Living in Baltimore, you and your family may be suffering from the sniffles more than usual lately; dirty air ducts could be to blame. Ducts get dirty when pet dander, mold, and other nasty materials build up around the components of a forced air heating system. When these contaminants cause your allergies to run amok, it could be time for a good air duct cleaning in you Baltimore home.
How Does Air Duct Cleaning Work?
Along with regular maintenance and air filter replacement, many HVAC technicians recommend air duct cleaning to maintain the health and safety of a heating and cooling system. To clean air ducts, technicians use specialized tools to dislodge contaminants, following up with high-powered vacuum cleaners to suck up any remaining materials. If you decide to have your air ducts cleaned, make sure your technician cleans your entire HVAC system. You wouldn’t want to clean out nasty materials only to have them immediately pumped back in from a dirty furnace due to improper air duct cleaning in your Baltimore home.
What Are the Health Benefits?
There’s been very little research into air duct cleaning, so no scientific evidence backs up the claim that the process improves indoor air quality. That said, most experts agree that cleaning out your air ducts is a good idea whenever debris, mold, or rodents start to clutter up the system. Plenty of subjective evidence points to people with allergies breathing a bit easier after a thorough cleaning of their air duct system. In general, if your air duct system looks dirty, cleaning it out to better your health couldn’t hurt.
How is Your HVAC System Affected?
An HVAC system expends a lot of energy to pump air throughout your home. When your air ducts are clogged up with contaminants, it needs to work even harder. Knowing a serious blockage problem when you see one is important in these cases. While minor dirt and grime on air ducts won’t do much to your energy bills, it’s the buildup of these materials to the point that they’re actually blocking air flow that is more harmful.
How Often Do You Need Your Air Ducts Cleaned?
There’s a debate in HVAC circles right now over how often air ducts need to be cleaned. The EPA holds that air ducts should be cleaned only when the situation is truly dire— such as a rodent infestation or mold clinging to ducts and components. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association, or NADCA, begs to differ, stating that air ducts should be cleaned whenever they appear dirty. Ultimately, it’s up to the homeowner to decide when and how often to give their air ducts a good scrubbing.