Canadians make full use of their air ducts throughout the year. If you have a centralized HVAC system, then you already know that you rely on your air ducts to keep you warm during the winter. But once summer arrives, those ducts don’t get a rest.
Now, your air conditioner kicks in, and it uses those same ducts to carry cool air to every major room in your home. You might be wondering then, with that constant use, year in, year out, do you need to worry about your air ducts for good air quality? Do you need to clean them? The answer is, “it depends,” and here’s why.
Dirty Ducts Are A Risk
Air duct cleaning is something that you definitely need to look into if you actually have dirty air ducts. The reason for this is because the same thing that makes air ducts so useful in your home can easily be turned against you.
That is, air ducts deliver air to all the rooms in your home where vents are present. If your ducts are dirty, particularly with something like mold, every time air circulates in your home, those contaminants and allergens are spread around.
This means there’s no escape from the things that make you sick, and the outdoors, or other buildings may be healthier for you than your own home is unless you stop heating/cooling your home entirely.
When To Clean The Ducts
Air ducts, unlike your furnace or car, are not mechanisms that need to be regularly serviced. The ducts themselves have no moving parts, so unless something physical happens to them, the accumulation of dust, mold and other contaminants is usually slow. This is why for regular, preventive maintenance, an inspection and cleaning every 3-5 years is recommended.
However, if you are already reacting to allergens in your home, you have someone smoking indoors, you have a lot of pets that shed, or you’ve recently renovated and have drilled, hammered, sawed and generally kicked up a lot of dust, you may want to consider getting an air duct cleaning as quickly as possible. If you’ve just bought the home and are moving in, you may also want to consider an air duct cleaning to get things off to a good, fresh start.
Duct Maintenance Between Cleanings
The best way to reduce the likelihood of needing air duct cleaning is to make sure your ducts don’t get a chance to become dirty in the first place. So how do you do that? Your first line of defense is the filters you insert into your furnace. Be diligent about replacing them, at the very latest, every three months. You can replace them on a monthly basis if you like, but that may be overdoing it.
The other thing is to keep your own home clean! If you have pets that shed, make sure to sweep and vacuum your home. Dust build-up, pet dander, and other potential allergens can only get into your ductwork if they are left sitting around long enough to drift there.
Even though Vancouver, BC doesn’t get winters as cold as the rest of Canada, we still rely on our HVAC systems all year round. Get an air duct cleaning if you need to, and spend the rest of the time being a smart homeowner, and keeping your home clean as a preventive measure.