When deciding whether duct cleaning will benefit your home, there are many factors to consider. Since every home is different, your first step should be visual observation – open up a vent and actually examine the state of your ducts. Make a decision on whether your next step should be contacting a professional based on this observation and the following considerations:
- Mold. If there is visible mold growth on duct surfaces you may benefit from duct cleaning. If a technician finds it, ask him/her to show you. You may wish to have it tested to verify before paying for cleaning. Be sure to address conditions causing the mold growth. If left uncorrected, the mold will simply grow back and render the cleaning useless. Be aware that wet insulation cannot be cleaned and will have to be replaced.
- Vermin. Any insect or rodent infestation signals that duct cleaning is in order.
- Dust and debris. You are looking for dust in the ductwork. A small amount of dust around the vents is normal and not an indication that ducts need to be cleaned.
- Allergies. If you or family members experiences frequent allergies or illness, it may be time for a duct cleaning. You may also wish to investigate the state of your indoor air quality to identify other potential problems.
- Benefits. Although there have been no confirming scientific studies, some benefits of duct cleaning that have been reported by homeowners include fewer allergic reactions, increased air flow and efficiency, and a better smelling home. Dirty or contaminated ducts are not the only source of unwanted airborne particles in the home, so it’s important to be aware of other potential sources of poor indoor air quality.
- Service considerations. To prevent system damage, make sure you hire a trained professional for your duct cleaning. An untrained service technician can cause more problems than they fix by damaging ducts and actually increasing the amount of contaminants in your air. The EPA does not certify duct cleaners. Check references or the BBB and request an estimate.
Ernst Heating & Cooling is available to help you with your duct cleaning and other maintenance needs. Contact us for experienced advice. We have been serving the Metro-East area since 1951.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about duct cleaning and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock