Duct cleaning is an increasingly widespread procedure that cleans most of the components of a forced-air system. The effectiveness of the procedure is not fully understood, so it can be difficult to determine when or if you should have your ducts cleaned.
One reason homeowners are increasingly looking into duct cleaning is for the perceived health benefits of reducing the amount of pollutants circulating in your air. While the federal EPA hasn’t found definitive evidence of health benefits from duct cleaning, common sense suggests that clean air being blown through your ducts is better for you than dirty air.
There are three instances the EPA recommends you should consider duct cleaning. The first is when insects or vermin (or evidence thereof) is present. This one should be self-explanatory.
Second, if there are large amounts of dust or debris, a cleaning might be needed. You may notice dust coming from supply registers. Dusty supply and return registers do not typically signal a need for a duct cleaning. Such dust collects naturally and does not require expert attention – just your vacuum. If, though, you notice dust expelled from a clean register, it is a clue to check inside the system.
Finally, mold might require a cleaning. If you find mold, first confirm what you’re seeing is mold before having your ducts cleaned. Mold can also be difficult to spot. If there are other reasons you suspect mold is present, but you can’t find it, consult with you service provider. They will have ways to help you check for hard-to-see mold.
All three of these EPA-recommended instances involve a root cause of some sort. When you have your ducts cleaned, make sure you also find and eliminate the source of unwanted materials in your duct system.
For more information and answers to questions, contact the experts at Ernst Heating & Cooling. We’ve proudly served the Edwardsville area since 1951, and would love to help.
Our goal is to help educate our customers 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.
HVAC technician image via Shutterstock