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Air Duct Cleaning For a Healthy Home

The quality of the air in your home plays a central role in you and your family's wellbeing. Just as inhaling toxins from the outside environment is hazardous, constantly breathing unclean, indoor air can take a toll on your health. In Minnesota, because we live in a temperature-controlled environment year-round, the potential for exposure to allergens, dust mites, mold, mildew, and other harmful particles is very high. To help mitigate your exposure and maintain the efficiency of your HVAC system, regular duct cleaning is a necessity.

Benefits of Air Duct Cleaning

Regular air duct cleaning helps ensure your home's air remains as pure as possible. That isn't to say microscopic particles won't continue traveling into your home from the outside—not even duct cleaning can prevent that. What regular duct cleaning can help prevent is harmful buildup within your HVAC system that transfers into the air you and your family breathe. What kind of buildup could be lurking in your ducts? And how does air duct cleaning benefit you?

Reduce Allergens and Toxins

Regular duct cleaning removes harmful particles that accumulate inside your ductwork over time. The average home accumulates approximately 40 pounds of dust throughout the year, and according to researchers, over 45 potentially toxic chemicals exist within that dust. Where does a large proportion of that dust end up? You guessed it—in your ductwork.

Your ducts harbor five classes of hazardous chemicals: flame retardants, phenols, phthalates, fragrances, and highly fluorinated chemicals—all of which are detrimental to your health. Beyond chemicals, mold, mildew, pollen, dander, dust mites, and other microscopic particles also line the walls of your ductwork. Regular cleaning effectively eliminates this toxic buildup, which helps mitigate allergy symptoms, illnesses, and even reactive skin conditions.

Improve HVAC System Efficiency

If your heating or cooling system doesn't seem to be functioning as well as it once did, a thorough duct cleaning can restore its efficiency. When heavy dust and grime accumulate within your ductwork and on registers and vents, that buildup can prevent air from flowing as it should. When your system cannot circulate air as it was designed to, it cannot efficiently maintain indoor air temperature. Having your ducts cleaned regularly allows you to enjoy a comfortable living environment at the exact temperature of your choosing.

Eliminate Unpleasant Odors

If you've noticed lingering indoor odors, your ductwork may be to blame. Whether you have pets, cook fragrant meals, or have an indoor smoker in your house, you can bet odors will accumulate over time. With efficient air circulation, odors will eventually dissipate; when your ducts are dirty, however, odors can linger for months on end.

Even if your living habits aren't conducive to odor buildup, mold and mildew accumulation within your ducts can emanate a musty, unpleasant smell. When you have your ducts cleaned, you can bid that buildup farewell and say hello to fresh, clean, neutral-smelling air. Get a whiff of that!

Longer-Lasting Equipment

A primary cause of HVAC failure is inadequate maintenance. You may not assume dust can wreak havoc on your system, but over time, it will. When dust, dirt, and other particles accumulate, they can clog the working parts of your system, hampering its efficiency. Reduced efficiency often leads to system overheating, and eventually, burnout. Regular duct cleanings can help extend the life of your HVAC system considerably.

Energy Cost Savings

Duct cleaning improves your heating and cooling system's efficiency. The more efficient your HVAC system, the lower your energy bills. Need we say more?

Signs Your Air Ducts Need Cleaning

If you can't see your air ducts, how can you possibly know when to have them cleaned? Through decades of experience, we've seen it all, and we know many homeowners have difficulty determining when their ducts are due for a cleaning. Watch for these signs your air ducts need cleaning:

  • Your ducts have not been cleaned in the last two years
  • Inconsistent airflow from room to room
  • Mold growth around vent covers or in filters
  • Dust buildup on registers or vent covers
  • Unexplained energy bill increases
  • Unexplained respiratory issues or allergy symptoms

How Often Should You Clean Your Air Ducts?

If you're like most people, you're not sure how often you should clean your air ducts. Not to worry, though, through decades of experience, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association has determined a timeline. For the average home, the NADCA recommends professional duct cleaning at three- to five-year intervals; however, certain circumstances may necessitate more frequent cleaning.

Construction or remodeling work creates substantial airborne debris that can easily make its way into your ductwork, so if you've recently completed a remodeling project, you should have your air ducts cleaned. Pets also contribute their fair share of hair, dander, and even outdoor pollen to the buildup within your ductwork. If your pets shed or you have multiple species of animals, you may need to have more frequent cleanings. If you or any of your family members suffer from severe allergies, consider having your ductwork cleaned every two years to mitigate symptoms.

Can Dirty Air Ducts Make You Sick?

In a word, absolutely.

We hear this question often, primarily from people dealing with chronic headaches, allergic reactions, persistent colds, and even skin reactions. Because dust contains dozens of hazardous chemicals and thousands of microbes and microscopic dust mites, it can certainly contribute to ill health. And dust isn't the only thing lurking in your ducts. Mold and mildew exposure can also make you sick. Simply touching dust or mold can elicit skin reactions—imagine what breathing them in can do.

Ever heard of Sick Building Syndrome? It's a real condition, and its symptoms include headaches, irritating skin rashes, chest tightness, runny nose, difficulty breathing, nausea, body aches, fever, and fatigue, among others. If left untreated, SBS can result in long-term lung conditions like asthma. Keep in mind, symptoms typically resolve when sufferers either remove themselves from suspect environments, or when the building in question undergoes thorough, intense cleaning.

If you're ready to breathe the clean air you deserve, it's time to give Dust Doctors a call. We'll evaluate your ductwork, recommend the best course of action, and get to work delivering clean, fresh air to your home. We've been serving Twin Cities homeowners for decades, and you won't find our unique, time-tested tools or procedures anywhere else—when we clean your ducts, we guarantee your satisfaction. Give us a call at 651-319-9777 or get a free quote to get started today!

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