Many people shudder when thinking of going into a hospital for fear of the germs, and refuse to own pets because the say that they are dirty. What may startle you, however, is that your home is likely harboring more germs than either a hospital room or a pet cage. Most air duct systems within residential homes are never put through a proper deep cleaning and therefore continuously build up contaminants that recirculate into the air of the home. Thorough duct cleaning can create healthier, cleaner air for easy breathing.
It is important for any homeowner to understand the role of air ducts within their home. This will help you to understand how these ducts impacts your daily life and how cleaning will help them to work more effectively and beneficially. Your ducts are the system through which the air of your home is circulated throughout the rooms. The ducts draw the air through either the furnace or the air conditioning system and moves it throughout your rooms to address your home’s climate needs. As the air circulates, however, any form of contaminant that is present in that air is introduced into the air ducts where it will continuously pollute the air your family is breathing.
What may truly shock you are the types of contaminants that are commonly present in residential homes. The duct systems of most homes contain contaminants such as dead skin cells, pieces of insects, dirt, fungi, mold, dust mites, animal droppings, bacteria, and viruses. Other environmental contaminants such as paint dust and carpet fibers can also be present. When these contaminants are breathed in by your family, they can have a serious negative impact on their health. This is particularly true if any of your family members suffers from asthma, allergies, or another form of respiratory problem.
Through a thorough air duct cleaning, homes can enjoy the benefits of fresher, cleaner air. An effective cleaning of this type will remove the buildup of these contaminants from the entire air duct system, not just the visible span of the ducts themselves. It is important that all parts of the system including the cage, filter, and blower are also thoroughly cleaned and that the entire system is treated with a sanitizing solution to hamper the growth of common allergens, viruses, bacteria, and mold. This cleans the system for the moment, but also keeps the system, and therefore the air in your home, cleaner. Air duct cleaning professionals recommend maintenance services once or twice per year to support the highest functioning of your system.
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Why You Should Get Your Air Ducts Cleaned
Air quality, both inside and out, has become a big concern for lots of folks. Smog and pollution levels are now reported at different times of the day just the same as temperatures and humidity are. Much of the air quality is due to manmade factors such as cars and factories and much is due to environmental factors such as dust and pollen. One person can’t do much to change the quality of the air outside, but they can have an effect on the quality of air in their home.
Air duct cleaning can be done in response to a particular event, such as a recent home remodel or a fire, or as part of a regular maintenance program. Regular cleaning is done for a variety of reasons depending on your location and system’s condition. For instance, air duct cleaning in Phoenix is performed chiefly due to the dust associated with living in a desert. Air vent cleaning in an older home may be performed to get rid of debris associated with the deterioration of the system itself (many older systems utilized fiberglass, which breaks down and releases fibers into the system; some even have asbestos in the ducts).
Air duct cleaning has become a big business and many air duct cleaners promote extensively. Most likely you have seen some of these advertisements on TV, newspaper inserts, coupons, or fliers in the mail or on the radio. Often these ads tout improved air quality as the primary basis to clean your air ducts. However, improved system efficiency is also a major benefit of cleaning your air ducts. A clean system runs more efficiently causing it to run less, which saves you money and reduces wear and tear on the system and thus preventing costly repairs or replacement.
It is very important to have your entire air conditioning or heating system cleaned. Many contractors only clean the vents and registers and possibly the ducts. The whole duct system should be cleaned, not just the easy to reach areas. The mechanical parts of your system (the fans, housing, coils, etc.) should be cleaned too. Any component of a system can become dirty or contaminated. All parts should be cleaned simultaneously because a part that was not cleaned can re-contaminate the clean components. Be particularly doubtful of air duct cleaning companies that advertise “specials” that seem particularly cheap because this may indicate that they intend to clean only the ducts and registers, not the complete system.
If you get your air ducts cleaned be sure to hire a qualified contractor because an unqualified contractor can do more harm than good. The mechanical parts of your system are fragile and can break if cleaned incorrectly. Additionally, if a technician dislodged debris in your system but does not remove all of it the quality of your air could be worse than before.