Dirty Ducts And Allergies
Springtime is many people’s favorite time of the year; the birds are singing, we get to wear shorts again, and all our favorite outdoor activities are back. But if you’re one of the 30% of Americans who suffer from recurrent allergies, it may be one of the worst times of the year. In most of the US, pollen season begins in late February and goes until early June, usually with trees pollinating first, followed by the grass. It’s hard to get away from allergens, as they’re all over the country, and even inside they can still reach you through the air system. Let’s talk now about how to protect your HVAC system and yourself from allergens.
The duct problem
The duct network in your house is how the air system pushes warm air in winter and cool air in summer around your house to keep your family comfortable. It circulates a more-or-less set quantity of air, rather than pumping air into and out of the house. So pollen shouldn’t be a problem, right? Most of it is kept outside, right?
Well, you might not get a lot of pollen inside, but there are other allergens that that can grow up in your duct system that will trigger your immune system while it’s already reacting against pollen. So while you can have your ducts cleaned any time of the year, spring is as good a time as any to cut off any allergen source you can.
Allergens can build up in your ducts over a long time, and simply keeping your living areas clean will not make your ducts clean. Pet allergens from a previous owner may still be there, and mold can grow up anywhere there is moisture.
So, do your rooms collect a lot of dust? Do your allergies act up when the heating or AC comes on? If either of those is a yes, you should seriously consider getting your ducts cleaned.
What does duct cleaning involve?
A professional duct cleaner should first take steps to protect the furniture and carpets. Then, having gained access to the whole duct and air system, they should clean out any mold- or allergen-affected areas with soft-bristled brushes or a vacuum that exhausts outside the home. The technician should also seal up any noticeable holes through which other allergens might get in so that the whole system is as airtight as possible.
What can I do besides getting them cleaned?
In between cleaning you can take the following steps to protect your ducts:
- Change the filters as often as they get dirty
- Vacuum and dust regularly (using a damp cloth can help get rid of the dust rather merely spread it around
- If you’re using any in-duct humidity control devices, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s user manuals for them.
Did you know?
Dirty air ducts can grow the kind of fungi and bacteria that speed up your body’s aging process. One indication this may be happening is if you constantly feel more tired than you should be. Of course, that can have other causes too, but seriously bad air quality can sap your energy, as well as affecting the elasticity of your skin.
Twin Air in Manassas is a family-owned HVAC company with more than 20 years’ experience serving the Northern Virginia area. If you’ve been experiencing indoor allergies that might be tied to dirty ducts, we can assess your system and see if a good cleaning will help. Give us a call at (703) 754-1062 or get in touch on our website.