Know Why Your Ducts Need Cleaning

Air ducts run throughout a home to carry warm or cool air from your heating and air conditioning systems to the rooms of your home. Ducts are largely hidden from view. Out of sight usually means out of mind. Unfortunately, out of sight does not always mean that ducts do not need attention. Even the cleanest, most modern home can have issues hidden in the ducts.

How can you know if your ducts need cleaning? 

The best way to know if it is time for a cleaning is to get an air duct inspection by a highly trained, experienced professional service technician. Inspection of ducts by an experienced professional should include a comprehensive evaluation of the current condition of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) ducts. Inspection will determine if there is any damage, mold, vermin, or build-up of dust and debris that suggests that it is time to get ducts cleaned. 

Don’t forget about your dryer vent. While you have an inspector in your home to check on your HVAC ducts, get the dryer duct inspected too. Lint carried by hot air into the duct gets trapped and can reduce air flow. Blockage prevents the heated air from escaping, forcing the dryer to work harder which could damage the machine. Small tears in the duct, broken seals, or loose joints can deposit lint in walls and crawl spaces causing a fire hazard. Dryer vent cleaning uses the same process as air duct cleaning, and can prevent damage to your clothes dryer and home.

7 Benefits of Cleaning Your Ducts

1. Save Money

Do your utility bills seem higher than they used to be? Does it take longer for the heat cycle to warm a room? Annual maintenance of your HVAC system extends the life of the appliance and keeps an expensive piece of equipment your family relies on working safely and efficiently. As a homeowner, you enjoy the extended life and lower monthly cost of running your HVAC system because you maintain it regularly. Cleaning your HVAC ducts every two to five years could help your system run more efficiently, and improve your monthly savings on utility bills.

Preventative maintenance saves you money over time. Professional duct cleaning technicians inspect the system, and repair most damage as part of the service they provide. Typical damage may include build up of debris or dust, loose seals, joint tape issues, and damage to the ductwork. Finding and fixing leaks in the system will save you money on utility bills, and may increase the life of your HVAC system.

Professional technicians will also make you aware of any additional concerns that they find in the course of their work. Older homes, for example, may have asbestos around ductwork. If your home has asbestos, you will need a certified abatement technician to work with you. The cost of maintenance service may go up today, but will save you money in the long-term.

2. Safe Mold Removal

If you notice strange odors when your HVAC system is on, it is a good time to get your duct system checked. Musty odors may be caused by mold growing in the ducts,and could be a sign of a bigger problem. Mold exists in most wet environments like we have here in Clark County, Washington and the Greater Portland, Oregon area. The number one reason the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends air duct cleaning is if “there is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system.” Professional technicians will take a sample for testing if mold is suspected. Mold will continue to be a problem if it is not cleaned properly and the conditions allowing it to grow are not corrected. Professional cleaning will extract mold from the duct walls, trap it in the service equipment filters, and safely remove it from your home. 

3. Rodent Cleanup

Rodents use ducts like a highway system through your home if they can squeeze into the space. Squirrels and even racoons have been found in ducts that were damaged, but a mouse can squeeze through a small vent opening. Once rodents are in the ducts, they tend to make a home there. Rodents carry diseases that could be picked up by the air flowing through the ducts and spread through your home. Cleaning your ducts will remove any debris left by rodents, and a service technician can repair and close any spaces large enough to have caused the issue. 

Did you know that professional service technicians will clean your vent covers as part of your duct cleaning service? If rodents were attracted to your ducts because of kitchen grease or food smells on the vent cover, that tempting smell will go away.

4. Insect Eviction

Rodents are not the only vermin that are attracted to ductwork. Insects like yellow-jackets, spiders, and cockroaches also like to get into those dark hidden spaces. Cockroaches are not as much of a problem in our area as in other regions, but it is comforting to know that a good duct cleaning can remove these pests. Bees, wasps, ants and other nesting insects have also been known to make their homes in ducts and use the system to travel through a home. If your service technician finds insects in the ducts, they may recommend getting a pest control specialist to come to your home. Professional duct cleaning will remove any blockage created by insects and get your ducts back in full service quickly.

5. Removal of Excessive Dirt and Debris

Duct cleaning will remove excessive dirt from ducts allowing more air to move freely and without picking up particles. Pollen, mud, and other particles come into a home on shoes, jackets, and clothing every day. The air filter in the HVAC system catches many of the allergens, dust particles, and other contaminants that naturally occur in our homes. Over time, however, small amounts of these particles and contaminants will build up in ducts and stick to the surface. This dust-building effect increases with pet hair and dander, sticky residue like smoke from cigarettes and fireplaces, or water damage in a home. 

Home renovation where the HVAC vents were not closed properly is known to cause the most debris to settle in ducts. The good news is that one professional duct cleaning will remove years of build up and debris from renovation projects.

6. Healthy Environment

Creating a healthy home environment is the most popular benefit of duct cleaning. Homeowners often choose to clean ducts to improve chances of maintaining healthy air in the home. Cleaning your ducts is only one part of creating a healthy home environment, but one that should not be forgotten. Getting your ducts cleaned may improve the air quality and bring relief to those affected by airborne allergens or suffering from asthma. Mold, smoke, disease, dust mites, and allergens that get into ducts can be picked up by the air travelling through the system. Contaminants in the air can be inhaled, or can settle into carpet and upholstery where the particles remain in the environment until cleaned or kicked back into the air. If air quality is a concern for your family, changing your HVAC air filter twice a year, cleaning air ducts every other year, and cleaning carpets twice a year may help keep the air in your home environment cleaner.

7. Peace of Mind

Knowing your ducts are clean and working properly is a great benefit. For new homeowners, getting ducts cleaned brings confidence that the ducts are clear of anything that may have gotten into the ducts before you were in your new home. New construction homes are no exception. It is common for new homes to have excessive dust and debris that was pulled into the system during construction. In older homes, cleaning the ducts should be part of your move-in routine. Cleaning the ducts will remove any allergens, mold, dust, smoke, or other contaminants left by the previous owners. Professional technicians will also be able to give you an evaluation of the current state of your ductwork, and advise you if there are any issues needing repair.

Choose the Best Duct Cleaning Service Provider Near You

With all of the duct cleaning service providers out there, it could be difficult to know who to trust to come to your home. Quam’s Carpet Cleaning is a family-owned and operated business, and we have been serving our neighbors in Vancouver and Portland for over 27 years. Our experienced professional technicians provide duct cleaning services with Rotobrush, a light-weight machine that can easily handle the largest home and the tightest spaces. With our video-assisted Rotobrush cleaning technology, you can see for yourself the condition of your ducts before and after our service! Our cleaning techniques are thorough, and do not use harsh chemicals. You trust us with your carpet and upholstery cleaning needs, and you can rest assured that our duct inspection and cleaning services are just as professional and reliable. Contact us online or give us a call at (360) 513-6627 to set up an appointment today. We look forward to hearing from you!