A clogged HVAC filter and air vents are the leading cause of furnace problems. Dust and debris in the vents, ducts, and filters inhibit airflow throughout the home. When that happens, the furnace has to work harder to deliver the same results it would normally deliver if the vents were clean.

At Dust Doctors, we can clean the vents and air ducts in your home to keep your furnace from wearing out prematurely. Keeping your vents and air ducts clean will also help maintain peak furnace efficiency and, ultimately, help keep your energy bills more manageable.

Here’s what can happen when your home has dirty ductwork or air vents and you don’t have them professionally cleaned.

What Happens When a Return Vent Becomes Dirty?

Although the air filter in the furnace traps much of the dirt circulating throughout a house, it doesn’t catch all the dust. Whatever makes it through the vent ends up polluting the air ducts and collects on the return vent.

The return vent then contaminates the air and pushes it right back out into the house. The air moves around until it ends up coming back through the filter and into the furnace once again. This cycle happens throughout the day, every day, all year long.

In addition to causing your energy bill to skyrocket, the reduced airflow can cause the heat exchanger in the furnace to overheat. Once the exchanger overheats, it may shut down prematurely and create a colder environment during the Minnesota winters.

Eventually, you’ll need to call a Dust Doctors technician to perform an HVAC cleaning (you should have this done annually as a pre-emptive measure).

How a Dirty Return Vent Affects Your Furnace and Air Conditioner

Aside from polluting your home with nasty particulates that’ll inevitably diminish your indoor air quality, there are other ways a dirty return vent can affect a furnace’s efficiency.

The Fan Has to Work Too Hard

As the fan recirculates the polluted air through the house time and again, the HVAC fan has to work twice as hard to draw air through the home. It can use up to 15% more energy to accomplish this task.

Frozen Evaporator Coils

You may have opened up the HVAC unit cover and discovered a thick layer of ice across the coil. Ice formation is the direct result of dirty vents, ducts, and filters – all of which contribute to the problem.

When air can’t pass through the coil fast enough, it can’t dry the condensation that forms. The condensation turns to ice during the cooling process.

Poor Airflow and Indoor Temperature Maintenance

When dirt and dust clog the system, it cannot efficiently heat or cool your home. You may turn the heat up or the AC down, but it won’t do any good.

When the vents are spewing dust and dirt into the air, it will collect somewhere in the HVAC unit; thus, drastically reducing airflow.

System Failure

When all the components in the HVAC unit have to work twice as hard to heat or cool a home, something will break down faster than it should. The result could be hundreds of dollars in repair or thousands of dollars in system replacement.

How to Tell When You’re Due for Vent and Duct Cleaning

So how do you determine if your air ducts and vents need to be professionally cleaned?

Chances are you’ll notice a few signs that indicate your HVAC system isn’t performing as it should.

Dirty Vents

Look at all the vents in your house. If they appear to be filled with dust, dirt, or cobwebs, it’s a clear indication that the entire system is dirty. Contact us today, and we’ll perform a thorough duct and vent cleaning.

Higher Electric Bills

If you notice that your utility bills are higher than average, it should warn you that your furnace or air conditioner is working too hard. An HVAC cleaning from Dust Doctors can help restore peak efficiency (for the age of your system, that is) and can help lower your heating and cooling bills, too. 

If your energy bills have gotten out of control, check out these other tips for improving your furnace efficiency, too.

The Air Feels Dirty

When you walk into your home, does it suddenly seem dusty in the room? Do you find that you can’t breathe as easily as you can elsewhere? Are your allergies worse than usual? Dirty vents may be the culprit.

Check out these easy indoor air quality hacks if you want to clean up the air inside your home.

You’re Dusting Constantly

If your ductwork and vents are packed with dust and other particulates, chances are you’ll notice frequent dust buildup on the surfaces around your home.

If you feel like you need to dust every few days just to keep things clean, that’s a solid sign your vents and air ducts are due for cleaning.

The Furnace Is Freezing Up

In extreme cases, dirty ductwork and dirty air vents can block up a system so badly that the coil in the furnace freezes up while you’re turning on the heat in the wintertime.

Dust Doctors is Ready to Clean Your HVAC Vents

If your ductwork and air vents are filthy, get in touch with our team at Dust Doctors to schedule a cleaning! We specialize in deep duct cleaning, maintenance duct cleaning, vent cleaning, and HVAC maintenance services and have proudly served Twin Cities homeowners for more than a decade.

To get a free service quote or schedule an appointment, call us today at 651-319-9777 or send us a message with any questions or concerns, and we’ll get in touch with more information!

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