can, at best, create an unpleasant smell in the home every time the HVAC kicks in. At worst, it can make healthy people fall ill, and, worse still, for people with respiratory conditions or allergies, it can cause reactions that constantly put them under threat every time they are at home.
Under ordinary circumstances, the build-up of dirt or other allergens in air ducts takes a very long time before it can actually start affecting health. An annual cleaning is normally overkill, with the recommended time being every 3-5 years after having an inspection to check the state of your air ducts.
On the other hand, there are certain events in the life of a home that might prompt a need for an air duct cleaning. Rodents nesting in the ducts are one of them, as rodent contaminants are both virulent and dangerous.
After a renovation is another good time, since a lot of dust has been generated by all the work. And if you’ve just bought a previously owned home, and the ducts haven’t been cleaned for many years, that’s a good time too.
Keeping It Clean
Between air duct cleanings, there are things you can do to ensure not too many contaminants build up in your ducts.
The most important is your HVAC filter. Try to stick to the recommended replacement schedule of every three months at the latest. For added peace of mind, switch to a monthly schedule.
Normal housekeeping also helps a lot. If you’re sweeping and vacuuming dirt, pet dander, dust and other contaminants, that keeps them in your vacuum or trash, and out of your air ducts.
Being lax in these chores means more opportunity to get embedded in air ducts and need a professional air duct cleaning later. We rely on our air ducts to keep us comfortable in San Diego, CA throughout the year. With a little bit of preventive care, we can ensure that there’s no need at all for a yearly air duct cleaning.