The Dangers of Dirty Air Ducts in Your Home

Most of us make a concerted effort to keep our homes clean. We keep up with everyday activities like dusting, vacuuming, and scrubbing tubs and toilets. We also perform annual spring cleaning tasks like getting under the furniture and behind the appliances.

In addition, we perform necessary maintenance like steam cleaning carpets, flushing the water heater, and servicing the HVAC, all in an effort to keep our homes in ship shape, preserve the value of our biggest asset, and create a safe and healthy home environment for our families. One task many homeowners neglect, however, is cleaning their air ducts.

These hidden corridors may be out of sight behind the walls and in the attic, but you should not put them out of your mind. They can get dirty over time and begin to cause a variety of problems.

If you already contract out for services as diverse as snaking drains and trash chute cleaning, there’s no reason not to hire a service for air duct cleaning. Here are a few dangers you could be courting if you fail to inspect and clean air ducts regularly.

Damage to Home Interior

The problem with filthy air ducts is that the dirt doesn’t stay put. As soon as your furnace or air conditioning unit kicks on, the dust, dirt, and grime built up in your ductwork will get blown all over your house, into your living spaces.

No matter how often you clean, this debris can settle on surfaces and make your house look dingy and dirty. Blockages in ductwork related to filth can also reduce the overall efficiency of your HVAC system, leading to costly utility bills, and eventually, repairs to your system.

It may take time for the full effect of these damages to be felt, but if you fail to utilize reliable residential air duct cleaning services, the damage will continue to worsen, costing you more and more.

Mold Growth

Mold requires certain conditions to grow. First, there must be spores, which are found in every home. From there, heat and moisture must be present for colonies to flourish, as well as an organic food source.

What does this have to do with dirty air ducts? There are several reasons why dirty ducts may provide fertile ground for mold growth.

First of all, dust, dirt, and debris in your ducts can catch mold spores and hold them in ducts. When you turn on your AC in the summer or your heat in the winter, conditions inside ducts can become hot and humid – perfect for mold growth – and moisture can cling to debris in your ducts along with spores.

However, the threat doesn’t end there. Dead skin cells and other organic matter sitting in your ducts can provide the food source mold needs to grow, damaging your home and possibly your health the longer it goes untreated.

Pest Infestation

Dirty ducts invite all manner of pests, some that spot a food source and others interested in nesting. Whether your ducts harbor ants, bees, or rodents, you definitely don’t want to deal with the damages and irritation that can result from an infestation.

Health Issues

Businesses are responsible for protecting the health of employees, which is why many engage in regular commercial duct cleaning. You should take the same approach to your family’s health.

Ducts that are populated by dust, dander, dirt, mold, vermin, and other hazards can be extremely detrimental to the health of inhabitants when the air starts blowing particulates out of ducts and into the interior air you breath. Your health can be affected in a number of ways.

Allergies to dust, dander, and other pollutants can flare up each time the HVAC system turns on, as can respiratory ailments such as asthma or COPD. Mold and vermin droppings can also lead to health issues and diseases when particulates are inhaled. Other afflictions could include skin problems like rashes.

Children and the elderly may be particularly susceptible to such threats, although even healthy adults could suffer health problems related to dirty air ducts. If you want your home interior air quality to meet the highest standards, you need to have your ducts inspected and cleaned on a regular basis, so speak to your HVAC technician about scheduling an initial consultation and cleaning, as well as setting up an ongoing schedule to protect your property and your health.