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8 Signs Your Air Ducts Should Be Cleaned

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We all have those routine chores and maintenance checklists that keep our homes clean and running smoothly so we can enjoy a certain level of comfort and coziness. Of course, it’s easy to see when a table needs dusting or the floor needs vacuuming, but what about your heating and cooling air duct system?


While it may not be something you’ve thought about before, clean air ducts have a huge impact on the air quality in your home. Having the filters changed regularly is important, but dust and allergens can settle inside the ducts too. Each time you turn on the heat or air conditioning, those particles are circulating in the air you breathe. These pollutants can aggravate allergies and respiratory issues, as well as cause unpleasant odors.


Dirty air ducts even cause the system to work harder, which can increase utility bills and cause the system to wear out faster. So, here are 8 signs that it’s time to have your air ducts cleaned.


#1 Your home is constantly dusty

Every home is going to have some dust and dirt, regardless of how often it is cleaned. However, if furnishings get dusty almost immediately after cleaning, most likely you should consider hiring a professional duct cleaning business. Besides those dusty surfaces being annoying, those particles are circulating in your home and depleting air quality. Essentially, you and your family are breathing a plethora of pollutants including dust mites, pet dander, and even contaminants from cleaning substances and pest droppings.


Perhaps you’ve noticed dust floating whenever your HVAC system is running, or maybe the vents in your home are coated in dust. This is a sure sign the air ducts are due for a cleaning. In addition to regularly changing air filters, consider investing in an air purifier as well. Running an air purifier will offer another layer of filtering those dust, smoke, and bacteria particles and prevent them from entering the ductwork.


#2 Lack of airflow in your home

In addition to the HVAC system heating and cooling your home, it also keeps the air circulating. When air ducts and vents are dirty, the amount and quality of airflow is reduced. While cleaning the grills is a start, rely on a professional for the HVAC duct cleaning


#3 Visible mold and mildew

While dust can aggravate allergies and respiratory conditions, mold and mildew can pose worse health problems. Mold grows easily in warm, damp areas and clogged air ducts can exacerbate the issue. If there are any signs of mold or mildew on or around vent covers or HVAC units, you should consult an expert immediately.


#4 More prevalent allergies or respiratory issues

As mentioned earlier, dirt and harmful microbes that are living in the air ducts become airborne each time the heating/cooling system runs. This can spark an array of allergy and respiratory problems for family members.

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#5 Musty or unpleasant odors

If your house continually has unpleasant odors that you can’t track down, dirty air ducts are likely the culprit. Pay close attention when your HVAC system turns on and notice if the smells become stronger. As the air flows through the ducts the buildup of dust and grime heats up and the offensive smells are carried throughout your house.


#6 You have pest problems

Air duct cleaning is recommended if rodents or insects have been spotted in your home. Rodents like to build nests in air ducts. Even if this isn't the case, but pests have been spotted in other areas, air duct cleaning is recommended. Pests and insects alike carry disease. Since the HVAC system circulates air throughout the house, it’s likely you’re breathing in disease-causing bacteria from vermin dander or insect droppings.


#7 Your home is new or has undergone major updates or repairs

Regardless of how diligently workers clean up their messes, most construction and home repairs involve a lot of dust and debris. During this process, unless the HVAC system was shut down completely and vents covered, most likely the ductwork needs cleaning. Keeping the airways of your system clean means that you breathe quality air and the system runs efficiently.


#8 Rising heating or cooling bill

An HVAC system will effectively cool and heat your home, providing noticeable results soon after adjusting the thermostat. However, if you’ve noticed it takes longer to reach the desired temperature or if your monthly bill has increased, it may mean the air ducts need cleaning. Clogged ductwork and vents cause the system to work harder and less efficiently which disrupts your comfort level and your wallet.


Rely on Professionals for Your Air Duct Cleaning

The air ducts are just one component of an HVAC’s complex system. Professional air duct cleaners use specialized vacuums, brushes, and cleaning agents in order to remove dirt and grime buildup and properly disinfect. These experts also understand the complexity of HVAC systems and are trained to recognize potential problems that most homeowners wouldn’t be aware of.


When researching duct cleaning businesses, avoid opting for the cheapest, as they likely offer subpar services as well. After all, you want your system to be well taken care of so it will last a long time. Shield Guard Inspections has served the Albany area for more than 10 years and we are dedicated to providing top-quality service and customer satisfaction. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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