To most home and building owners, air ducts are out of sight and out of mind. While little thought is given to the ducting that moves heated and cooled air throughout a property, the condition of the air ducts is important to the health and wellbeing of those who use the building.
Furnaces and air conditioning units use filters to clean the air that is drawn into the unit and then pushed out into the home. However, even the best filters allow some amount of dust and other small debris to pass through the filter. Over time, this debris will build up in the ductwork. The debris in the ductwork can aggravate people’s allergies and other respiratory conditions. Even worse is that the changing temperatures in a duct can result in condensation creating moisture in the ducts. If the moisture does not quickly dry, mold and mildew can form inside the ducts. The presence of mold or mildew in duct work can cause further problems for those with respiratory problem and even create health problems in otherwise healthy individuals.
In addition to making health problems worse, excess particle buildup inside of ducts can also reduce the overall energy efficiency of the HVAC system. An excess buildup can block the smooth flow of air through the system, making the system work harder to move the conditioned air into the living areas of the home. In fact, many ducts are home to various lost items such as small toys, silverware and other objects that catch dust and create partial blockages in the ducts.
The process of duct cleaning involves the use of vacuum brushes that are inserted into the ducts. The brushes knock particles loose while the vacuum system pulls the particles out of the ducts and into a canister. Duct cleaning services can also include the use of liquid or aerosol detergents and disinfectants to clean the ducts as well as anti-mold coatings that prevent mold from growing on the inner surfaces of the ducts.
In addition to removing potentially harmful substances from the ducts, duct cleaning can also result in the discovery of air leaks and other problems in the ductwork. Even a small gap in a duct can result in substantial energy loss while reducing heating and cooling efficiency. Gaps can also allow dust, insects and even rodents to enter the ductwork. By identifying gaps in the ductwork and having the gaps fixed, a homeowner can experience substantial financial savings over time. Duct cleaning technicians can also clean heating and cooling units to improve the overall function of those units.
While the impact of duct cleaning will vary depending on how dirty the ducts are and how susceptible a person is to airborne irritants, duct cleaning can significantly boost the health of a building’s indoor air. Duct cleaning is even a good way to prevent the development of future problems. Considering the relatively low cost of duct cleaning versus the potential cost of problems caused by mold and energy waste, duct cleaning in home and commercial buildings is a process that most property owners should consider.
Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license. He was raised with a strong work ethic and he now applies those values to tasks such as Longmont, CO heating repair.