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The ducts for your heating and air conditioning system (HVAC) are the delivery system for the heated or cooled air into your home. In an average day of running your HVAC system, the air in your home is circulated five to seven times. That is a considerable volume of air that is drawn into the system and dispelled through the ducts. If your duct work is not clean, the air being forced into your home will be of poor quality and may aggravate health conditions.
When trying to learn about duct cleaning and whether you should have it done or not, you may come across conflicting information. In fact, dating as far back as 1997, the US-based Environmental Protection Agency released a scientific document declaring duct cleaning did not significantly improve indoor air quality. Nearly 20 years later, indoor air quality testing has been greatly improved yet the research has not been repeated.
The fact is, as with anything in your home, if your ducts are not cleaned they accumulate dust, debris, bacteria and possibly mold. When you turn on your furnace for the first time in winter, do you notice a burning smell for the first several minutes? This is due to an accumulation of dust on the element. While furnace filters are designed to capture most of this dust and debris from pushed into your home through the ducts, they are not capable of removing 100 percent, particularly if they are not changed frequently. When air is drawn into the furnace through the cold air exchange, any existing dust, debris or mold spores are pulled through, and this air is recirculated into your home.
Allergies, asthma, and other respiratory ailments are aggravated by dust and poor air quality. Having the ductwork thoroughly cleaned, as well as the HVAC system components can significantly reduce the amount of dust and fine particulates that are circulated through your home. The greater the reduction in dust and debris in the ducts, the cleaner the air will be that you breathe.
Even people of good health can be affected by pet dander or fur, smoke and mold or bacteria that can be circulated through the home if the ducts need cleaning. Those who have had their ductwork professionally cleaned have reported fewer allergy symptoms and immediately improved air quality in their homes.
When your entire HVAC system, including duct work, is thoroughly cleaned, it operates far more efficiently. Since these systems depend on air flow to operate, removing anything that impedes the flow reduces stress on the system, in turn allowing it to run at peak performance. Many people also find they can adjust their thermostats since the increased air flow also heats or cools the home faster. Increased air flow and efficient operation means more money in your pocket with the reduced energy consumption.
An added benefit to your heating and air conditioning system operating more efficiently is that the equipment will last longer. When the system is clean and not working extra hard to perform, the maximum lifespan will be reached which can lead to significant savings.
If you find you have to dust your furniture frequently, or your indoor air quality is not up to par, duct cleaning can have a positive effect. Cleaning your system will also ensure better efficiency and a longer lifespan for your equipment. At the very least, you will have peace of mind knowing that the air you and your family is breathing is the best possible quality.