December 26 2023 0Comment
Cleaner Air, Healthier Life: Optimize Indoor Air Quality With Duct Maintenance

Cleaner Air, Healthier Life: Optimize Indoor Air Quality With Duct Maintenance

According to a recent study by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, air pollution is, on average, the greatest worldwide threat to human health: more than smoking, alcohol, or any other external health hazard. This is because poor air quality can contribute to everything from allergies to asthma to major, life-threatening conditions like cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Despite this serious health concern, many people neglect the basic maintenance they need to optimize indoor air quality in their homes. This is unfortunate because cleaner indoor air is directly tied to healthier lungs and a healthier life.

To substantially improve the quality of the air in your home—and therefore the health of the inhabitants—all you really need to do is keep up with your duct maintenance. Professional air duct cleaning and maintenance have numerous benefits, and all you need to do is search “air duct cleaning near me,” do a little research, and find the right contractor for the job.

This article from All Weather Heating & Cooling explains everything you need to know before you schedule your first air duct cleaning and maintenance appointment.

The Ducts in Your Home: What You Need To Know

While alternative HVAC systems, such as heat pumps, have gained a great deal of popularity in recent years, most homes are still heated and cooled the traditional way: using a forced-air system. In a forced-air HVAC system, a furnace (and an air conditioner) are connected to a system of ductwork that is hidden behind the walls and ceilings of the home. Each of these ducts terminates at a vent, which allows air to enter each room of the home.

The biggest benefit of a forced-air system is that the entire building can be heated and cooled by one central unit, which can be installed in an out-of-the-way place so as not to interfere with the activities of daily living or pose any unnecessary hazards to the home. As long as the ducts are clear and the air is circulating effectively, the forced-air method is an excellent way to heat a house or commercial building.

The constant flow of air, however, will carry particulate matter with it, which will eventually begin to accumulate in the ductwork. This particulate matter may be dust, dirt, pollen, or soot that has been carried to the home by the wind. While the ducts do have a built-in filtration system, this will eventually become clogged if regular maintenance is neglected. When too much buildup occurs, the excess dust will reenter the home through the vents, drastically reducing the indoor air quality.

What Is Duct Cleaning and Maintenance?

Before you search for “air duct cleaning near me,” you should understand what’s involved in the process so that you know what to ask of your HVAC specialist. It’s important to remember that cleaning is only one part—albeit an important part—of regular duct maintenance.

Your HVAC professional will usually perform duct cleaning using specialized equipment designed to be able to access the hard-to-reach areas inside of your home’s complex system of ductwork. Essentially, your technician will hook up a giant vacuum cleaner to your duct system and switch it on, drawing months’ worth of built-up dust and dirt out of the ducts and away from your home.

Duct maintenance usually also includes changing the air filters in the HVAC system. As we’ve mentioned, these filters can become clogged over time and eventually stop filtering debris altogether or even release toxic particles back into the home. Your HVAC professional will also search for any leaks in the ductwork; Leaky ducts can dramatically reduce the energy efficiency of a home, forcing your HVAC system to work harder than should be necessary. Not only will this add undue wear and tear to the system and hasten the flow of pollutants into the indoor air, but it will also drive your energy bill way up.

How Often Should I Have Maintenance Performed?

The frequency of air duct maintenance depends on several factors. First, the level of cleaning that is desired. In most cases, you’ll want basic maintenance about once a year and a more thorough, deeper cleaning at least once every few years. Air filters will need to be changed or cleaned more frequently than this: once every few months. This is the basic recommendation, for every home. However, homes that are more vulnerable may need to opt for a more regular cleaning and maintenance schedule.

When we say “more vulnerable,” we are referring to both the geographical area where the home is located and the inhabitants of the home. This article is about optimizing indoor air quality, but your indoor air quality is directly tied to the outdoor air quality. This means that if you live in a major city, where pollutant levels are high, or another area where the outdoor air quality isn’t great, then you may need to opt to have your air ducts cleaned more often. This could happen seasonally, such as when wildfires are more likely.

The same is true if anyone in the home is considered to be at risk as a result of suboptimal air quality: this means, if anyone in the home suffers from allergies, asthma, COPD, or any other respiratory conditions, you may need to increase the frequency of air duct cleaning. Similarly, if someone smokes in the home or you have multiple pets, your air ducts may require a little more attention. At the very least, you should have the filters changed every month or every few months, depending on the need.

Who Does the Maintenance?

Since air duct cleaning and maintenance require specialized equipment and training, it must always be done by a licensed and certified professional. At All Weather Heating & Cooling, all of our technicians are NATE Certified, meaning they have passed the rigorous series of exams required to achieve certification from the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) program. We’ve also been certified as a Carrier Healthy Air Expert, meaning that optimizing air quality is our specialty.

If the ducts in your home need cleaning, maintenance, or repairs, our licensed, certified technicians can get the job done so that you can start living a healthier life today.

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