There may be several things that could be in your duct work and you are not even aware of them. One is an accumulation of dust, debris, pollen, pet dander, allergens, and other contaminants. Another is mold and mold spores which can have harmful affects on your family members. Also, pests, like rodents or insects, may by inside the duct work. All these things can affect your family’s health or reduce the air flow to your HVAC system.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental health risks. This is because houses are much more air tight now to reduce air infiltration and increase energy savings. When the air is trapped inside, many pollutants are trapped inside with it. Over time, some of these contaminants will settle in your ducts. They will be re-circulated into the home and cause problems ranging from causing mild allergic reactions to aggravating respiratory conditions.
Sometimes you may be able to tell if there is a significant amount of this debris. You may actually see dust and debris coming out of the air registers. Also, inspect the registers and if there is an accumulation of dust and debris on them you probably have dust and debris inside as well.
If you have water leaking near duct work or you have high levels of humidity in your house, you might have a problem with mold. As mold grows, it produces mold spores and these can affect your respiratory system. Some people are allergic to it and it can cause itchy eyes and coughing. In some people it could cause an asthma attack or even damage the lungs.
If you or a service technician finds what appears to be mold, it is best to have it analyzed as other things can appear to be mold. If it is mold, then you will need to have the ducts cleaned thoroughly. You will also need to find out the cause of the mold and fix it, or the mold will just come back.
Pests and Building Materials
On occasion, rodents or insects will sometimes find their way into your duct work and you would not want them to take up permanent residence there. If you see evidence of this, your ducts need to be cleaned right away.
Another benefit of having your ducts cleaned is the removal of fibers, debris, and building materials. If you have a new home, or have had your home remodeled, it would be good to have the ducts cleaned to remove fibers from insulation, sawdust, pieces of drywall, and other kinds of construction materials. This way these will not get into the air and possible irritate your nose, throat, or lungs.