Fresh, Clean Air Indoors This Winter
December 06, 2013
It doesn’t matter how clean you think your indoor air is, if the air ducts in your home are circulating dirt, mold, and dust mites, your home does not have clean air; the best way to ensure this isn’t happening in your home is to have your ducts professionally inspected and cleaned. Indoor air can be far more polluted than outdoor air, thanks to our modern homes that are insulated and sealed against drafts for energy efficiency. Unfortunately, not letting fresh air in also means that contaminants can’t get out and can accumulate in your ductwork and then circulate in the air you’re breathing. When poor air is circulated in your home, it can:
- Aggravate asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, and allergic respiratory disease
- Spread bad odors and fumes throughout the house
- Move dust, mold, bacteria, dirt, and smoke from room to room
A good solution is to have your air ducts cleaned. Duct cleaning includes the cleaning of multiple heating and cooling components of forced air systems, including but not limited to the supply and return air ducts and registers, grills and diffusers, heat exchangers and cooling coils. Once the ducts are clean, they will keep the air that is circulating clean as well. Clean air is especially important to those with breathing difficulties and homes with children or the elderly. When you are ready to have your ducts cleaned, do your homework:
- Only hire contractors who are knowledgeable about cleaning duct systems like yours.
- Ensure your contractor is endorsed by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA).
- Get a detailed written estimate of the work, and ask the contractor to give details about all the work to be done.
- Check out the contractor with the Better Business Bureau. Also check any licenses that may be required.
In order to clean the ducts, your contractor will:
- Open access doors or ports to allow access to the entire system.
- Thoroughly inspect all ducts before beginning, especially to ensure that there is no asbestos present in older homes.
- Use specialized tools to remove dirt and debris in the ductwork, and then vacuum it out, either venting it to the outside of the house or using a HEPA-type filter to trap it.
- Some contractors may include a sanitizing process as well.
When you know the air in your home is not being contaminated by dirty ducts, everyone in the house can breathe easier. Sources: http://www3.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/pubs/airduct.html
Last Updated: September 13, 2023