In a typical six-room home, up to 40 pounds of dust are created annually. When not properly maintained, the air ducts in your home can harbor all kinds of allergens, including cobwebs, dust, mold, fungus, and chemical pollutants.
Air ducts are the lungs of your home. Their purpose is to circulate fresh, clean air for you to breathe. There are all kinds of circumstances and contributors adding to or creating dirty air ducts. These can include: Animals in your home that shed hair, fur and dander; Construction in your neighbourhood; Dirt and dust travel - if your windows are open you are inviting them inside; Indoor renovations. Excess moisture in the air can lead to mold build up in some duct systems.
Dirty air ducts can also affect your energy bills. They cause your furnace and air conditioners to work overtime. This can result in increased maintenance and reduced performance for both of these systems. The strain dirty ducts put on these systems can also contribute to overly high hydro and gas bills.
We encourage cleaning your air ducts upon moving into a home, or if you have just completed a major renovation or remodeling project. Homes with family members who have allergies or asthma may be particularly sensitive to air quality issues, and duct cleaning on a more regular basis may be appropriate. Homes with smokers or pets that shed hair and dander may need more frequent ductwork as well.
This simple maintenance will help ensure the longevity of these systems and the health and cleanliness of your home. If you are not sure of what to look for in a service provider, consider the following:
- Is the company able to show proof of NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association) membership and certification?
- Is the contractor willing to conduct a thorough inspection of the heating and cooling system prior to performing any work?
- Does the contractor agree to disclose any problems discovered during the inspection - NADCA’s Assessment, Cleaning and Restoration Standard requires this?
- Is the heating or cooling system fully operational before cleaning?
- Will/did the contractor clean the supply ductwork?
- Will/did the contractor clean the return air ductwork?
The above article is reprinted with the permission of Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., Consulting Engineers – Expert Home Inspections.