Amid the germophobic society we live today, it’s hard not to see a television commercial depicting some harmful microscopic particle out to damage our health or the health of a loved one. And for the sake of protecting our family, we buy these various products, hoping that none of our children get sick. One such case that I have seen is regarding air filters for the home. Some filter companies claim that they use materials that are hypoallergenic and rid the air of 99% of all the bad things that it carries into the home. When a product claims that it eliminates that many microscopic particles from the air, I get a little skeptical. Another such instance is that of air duct cleaning. Inevitably, even the smallest towns have a few companies that offer this service. Some of their advertisements can incite fear among the well-meaning mothers who want to protect their families from illness. However, should you really get your air ducts cleaned? Maintaining a clean home is necessary, but are there that many dangers lurking in your air ducts?
Reasons to get your air ducts cleaned.
Reason Number 1: You see mold growing on the ducts or the heating/cooling unit. Mold should set off alarms to get them cleaned. Growing mold spores can make and keep a family sick. If you see something that makes you suspicious of mold, you can take a sample of it on a piece of tape to a microbiology laboratory for them to test. It only costs around $50 to get it done and it’s worth it for peace of mind within the home. However, if you see any mold growing on insulation in your attic, the insulation will need to be replaced. You can’t clean mold off of insulation.
Reason Number 2: You have a rodent or insect infestation in your attic. Whatever creatures are crawling around in your attic could also have entered into your air ducts. If you know there are visitors living upstairs, it would behoove you to conduct a thorough inspection of the ducts to make sure that none have been penetrated by your upstairs tenants. Rodent feces and urine carry bacteria and promote the spread of disease. Air passes over those droppings in your air ducts and make the diseases airborne, carrying them straight to you and your family. Of course, along with getting your air ducts cleaned, you would need to call an exterminator to remedy the vermin problem in the attic.
Reason Number 3: Your air ducts are completely clogged with dust particles or hair. Obviously, if air cannot travel through your air ducts, it cannot reach you. This also puts excess strain on your heating and cooling system. This means that you will most likely have to pay for a new heating/cooling system because of the extra pressure put on the system to perform. Additionally, not cleaning the air ducts would then mean that superfluous dust and dirt particles are reaching your family and accumulating in your carpet. In this instance, getting the air ducts cleaned would benefit your family both in the short and long-term.
Remembering to not get caught up in the overly germ-conscious world in which we live saves us from wasting our hard-earned money. Maintaining a balanced view, however, helps us keep a clean and healthy home that protects our family’s well being. This is pertinent to accomplish, especially if the 3 signs mentioned above are visible in your home.