Is Air Duct Cleaning Really Worth Having Done?
Here’s 5 of the top reasons you should or should not have your air ducts cleaned with detailed explanations:
1. Duct Cleaning For Relief From Allergies
Allergies bothering you, even when you spent most of the day in your home? This is one of those times when there is a good chance an air duct cleaning service might be the right answer. Do keep in mind, there could be other reasons for your indoor allergies and if that is the case, you might not notice a significant difference in your allergies after the cleaning is done. If allergies are your reason for considering air duct cleaning, spend some time looking around the house for other potential sources of allergens before spending any money on duct cleaners. However, it is not unusual for a person suffering from allergies to realize immediate relief upon completed cleaning of a home’s HVAC ductwork system.
2. Duct Cleaning After New Construction
You’ve purchased a brand new home, congratulations! This is one of those times you’ll want to find out if the Home Builder contracted air duct cleaning services as part of their final deep cleaning process before your move in. If you’ve ever been on a construction jobsite, you know exactly why cleaning every nook & cranny of the house is important before moving in. If you haven’t personally spent any time on a construction site, just remember those convenient holes in the floor (your heating vents) is where much of the debris ends up. Sawdust, flooring scraps, nails & screws, all kinds of construction related debris, and personal debris too. (think lunch leftovers & tobacco products!)
3. Pet Dander
Out of town family just left after a weekend visit that included their pets. While some people are lucky enough to have no allergies to any types of pets, some of us (including me) are not that lucky. I don’t mind my cousin’s dogs being around for a few days, heck my kids love playing with them and that in itself makes me happy. By the time the weekend is over, my nose is stuffed and I’m a “Mouth Breather”. Which I could deal with for a day or two, but now weeks have gone by and I still feel like I’ve got the worst cold of the year. This is one of those times that Air Duct Cleaning is one of the first places to start. You probably haven’t had it done since who knows when anyway, and until the pet hair & dander is removed from the ducts it’s just going to keep circulating thru the air in the home.
4. Visible Signs Of Dirty Ductwork
If your ducts are dirty, then they’re dirty. Seriously, take a flashlight and look into your ductwork a few times a year. If you see a layer of contaminants on the ducting, that could be soaking up energy costs by making your furnace work harder! Smooth wall duct work and spiral core flexible ducting are designed to flow air as smoothly and effortlessly as possible. Once the duct work is coated in a layer of dust/dirt/debris, the air is slowed down and your furnace blower motor has to work harder to heat or cool your home. I’ve even seen duct work so full of debris that 1 room of the home was barely getting any heat, the owners thought they had a major ductwork problem to deal with but all they ended up needing was an air duct cleaning service. (Side note: be sure the duct cleaning company you hire is well trained in ventilation & ductwork so they can also inspect your duct system if air duct cleaning does not resolve the flow issue)
5. Duct Cleaning When Buying A Home
Buying a used home; No matter what the previous owners tell you they did themselves to clean up the home or how spotless the home is when you arrive for your walkthru, unless they provide you with a receipt from a reputable Air Duct Cleaning Company you should seriously consider air duct cleaning. You have no idea what’s gone thru the air system while the previous tenants lived there. Animal fur or even human hair will get trapped in the ductwork and over time build up living germs, fungus, and allergy-causing bacteria. Pet dander will still exist from a previous owner or possibly even the owner before them if they never had the air ducts cleaned, and will cause reactions for people with allergies. Both Human and Pet hair and dander can also hinder the efficiency of the HVAC system. Clumps of hair will slow down the airflow for the entire system. Unfortunately even if you do hire a Home Inspector most of them don’t own expensive duct camera scopes and can’t really tell you what’s inside your new homes ductwork.
So How Often Do I Really Need A Duct Cleaning?
In summary; If you’ve recently had your air ducts cleaned or you know they were cleaned within the last year or two and you haven’t dealt with any of the above listed reasons for wanting duct cleaning done sooner, there is probably no reason to have them cleaned again. How often you should have your ducting cleaned is a whole new topic, but in most average households once every 1-2 years is adequate. Don’t fall for the air duct cleaning scam artists trying to get you to sign up for “Duct Cleaning every 6 months” or whatever their predetermined short time limit might be. If any companies try to sign you up for a duct cleaning contract that’s done more than once a year, that would be a red flag.
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