Airconditioner mounted on the wall

What is Air Duct Cleaning and When Do You Need It

Installing an HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system for your home is an excellent investment that provides thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality inside your home, making your home cleaner and fresher. Unfortunately, the HVAC ducts responsible for distributing cooled and heated air throughout your home are prone to dirt, dust, and other allergens. Maintaining air ducts can be difficult as they’re meant to be hidden, after all.

An HVAC’s central air conditioning system draws in air from outside to cool and distribute throughout your home, giving contaminants an easy way to invade your home. Cleaning your home’s HVAC ducts isn’t a task you should attempt to do because it’s a complex process that requires the advanced knowledge of HVAC systems and specialized tools.

It’s best to rely on the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) certified professionals from companies that offer air duct and dryer vent cleaning services. A NADCA certification ensures that you only get the best services that follow the most up-to-date air duct cleaning methods and processes.

But if you’re not confident that you would know when your air ducts need servicing or cleaning, here’s everything you need to know about air duct cleaning and the signs of dirty ducts.

What is Air Duct Cleaning?

Air duct cleaning refers to cleaning different cooling and heating system components. These include the system’s grilles, diffusers, supply or return air ducts, registers, heat exchangers, coils, drip pans, fan housing, unit housings, and fan motor. If you don’t properly maintain these components, it can get contaminated with pollen, dust, and debris, contaminating your home with pollutants.

Methods of air duct cleaning can vary. However, the standard way that duct cleaning services clean your ducts is by using specialized tools to remove dirt and other debris in ducts, then vacuum them remaining bits with a high-powered vacuum cleaner. Some may suggest applying chemical biocides to kill microbiological contaminants such as mold in the system.

white air conditioner installed above the window of the living room

When Do You Need Air Duct Cleaning?

Since your home’s duct system is mostly hidden behind layers of Sheetrock and flooring, you need to keep an eye out for the different signs that your ducts are getting dirty and get the proper services your home needs. Below are signs that you may need air duct cleaning.

  • Presence of Mold in Your Furnace and Air Conditioning System

HVAC systems need to be serviced and cleaned at least twice a year because its furnaces and air conditioning systems can develop condensation over time. This factor promotes mold growth, especially if you live in an area that often experiences humid climates. It’s best to hire a mold expert aside from an HVAC technician to help you correctly identify and determine if the mold is harmful.

  • Your Home Stays Dusty No Matter How Much You Clean

If you notice that almost every flat surface inside your home holds a thin layer of dust after recently cleaning those areas, you likely need to have your air ducts cleaned. Check both the supply and return vents around your home and see if they’re visibly or dusty, and if you do spot these elements, it’s time to call your local air duct cleaning expert.

Prevention is the best weapon you have against dirty air ducts, and the best way to prevent these ducts from getting contaminated is by preventing dirt and water from entering the HVAC system. But if you’re facing dirty air ducts, you don’t need to worry as there are plenty of experts ready to help.

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