To want to live a healthier, happier, and safer life is not much to ask, but unfortunately, there are places and people in the world who don’t have this basic privilege. This is something too many of us take for granted, not only do we have the luxury of clean, breathable air, but we also have the means to maintain and adjust it to fit our lifestyles.
The modern world is advancing quicker than we can essentially keep up with, there is always a new tech gadget out on the market, a more efficient technique or method to complete tasks, and with this, the equipment or tools our homes are equipped with are being upgraded to the latest and greatest.
But with all that installed, checked in, and dialed up in the house, believe it or not, there are still areas we miss when it comes to breathing clean air. What are we talking about, an integral part of the home we don’t even take note of a week after the system is installed, and we are talking about our air ducts.
What, where, and why.
The invention of the air duct and eventually the full air conditioning and filtration system came about in the mid-1700s with the Egyptians being the first documented nation to have some form of cooling mechanism. While it was as basic as it comes, a simple wet reed hung in front of a window cooling the air that was blowing into the room, it worked.
Around the 1900s a method of blowing air over cold coils was created which regulated the temperature in a paper factory and prevented it from wrinkling, this then advanced to a water-based misting-spray system which cooled the air as it evaporated, and moving to today’s times we now know and enjoy the cooling box known as the air conditioner or AC.
We have long enjoyed the fresh, cool air flowing freely through our homes and even more so as the humidity tends to hit scorching temperatures making it almost unbearable to step outside. But have we taken the time to clean out, wash, and have a professional assessment done on the behind-the-scenes equipment that makes it all run smoothly? I can tell you now that 90% of the answers have been no since chatting to homeowners and discussing their HVAC home systems.
So what should we look for, thankfully, there are indicators that will help you discover whether it is time to call in the industry experts. Let’s take a look at the top 5 most common symptoms.
- If you haven’t changed your filters since installation then this could be the cause for the reduction of airflow through the home. Take them out, wash and rinse them, and if they are broken or damaged order a new set straight away.
- Noise. You hear unusual sounds coming from your ducts and pipework it could mean that the temperature is not being regulated correctly and is causing the metal to expand. This could essentially lead to small openings in the pipework and thus the flow of air is not as efficient.
- Allergies. You or a family member, perhaps even an employee, begin to have difficulty breathing. They mention their allergies have flared up, that they get tired quicker having to stop to take in a large quantity of air to continue, if this is the case have your ducts looked at as soon as possible. Staff should have clean air as a basic.
The question that seems to have a debatable answer is whether or not to have the ducts cleaned in the first place? You can read more about it here https://www.quora.com/Should-you-clean-home-air-ducts but from a personal opinion and perspective, you clean everything else in the house, what’s to say the ducts need to go untouched, am I right?
- Mold. That horrible bruise-looking color that creeps from the corners of the wall and makes its way across the ceiling, mold is dangerous and needs to be treated immediately.
- Vent covers. Dusty covers are sure signs that what’s behind them is much worse, if the dirt and dust are filtering through the vents, then not only are you breathing it in, but it is circulating the home and settling elsewhere.
Is duct cleaning worth it?
Some people believe that if you have had a new system installed or it’s a new build then you never need to have your duct system checked, repaired, or even cleaned, assuming that with a properly fitted filtration system the air should remain clean. What confuses me when they say this is understanding how they can believe that their equipment will never deteriorate?
A home is looked after through maintenance, some tasks are performed more frequently than others but completed nonetheless. And duct cleaning falls into the should-be-done category. What you need to figure out is which company is suited for your needs, budget, and is within close enough proximity should you ever need them in an emergency.
You want a company that prides itself in a job well done, opting for quality rather than quantity, and ensures customer satisfaction. Companies such as Ductwise duct cleaning who have the industry expertise and experience to advise and guide you in the right direction are an example of what to consider when researching a duct cleaning company.
Check their credit rating, do they come recommended, are they up to date with the relevant courses and certifications to carry out the job? These may seem like small, menial questions but if you have ever had a job done by a company that initially had a too-good-to-be-true quote and ended up costing you a second call out from a different cleaning company then you will know all too well what a headache you could have prevented.
If you have found one that seems to tick all the boxes, it doesn’t end there. Check if they arrive on time, are dressed in the correct attire and look professional, and are courteous whilst in your home. Ideally, you want a firm that is communicative through the various stages of the job being completed, this way everyone is on the same page and there are no surprises when it comes time to the invoice.
Importance and regularity.
You understand the need to have your ducts cleaned, but how often is enough? Should you try to do some of the job yourself, should it all be left to the professionals (advised), or is there another method that has been trialed and tested successfully?
According to the National Duct Cleaners Association around the globe, it has been advised to have your vents professionally cleaned every 3 years, some can even go for as long as 5 years if you are in a reasonably new building or have had a new system installed. It may not be as serious an offense as to when you specifically do the clean, but more importantly that it gets done.
Like with all equipment if you are keeping on top of its maintenance and ensuring on checking parts for deterioration or erosion it will treat you well. We could all use a bit of help when it comes to saving money which you will do by looking after what you have as opposed to letting it run into the ground and then having to replace the full unit or system.
The environment and air you’ll be providing for your family will be significantly cleaner, less risk of allergy flare-ups, and not having a thick layer of dust settling the minute you’ve cleaned the house is an advantage in itself. Cleaner ducts and vents are more hygienic too.
Sure you may have the latest air purifiers dotted around the home or humidifiers, but an efficient system is unbeatable. Flu season with all its chronic illnesses like bronchial infections or sinus blockages are easily preventable, odors or smells are easily trapped on dust particles, with these eliminated your home will not only be looking fresher but smelling better too.
You can also click here to find out more ways to make the home smell fresher for longer, there is nothing better than walking into someone’s home, or even better your own, and smelling fresh citrus or lavender wafting through the air. Diffusers are a great way to add smell and aesthetically pleasing décor and with the wide range available on the market these days there is something for everyone.
A penny for your thoughts.
When it comes to taking care of your ducts and having them cleaned you could save on the energy bills too, the HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard due to clogged vents and filters or improper maintenance, your home will be more energy-efficient.
Airborne particles should become a thing of the past, and in today’s modern times where more people are opting to work from home or children are having online schooling it only makes sense to have a safe and dust-free environment, is it not?