The majority of our lives are spent indoors, so the quality of the air inside our homes and offices has great impact on our health. An entire industry has recently developed that is devoted to producing and marketing appliances that filter, ionize and clean air. Homeowners need to hold onto their wallets and consider their first line of defense against indoor air pollution; having clean air ducts. It is often not considered because duct cleaning is not part of regular maintenance schedule for heating and air equipment. If you’ve had your home for a while, you and your family stand to benefit from a reputable duct cleaning company’s services, and we’ll tell you why.
Contaminants Spread Through Your Home’s “Lungs”
The particulate matter found in air ducts contains a lot more than dirt and dust. It could also contain a mixture of dander from pets, dust mites, mold, spores from fungi, rodent droppings, insect parts, pollen and more. The filters that are used in home systems are often less than ten percent effective in removing these contaminants.
Health Risks Are No Joke
Dirty ventilation systems in offices have been correlated with a phenomenon known as “sick building syndrome,” which causes many workers to become ill and experience breathing issues. Poor ventilation and air quality problems have led to lawsuits for land lords and apartment management companies. It has also been attributed to over a billion dollars in medical costs annually, and tremendous amounts of sick time for employees. Many allergies are the result of mold or bacteria exposure because of dirty air re-circulation All of this stems from the want of a simple and comparatively inexpensive air duct cleaning.
The potential danger is increased for the elderly, babies and people with asthma. If you need any further convincing, there was a case in 1976 in which Legionnaire’s Disease sourced from air ducts killed 29 people, according to the American Lung Association.
It Will Save Your Equipment and Reduce Energy Costs
Ninety percent of equipment failures for heating and cooling systems are the result of ducts and filters that are clogged with dust and other particulate debris. A dirty system makes the system work harder, putting unnecessary wear on the mechanical and electrical components. The system also experiences decreased efficiency, causing longer run time and excess energy consumption. Consider this: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that just a thin dusting of 0.042 inches on the coils of your heating/cooling unit can cause a reduction of twenty-one percent.
An Ounce of Prevention
If you’re wondering if you should schedule an air duct cleaning, you can receive some services to help you make that determination. Many service providers offer a free consultation to test your air quality by checking airborne particulate counts and comparing these to acceptable levels. There is also equipment available to scope out your ducts and provide a video view. The company will inspect your heating and cooling system to access the amount of dirt.
A good air duct cleaner will also inspect your air ducts for damage and any other issues that might cause future problems. Damaged air ducts can allow moisture inside, which is the preferred environment for microbial and fungal growth. Warm ducts are also inviting to small rodents in the winter. Their droppings can carry diseases such as the hanta virus, an infection that causes flu-like symptoms, but has led to death by hemorrhaging in some extreme cases.