Today, everyone is looking for ways to save on energy costs. One often overlooked method is air duct cleaning. At Specialty Heating & Cooling LLC, we’ve seen firsthand how simple cleaning can lower energy bills. In this blog, we explain how air duct cleaning can help you save money and enhance your overall energy efficiency.
The Impact of Dirty Air Ducts on Energy Costs
Dirty air ducts directly impact energy costs and the efficiency of your HVAC system. As the HVAC system circulates air throughout your home or commercial space, the air travels through the air ducts and can pick up dust, debris, and other contaminants.
Over time, this build-up can become significant. It may reduce airflow through the ducts, or even completely block it in extreme cases. This results in your HVAC system working harder to maintain a comfortable temperature, leading to increased energy consumption and higher energy bills. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dirty air ducts can reduce HVAC system efficiency by up to 30%.
Buildup Forces Your System to Work Nonstop
When airflow fails to travel through the ducts, your thermostat may not accurately read the temperature in your space. It can cause your HVAC system to cycle on and off more often. During the summer and winter months, it may run nonstop to maintain the desired temperature.
Other Ways Dirty Air Ducts Impact Your Wallet
While increased energy costs are a significant concern for those with dirty air ducts, there are other ways that dirty air ducts can negatively impact your wallet.
Dirty Air Ducts Shorten Your HVAC Lifespan
A poorly functioning HVAC system will shorten its lifespan. The blower motor is often the first component to malfunction. When airflow reduces, the motor works harder and wears out faster. This can result in extensive repairs or early replacement of the entire HVAC system.
Poor Ventilation Increases the Risk of Mold and Pest Infestation
Without proper ventilation, moisture can accumulate in your air ducts, creating an ideal breeding ground for mold and pests. Mold attaches to all organic and porous materials. Once it settles into your air ducts, it quickly spreads throughout your home and causes structural damage to your walls, roof, and ceiling.
Pests thrive in damp areas. Termites, cockroaches, and rodents can infiltrate your HVAC system, causing damage and spreading diseases. Removing these intruders and repairing the resulting damage can be costly.
Pollutant Introduces Respiratory and Other Health Problems
Dirty air ducts can introduce allergens and pollutants into your home, making it hard for those with allergies or respiratory problems to live comfortably. Dust, pollen, pet dander, and other contaminants circulating through your air ducts can trigger allergies and worsen respiratory conditions.
While not all molds harm human health, some can attack the immune system, leading to respiratory problems, eye irritation, and skin rashes. This problem is especially risky for children, seniors, and individuals with weakened immune systems. Over time, these health issues can become chronic and require expensive medical treatments.
How Often Do You Need Air Duct Cleaning?
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) advises cleaning every three to five years for homeowners. For commercial buildings or ones with health issues, every one to two years. However, several factors can affect the frequency of air duct cleaning.
Depending on the location of your property, you may need more frequent cleaning. For example, if you live in an area with high humidity or near an industrial area, your air ducts can accumulate dust and debris at a faster rate. Places that suffer from high pollen counts or severe weather conditions can also benefit from more frequent air duct cleaning.
Occupant Health Conditions
If anyone in your household or building suffers from respiratory issues, allergies, or asthma, it’s crucial to have your air ducts cleaned more often. Contaminants in the air ducts can worsen these health conditions, so regular cleaning is necessary to maintain a healthy indoor environment.
Pets shed hair and dander, which can accumulate in air ducts over time. If you have multiple pets or ones with long fur, seasonal cleaning will minimize the buildup of these contaminants.
Occupant’s Daily Habits
Do you wear your outdoor shoes indoors? Do you smoke or burn candles inside? Do you love cooking? All these habits can contribute to more dust and debris in your air ducts, which may require more frequent cleaning.
Age of Property
Older properties tend to suffer from poor ventilation and more dust and debris buildup in air ducts. If you own an older property, you may need to clean your air ducts more often.
HVAC System Age
Older HVAC systems are less efficient at filtering out contaminants, leading to a faster buildup of dust and debris in air ducts. If your HVAC system is older, it’s recommended to schedule more regular air duct cleaning.
How Often You Keep Up With Maintenance
Some property owners are more diligent with maintenance tasks, such as changing air filters regularly. If you keep up with these tasks, you may need less air ducts. However, it’s a great idea to ask your HVAC technicians to inspect the ducts for their condition.
Signs That Indicate the Need for Air Duct Cleaning
If you’re still unsure about whether you need to clean your air ducts, here are some signs that may indicate it’s time for a thorough cleaning:
- Mold growth inside the property
- Excessive dust and debris buildup around the vents or in the ducts
- Unpleasant odors coming from the air vents
- Household members suffer from frequent sneezing, coughing, or other respiratory issues
- Visible signs of rodent or insect infestation in the air ducts
Professional Cleaning Methods and Their Effectiveness
While DIY methods might seem tempting, they can create many problems. Instead of cleaning out pollutants, you can accidentally push them further into the ducts and spread them throughout your home. If you try to force the debris out with a vacuum, you risk damaging your HVAC system without fully removing the contaminants. It’s best to leave air duct cleaning to the professionals. They have specialized tools and techniques to ensure a thorough cleaning without causing any harm to your HVAC system.
Not All Air Duct Cleaning Companies Are Created Equal
Some HVAC system contractors may offer irresistible deals, but it’s important to do your research before hiring them for air duct cleaning. Look for a company that is licensed and insured with all the necessary certifications. Additionally, make sure they use industry-standard equipment and cleaning methods to ensure the best results. You can also check for online reviews or ask for references from previous customers to get an idea of their past work.
Trust Specialty Heating & Cooling LLC With Your Air Duct Cleaning
As your local licensed and insured HVAC specialist, [company _name] has been providing duct cleaning services to property owners in Tigar, OR, and surrounding areas since 1985. Our trained specialists use only the latest equipment and air duct cleaning techniques to keep your HVAC system running smoothly. We also provide water heater repair and installation, and generator installation services. Call us today to schedule your air duct cleaning.