The Importance Of Cleaning HVAC and Dryer Ducts
If you’ve had any kind of HVAC service call in the last couple of years, the company you worked with may have recommended a duct cleaning for you, and maybe you thought it was just an upsell. And yes, we get it. Your ductwork is out of sight and out of mind, and if you can’t hear or smell any major problems from it, you’d rather put off any cleaning.
But there are some real problems that could be in your ducts and filters and some important benefits to having them cleaned.
Cleaning around the house means a lot of dusting, and no matter what, it always seems to come back. That’s because the air in your house passes through the vent system multiple times a day and can bring dust it collects from one part of the house into another part. Cleaning the filters and ductwork can eliminate the buildup of dust and reduce how much dusting you need to do in your living areas.
Air ducts also contain harmful microbes or other contaminants that are much smaller than dust. You can’t even know if it’s a problem unless people in your house are getting sick too often. Duct maintenance combined with your regular filter changes can cut down on the bacteria, pollen, mold spores, mildew, pet dander, and other things that pass through your vents. Without a duct cleaning, those things can run riot through your air and make life hard for anyone with allergies or asthma.
In fact, you don’t even have to suffer from chronic allergies to benefit from cleaner ducts. Dust and other pollutants in the air can cause irritation, congestion, and sneezing even in people with perfect respiratory health. Mucus buildup is a reaction to dust in the lungs, sinuses, and nasal passages, the body’s self-defense mechanism against foreign substances. You’ll have less buildup if there’s less dust in the air.
Everything in your house that creates a smell can leave a residue in your ducts – even originally good smells like your cooking, and certainly pets, chemical fumes, mold or mildew, and tobacco smoke. They can get trapped in particles in the duct, where no one ever cleans, and get circulated through your house every time the blower is on. A vent or duct cleaning can get rid of those odors and leave you with a fresher-smelling house.
Boosts systems efficiency
Anything that makes your system’s blower work harder is hurting its efficiency, and a big enough accumulation of dust in some part of the ductwork can easily slow down the airflow. Not only will that make it harder to heat or cool your home, but it puts greater wear and tear on the system and reduces its service life. Getting your ducts cleaned is an expense now, but it can potentially save you good money in the long run, in the form of more efficient temperature control and a longer-lasting system.
Much of what we’ve said is also true of dryer ducts, but here are a few concerns specific to them:
The buildup of lint from your dryer is in close proximity to sources of heat and is itself highly flammable. Letting your dryer ducts and vents get out of control greatly increases the risk of fire. If you have a gas dryer that creates heat with a little flame – rather than an electric one that generates heat with a coil – then carbon monoxide, CO, is a real concern. Any clogging in the ducts can lead to CO leaking into the living space. It is odorless, colorless, and very toxic, so don’t risk a blockage or a leak. And if you have gas appliances at all, install CO detectors.
Just like with the heating and cooling system, a clog makes the dryer work harder, suffer more wear and tear, last less time and need replacing sooner. Not only that, but if your vents are clogged they will not dry clothes as well as they should, which means more cycles, and subsequent mounting electrical bills.
If you think any of these things may be happening in your home, call Twin Air in Manassas at (703) 754-1062 to set up an appointment for an estimate and find out more about the state of your ducts.