If you want to maintain great indoor air quality in your home, keeping your ductwork clean is one of the most important (and effective!) things you can do. Unfortunately, it’s not always obvious when your ducts are due for a thorough cleaning.

If, like many homeowners, you don’t often consider the state of your ductwork, there’s a good chance your air ducts are in desperate need of attention. But you may not recognize the need for cleaning until you develop allergy-like symptoms indoors or your HVAC efficiency drops with no apparent explanation.

If you can’t see what’s inside your ducts, how can you tell when they need attention? Read on to learn six sneaky signs that indicate your house is due for professional duct cleaning.

1. You’re Constantly Dusting

Do you feel like you dust all the time, but no matter what you do, the dust returns with a vengeance? A constantly dusty home is a telltale sign of dirty ductwork, so if you’re dealing with this issue, you should have your HVAC system inspected at the very least.

Your HVAC system continually re-circulates the air inside your home, so if your ducts are packed with dust and debris, they’ll push out tiny particles each time your system turns on. That particulate matter flows into your home through your vents and ultimately settles on multiple surfaces throughout your home.

2. You Experience Unexplained Allergy-Like Symptoms

If you’re sneezing, coughing, or dealing with red, itchy eyes inside your house (and you don’t have seasonal allergies or a cold), chances are your air ducts are to blame.

Without regular cleaning, ducts can harbor a wide variety of particles that trigger mysterious, allergy-like symptoms, including:

●        Dust mites, their carcasses, and their fecal matter

●        Pollen and other outdoor allergens

●        Hair and dander, from both humans and pets

●        Mold and mildew

●        Volatile organic compounds and other potentially harmful chemicals

A thorough duct cleaning will remove any allergy-inducing particles inside your ductwork and restore a clean, efficient HVAC system. If your symptoms are severe, furnace cleaning is also recommended. 

3. You Must Change Your Air Filters Way Too Frequently

Most HVAC systems require that you change your air filters at least every 90 days. But if you have pets or smoke indoors, you’ll probably need to change them at more frequent intervals. If you’ve noticed your filters get dirty really quickly and look like they need changing after just a couple of weeks, that’s a surefire sign you need duct cleaning.

Your HVAC filter is designed to trap potentially harmful particles before they can travel into your home through the vents, so it’s critical that you maintain those filters in top condition. If your system is frequently operating with overly dirty filters, your indoor air quality can suffer greatly.

What’s more, the longer you run your A/C or heat with a filthy filter, the less efficient your HVAC system will become over time.

4. You’ve Noticed Mold in Your House

If you’ve noticed mold growth anywhere in your home, there’s a good chance mold is growing inside your ductwork, too. And when mold is present inside your ducts, your HVAC system can push those spores into the air you breathe, which can negatively impact you and your loved ones’ health.

To protect your home and family from the dangers of mold proliferation, consider scheduling professional duct cleaning or at least an HVAC inspection at your earliest convenience.

5. Your House Smells Weird

If you’ve noticed an unpleasant, musty odor lingering in your home and can’t seem to find its source, dirty ductwork may be to blame. And although you can certainly try to mask the odor with air fresheners, if your air ducts are causing it, the stench won’t go away until the ducts are clean.

What might be causing the offputting smell? That’s tough to say, especially if you haven’t had professional duct cleaning in several years (or ever). Most musty, wet odors that emanate from HVAC vents stem from bacteria, fungi, and mold in the duct system, but that’s not always true. Pests can also find their way into your ducts — especially if they’re old and damaged — and if that happens, they can create quite the stench.  

The only way to find out what’s causing the weird odor in your house is to investigate every possible source. And scheduling a duct cleaning appointment with a reliable pro is an excellent place to start.

6. You’ve Noticed Inconsistent Air Flow

If some of the rooms in your home feel like they’re a different temperature than others, put your hand near the vent(s) in those rooms. What do you feel?

If the airflow is weak, that’s a good indication that debris buildup within the ductwork is interfering with normal airflow through the HVAC system. And if that’s the case, the only way to restore airflow is to find that debris and remove it.

But weak airflow isn’t always due to debris buildup. In some cases, especially in older homes, leaks in the duct system allow air to escape before it reaches the vent it’s flowing toward. And if that’s the issue you’re dealing with, you may also have noticed an increase in your monthly heating and cooling bills or higher-than-normal humidity levels in your home. 

Check out how to tell if you need duct cleaning, repair, or replacement for more helpful info on addressing dirty and/or damaged ductwork.

Need Duct Cleaning in the Twin Cities? Contact Dust Doctors

Has your home had professional duct cleaning in the last two years? If not, it’s likely time to schedule an appointment with our team at Dust Doctors. We specialize in comprehensive duct cleaning and HVAC maintenance and our number goal is to help Twin Cities families breathe clean air inside their homes.

To learn more or get a free quote, call our Little Canada, MN office today at 651-319-9777 or send us a message, and we’ll get in touch!

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