As a rule, we all tend to adhere to the “out of sight, out of mind” mantra when it comes to home maintenance. Unfortunately, these out of sight places are the ones that can need the most attention.
Air duct cleaning is a very important part of HVAC system maintenance and is integral to indoor air quality. The debris that collects in air ducts gets circulated into your house and can cause health problems for your family.
So, when should you look into getting your air ducts cleaned? According to various sources, it is wise to have your ducts cleaned every three to five years to minimize contaminants circulating in your home. Of course, there are instances where you should look into duct cleaning, regardless of when they were last done. If you have recently had a problem with mice, rats or other pests that could have gotten into your vents, it may be wise to look into a duct cleaning. All of these animals carry bacteria in their feces that could be dangerous to your health. Another warning that you may need your ducts cleaned is visible mold on or around your duct work. This can be harder to find, but one thing to keep an eye (or nose, in this case) out for is a musty smell that does not dissipate. That musty smell can signal that something is growing just out of sight. Finally, if your ducts are clogged up more than normal with dust, dirt and debris, it is time to have your ducts cleaned. Every time your furnace (or air conditioner) starts pushing air through your home, this debris is entering the air and lowering your overall indoor air quality.
Now, when it comes time, who do you trust? Always make sure you are going with an accredited company that has certified technicians. According to this Toronto Star article, “In an average-size home, the service should take two to three hours and cost $275 to $350” With this benchmark, you can call some local companies and find out what services are offered. You can also search the National Air Duct Cleaners Association’s website for local cleaners. The site also provides a list of certified employees so you can rest easy knowing that you have highly trained personnel working on your home.