The heating ducts play a vital role in your climate control system allowing warm air to move freely throughout your home and provide comfort to the inhabitants when the weather outside is cold. However, it is necessary to keep them in excellent condition if you want your heating system to work efficiently. Duct problems can make it more expensive to run your furnace in the winter than it should be, and can even lead to problems that cause your heating system to deliver poor performance. To make sure you can always count on your furnace to keep you toasty when it’s freezing outside, it’s worth learning some helpful information about heating duct cleaning for homeowners.
We’ve learned a lot about heating duct cleaning through firsthand experience. Now, we’re sharing some of our knowledge with you so that you can take better care of your system and utilize the ducts consistently. Below are five things we’ve found most people don’t know about heating duct cleaning. Study up and be ready the next time you have to turn up the heat in your house!
- Duct Cleaning is Good for Your Health
We all know that fresh air is good for us, but many of us don’t understand just how much fresher the air outside often is than the air circulating through our homes. Indoor air can be between two and five times more toxic than the air outside, according to reports from the EPA. Much of this toxicity is caused by mold, mildew, and other contaminants that can settle in the ducts and affect the quality of the air that flows through them.
The air filters in your system will probably help (as long as you’re changing or cleaning them once a month), but they won’t prevent unwanted material from building up in the ducts entirely. For that reason, professional duct cleaning should be considered a required part of responsible HVAC ownership. Clean ducts will help you breathe easier when you use your heater. They’ll also make your home more pleasant by noticeably improving the quality and odor of the air around you.
- The Higher Your Home is, the More Important Duct Cleaning Will Be
Here’s something that almost nobody outside of the HVAC industry knows: the elevation of your home will affect the frequency with which you need to clean your ducts. In mountainous regions or other elevated areas, high altitudes make the air less dense. As a result, your filters may catch fewer particles than in oxygen-rich areas that are closer to sea level. As such, the channels throughout the system will be more likely to clog, which means that it will be particularly important to have them cleaned at regular intervals.
- There are Diverse Levels of Duct Cleaning
Some people assume that ducts only require cleaning when there is a visible blockage, but this is not the case. Major blockages must indeed be removed as soon as they manifest so that they do not impede the system’s performance to the point where it causes mechanical failures or become health hazards to the home’s inhabitants. However, just because your ducts are free from substantial blockages doesn’t necessarily mean that they are clean. When you have your aircon ducts cleaned by a licensed professional, they will typically inspect your heating system beforehand to see how many contaminants there are and determine the level of cleaning required.
You may use a vacuum cleaner for light or a routine cleaning, or to remove apparent blockages from duct systems. In more advanced cases, professionals may use a variety of specialized agitation tools to lift contaminants off surfaces before removing them. Make sure that you call a professional with the experience necessary to clean your ducts to the level required.
- Duct Cleaning Should be Performed Every Few Years
As stated above, the exact frequency with which you should clean the ducts may vary from one home to another. In addition to the altitude at which your home sits, its size can also be a factor. Larger homes have more potential for air to settle in their ducts, simply because they are more extensive. As such, they must be cleaned with higher frequency than smaller ones.
The standard recommendation for homeowners is to have their aircon ducts cleaned by professionals once every three to five years. If you own a large home in the highest reaches of Sonoma County, you may not want to wait more than three years between duct cleanings. Those of you with smaller homes in the middle of the valley can probably let four or five years go by between cleanings, provided they are conducted by professionals who do a thorough job each time. Consider regular service contracts with an experienced HVAC business so that you can develop a lasting relationship with your contractor and expect consistency in their work.
- If the Price Seems too Good to be True, it Probably Is
You may find a range of different prices for duct cleaning because it is a task that many unlicensed contractors offer for low fees. However, the expression “you get what you pay for” rings more accurate in the HVAC industry than in almost any other. Paying $50 for cleaning might sound wonderful at first, but it probably won’t be a thorough job. What’s the use of spending any money on a poor-quality job? Proper duct cleanings typically cost between $400 and $1000. It’s a small price to pay for clean air and remember; you don’t have to do it every year.
The more you learn about heating duct cleaning, the more prepared you’ll be to keep the ducts in fantastic shape. Refer to this guide whenever you are unsure about how to handle them.