Air Duct Cleaning and How it Benefits You

by | Dec 27, 2023 | HVAC, Indoor Air Quality

Having a clean air duct system is essential for maintaining the air inside your home and keeping it clean and free of contaminants. In the following, we discuss why ductwork cleaning is important and how dirty air ducts affect your HVAC system and health. 

Throughout the years, we at Five Star Home Services have met with hundreds of Central Ohio, Dayton, OH & Cincinnati, OH, area homeowners with poor indoor air quality. What a horrible thing to have in the home! Yet time and time again, we find the reason is because of dirty air ducts. In the following, we discuss the importance of having your ductwork cleaned — how often it should be cleaned and its effects on your HVAC system and overall health. 

Why Do Air Ducts Need to Be Cleaned?

Air ducts require regular cleaning for several reasons. First, clean ducts contribute to a healthier indoor environment by reducing the circulation of dust and other airborne particles. Over time, these pollutants can build up in the ductwork, contaminating the air in your home. Second, clean air ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, potentially reducing energy costs. When ducts are clogged with dust and debris, these systems have to work harder to maintain your home’s temperature, which can lead to higher energy consumption. Lastly, regular cleaning can reduce the risk of ductwork damage and extend its lifespan, avoiding costly repairs or replacements in the future. 

What Effect Does Dust Have on Your HVAC System?

Dust accumulation in your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system can have a notable impact on its efficiency and lifespan. The dust particles can clog the filters, reducing the system’s airflow and forcing it to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. This not only increases energy consumption but also leads to greater wear and tear on the system’s components. Over time, excessive dust can result in costly repairs or even a complete system replacement. Moreover, the dust can pollute the indoor air quality, exacerbating allergies and respiratory problems among occupants. To avoid these issues, regular HVAC maintenance and cleaning are essential. 

Additionally, there are several ways to minimize dust accumulation in your HVAC system. The first step is to properly seal the ductwork during installation to prevent a wide range of contaminants from entering the system. As noted, changing the air filters regularly is an easy but effective way to reduce dust buildup. 

If you’ve ever turned on the heat for the first time during a heating season and smell something burning, it is due to dust. Although normal amounts of dust are to be expected, too much dust accumulation can start to negatively affect your HVAC system’s performance. The biggest issue is excess buildup on the blower wheel and evaporator coil, which increases static pressure. This can rob your HVAC system of performance, result in wasted energy, and even cause premature breakdowns. Some signs of high static pressure include: 

  • noisier operation 
  • reduction in airflow 
  • hot or cold spots between rooms 
  • longer run times or short cycling causing higher energy bills 
  • and more 

In short, the dustier it is, the harder your HVAC system will have to work. 

What Are the Health Concerns of Dirty Air Ducts?

While dirty ductwork can negatively affect your HVAC system, it can also be harmful to you and your family’s health. People with allergies or breathing problems can especially be susceptible and not even realize that their issues could be caused by their ductwork. According to the EPA, indoor air pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than what’s outside. In some cases, even 100 times higher. There are a number of known health issues that can be linked to dirty ducts. 

Dust mite allergy is an allergic reaction to tiny bugs that live and breed in house dust. Symptoms of a dust mite allergy mirror hay fever symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy, watery eyes, and others. Vacuum, general cleaning, and changing your filter can help reduce the amount of dust and dust mites in the house, but in some cases, additional measures like duct cleaning are needed. 

Another issue with dirty ductwork is the presence of mold. Mold needs a cold, dark place to grow. If your ductwork runs through a damp crawl space or underneath a house, or if your ductwork isn’t sealed, there’s an opportunity for mold to get in and grow. Once inside your ductwork, mold spores can become airborne and spread throughout the rest of the house. 

How Often Should Air Ducts Be Cleaned?

Dirty air ducts can pose several health concerns. The accumulated dust and debris can become breeding grounds for mold, bacteria, and other allergens, which are then circulated throughout your home when the HVAC system is running. Exposure to these contaminants can cause or exacerbate respiratory problems such as asthma and allergies. Moreover, poor air quality due to dirty air ducts can lead to headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Long-term exposure can even contribute to the development of chronic respiratory diseases. Therefore, regular inspection and cleaning of air ducts are vital for maintaining good indoor air quality and protecting the health of the occupants.  

When it comes to the maintenance of air ducts, an ounce of prevention is superior to a pound of cure. Regularly changing HVAC filters and scheduling routine check-ups can help prevent the buildup of dust and debris in your air ducts. Additionally, keeping your home clean and free from excess moisture can also reduce the risk of mold growth in your air ducts. 

In addition to health concerns, dirty air ducts can also affect the efficiency of your HVAC system. The buildup of dirt and debris in the ductwork can restrict airflow, causing your HVAC unit to work harder and consume more energy. This not only leads to higher utility bills but also shortens the lifespan of your HVAC system. By keeping your air ducts clean, you can ensure that your HVAC system runs efficiently, saving you money in the long run. 

Moreover, clean air ducts can also improve the overall comfort of your home. With improved airflow, your HVAC system can more effectively distribute heated or cooled air throughout your home, ensuring consistent temperatures and eliminating hot/cold spots. 

How Do I Schedule a Duct Cleaning for My Home?

By now, it is our hope that you have a better understanding of why duct cleanings are important and how dirty air ducts can impact your overall health and HVAC system’s performance. If you live in Central or Southwest Ohio and want to schedule a time for cleaning your ducts, call us now at (833) 405-8009 to schedule this service, as we only offer it with limited availability. We would be happy to come out and clean your ducts as soon as we can. Thank you for your time. We look forward to serving you! Have a blessed day! 

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