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11 Signs Your Ducts Should Be Cleaned

The comfort of a home is significantly affected by indoor air quality. The presence of particles of dust, mold spores, pollen, and insect droppings can cause reactions, even to the healthiest people. Regular air duct cleaning is one way to improve the overall air quality in your home. If you are not sure if your ducts need cleaning, here are some common signs to look out for.

1. Vents & ducts are clogged with dust and debris

Probably a clear sign of dirty air ducts is the presence of a small puff of dust as the HVAC system starts running. In normal situations, air ducts do not release visible dust or debris when the heating and cooling system is switched on, and the air starts flowing through the ducts. Therefore, visible dust clearly signifies dusty air registers.

2. Your air filters become clogged

If you have to swap out filters in your heating and cooling system continuously, this could be an indication of a deeper problem. For sure, your filters should be changed periodically. However, they shouldn't be getting clogged after a few days of replacing them. If they do so, this is a sign that you need to check on the air ducts.

Similarly, it is recommended that you change your air filter after a few months. Note that the filters trap dust, debris, pet dander, pollen, and other airborne contaminants during summer and other seasons.

3. Unpleasant odor from ducts

Another telltale sign of the presence of debris in the system and that you should conduct serious ventilation system cleaning is odor. If you experience an unpleasant smell in your home and can't find the source, it could be emanating from the air duct system. You should get up close to all the air registers for a good sniff to verify these suspicions. You can also have a technician inspect the air ducts for anything that could be emitting the bad smell.

4. You detect mold & mildew in or around your HVAC system

Dust has serious effects on your health, but mold is worse. Mold and mildew not only exacerbate allergies and respiratory conditions but also spread quickly in the house. Therefore, take quick action if you spot mold around vent covers and air conditioning units. Apart from cleaning out HVAC ducts with mold, technicians will advise you to invest in a home dehumidifier, since mold and mildew grow in wet areas.

5. Airflow isn't consistent from room to room

The easiest way to know that your air ducts should be cleaned is inconsistent airflow in your bedroom, bathroom, living room, and even kitchen. Indoor airflow should be of the same quality since vents deliver consistent airflow. If this isn't the case, have a technician ensure that all vents have clean ductwork.

6. Ducts are infested with rodents, insects or other vermin

Pest infestations in your home is another sign that you should clean your ducts. Why is air duct cleaning necessary after pest infestation? Well, this is done to prevent the spread of allergens and other disease-causing microbes. Vermin dander, insect droppings, bacteria, and viruses can cause serious health problems.

7. Your home becomes dusty very quickly

Nobody likes any cleaning activities. This becomes even serious if you continuously find dust and dirt in your home even after cleaning. This indicates that a significant amount of dust is being directed to the surfaces, most likely from the HVAC system.

8. Your heating and/or cooling costs are higher than usual

Regardless of the season, your heating and cooling bills should be predictable every year. If you notice your bills are on the rise compared to some months before, your home systems could be to blame. In situations where the ductwork is blocked so that air cannot flow with ease from the heating and cooling system, the furnace and air conditioner will have to use more energy to maintain the set temperatures at the thermostat. This extra energy directly translates to increased bills. In such situations, furnace ductwork cleaning becomes necessary.

9. You can hear noises in the ductwork

If you have lived in your home for a few years, you definitely know how the HVAC system sounds when operational. Whereas it can be difficult to realize, your ductwork shouldn't make a lot of noise. If you hear anything more than the general motor sound, your ducts could be experiencing some problems.

10. No records about prior air duct cleaning

If you stay in an old home with no recollection of when the air duct was last cleaned, find a technician to inspect and clean the air duct. The systems may not show any signs that it requires cleaning but definitely has accumulated dust over the period it has been in use.

11. Your home was just built or has undergone a major repair

Construction work is undoubtedly messy. Even if the contractors observe maximum cleaning or close up the areas that were under renovation to prevent other parts of the house from untidy construction activities, dust, dirt, and debris always find their way in. Unless the HVAC systems are off or completely covered during the renovations, be sure that dirt and dust will have been sucked up into the ductwork. Therefore, you should consider cleaning your air ducts after any renovations.

Most homeowners know that duct cleaning is important. However, most have the common question, how do you know if your air ducts need to be cleaned? Well, there you have it. Engage the services of a professional technician if you witness any of the above-mentioned signs.

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