“Should I get the air ducts in my home cleaned?” We all breathe air and if it is in our power to improve the quality, most would do so. As the ‘Air Duct Cleaning’ business grows, we must become informed about this procedure before jumping in thinking we are doing ourselves an important service that will improve the air quality in our home. At this time it does not appear that the research supports this endeavor for everyone.
The conditions in each of our homes are unique and it is impossible to make a sweeping statement saying air duct cleaning is necessary or beneficial for everyone. As a matter of fact, the EPA recommends that air ducts only be cleaned on an as needed basis. The EPA states that it cannot be said with confidence that there are overall benefits to duct cleaning for every home. Keep in mind that it has never been proven that duct cleaning prevents health problems; nor is there evidence to support the idea that cleaning the duct system will improve the efficiency of your heating or cooling system.
How do you know if you should get your air ducts cleaned? Consider the health of those living in your home. If everyone is healthy with no allergy problems or unexplained illnesses and after a visual inspection of your ducts you determine there is not a problem with excessive build up of dust or mold, your system probably does not require cleaning. On the other hand, if people in your home are experiencing unexplained illnesses or allergies, first consult your physician about the situation. If it seems problems might be from air quality in your home the EPA has literature to guide you in determining possible causes and solutions to rectify the problem.
You SHOULD consider getting your air ducts cleaned if you have one of the following conditions in your home:
Significant amounts of visible mold growing in the ducts or on other parts of the heating or cooling system.
Be aware that substances can look like mold but might not be. A laboratory analysis can determine whether a specific matter is mold or not. If it is determined that mold is present, it is essential that the cause of the mold be determined and rectified or the growth will return.
Ducts have an infestation of rodents or insects.
Ducts are filled with large amounts of debris or dust that will actually be blown into your home by the system.
Once you have decided this is a service your want done in your home, it is important to know what the job entails. Air Duct cleaning usually refers to the cleaning of the components of the forced air systems. It is extremely important to make sure that the service provider is a qualified professional and that ALL the components of the system will be properly cleaned (you can check with the National Air Duct Cleaners Association about recommended companies and standards). If the service technician does not follow proper procedures for cleaning the system this can lead to indoor air problems that were not present before the job.