If you’re having trouble with your HVAC system, it’s very possible that a mechanical component in the system needs attention from Woodward Heating. However, another possible culprit behind HVAC problems is clogged ducts. Since ducts, by themselves, don’t make noise or cause strange smells, they can be easy to overlook when looking for problems. That’s why regular duct cleaning is vital to ensure you prevent clogs in your ducts so you can more easily narrow down the source of an HVAC problem in your Salem home.
Why Clean Your Ducts?
Before you determine how often you should clean your ducts, it’s important to answer the “why” behind duct cleaning. While it’s true that many people get away with never having their ducts cleaned, that doesn’t mean that this is the best course of action.
One important “why” of duct cleaning is to improve the overall comfort of your home. With dirty ducts, it can be more difficult for your HVAC system to evenly pump conditioned air to all of the rooms in your home, especially those rooms that are far away from the central components. If the ducts are clean, though, air can be sent throughout your home easily, so you don’t end up with any hot or cold spots.
Another big “why” behind duct cleaning that we at Woodward Heating think is very important is to help improve your system’s efficiency. Clean ducts help improve your system’s efficiency in two ways. One way is that clean ducts allow for more even distribution of conditioned air throughout your home. This prevents extremely cold or hot air in certain areas in your home from changing the temperature and forcing your system to run more often.
Additionally, clean ducts help improve efficiency by reducing the amount of effort that is required for your system to send air where it’s needed. This lowers energy use and reduces wear and tear on your system.
Signs of Dirty Ducts
If you’re not sure whether or not you have dirty or clogged ducts, there are a few signs that you can check for to determine if you need to call Woodward Heating to clean your ducts. One sign to look for is dirty vent covers. As air blows through dirty ducts, it will pick up dust that has accumulated in the ducts. Then, when the air flows through the register, the register’s unique shape will attract the dust, causing it to accumulate in plain sight.
Another sign that your ducts may be in need of some help is a dusty house. If you seem to have to continually dust your furniture, it’s likely that at least part of the problem is excess dust in your ducts that is being carried throughout your home.
Additionally, if you notice large amounts of dust coming out of your ducts when your HVAC system turns on, you definitely have a problem on your hands. Finally, if you have certain rooms in your home that are warmer or colder than the rest of your home, it may be due to dirty ducts.
How Often to Clean Your Ducts
Unlike changing your system’s air filter, which should be done every month, you’ll only need to have Woodward Heating clean your ducts once about every three to five years. Typically, this timeframe is more than sufficient to make duct cleaning economical while avoiding the problems associated with dirty ducts that were discussed previously.
If you do a major remodeling project in your home, though, you may need to have your ducts cleaned sooner. Construction dust, in addition to being heavier than typical dust, is also often more irritating for people with sensitive allergies. Therefore, you’ll want to have your ducts cleaned to ensure that your home makeover doesn’t have lingering negative effects.
Other reasons you may need to have your ducts cleaned more often are droughts or wildfires happening in the area, pets or smokers living in the home, or extra cleaning procedures that may have released dust into the air. If you’re unsure about the status of your ducts, it’s always a good idea to have Woodward Heating stop by and inspect them.
Potential Causes of Dirty Ducts
While most dirty ducts are caused by simple, attractive forces and the passing of time, there are other factors that can lead to dirty ducts. One of the most common causes of dirty ducts is leaks in your ducts that allow dust from your attic to enter your ducts. Since an air filter doesn’t protect these gaps or holes, large particles of dust can find their way into your ducts and cause issues quite quickly.
Another common cause of dirty ducts that we see at Woodward Heating is a clogged air filter. If you don’t change your air filter at least once a month, the oversaturation of dust will cause a lack of airflow through your filter. This could cause your HVAC system to take in air through small openings in the return vent, leading to an increase in dust in your ducts and your HVAC system. By replacing your air filter on time, though, you will be able to avoid this problem.
Finally, you may have dirty ducts if your home has unusually high levels of humidity. With excess humidity, the walls of your ducts can become moist, which can cause dust to stick to the walls. In addition to causing clogged ducts, this can create an ideal environment for mildew growth, meaning you need to keep your home’s humidity levels in check using a dehumidifier if your air conditioner can’t keep up.
Not an Easy Project
Some people see the process of cleaning ducts as nothing more than removing the accumulated dust with a vacuum. However, duct cleaning is anything but a do-it-yourself project. In fact, if you try to clean your ducts yourself, you could end up releasing large amounts of dust into the air in your home, exacerbating many of the problems you were trying to fix.
Instead, duct cleaning requires specialized equipment to prevent dust from being released into your home as it’s being removed from the ducts. This requires high-velocity vacuums, airtight shields to hold onto dust, and particulate filters to capture any dust that does escape.
Plus, proper duct cleaning requires that you inspect the ducts with a camera after the job is complete to ensure that all the dust has been removed. Fortunately, the pros at Woodward Heating have access to all of this equipment to ensure that you receive fantastic results.
So Much More Than Duct Cleaning
Although we’re proud of the duct cleaning services that we offer at Woodward Heating, that is only a small part of what we do at our company. We can also repair, maintain, and install furnaces and air conditioners, install heat pumps and ductless systems, repair fireplaces, install new thermostats, and more.
Serving Salem for over 30 years, we have the experience necessary to get the job done correctly. With countless five-star reviews to our name, you can be confident in the quality of service that you’ll receive. For more information about cleaning your home’s ducts, contact us at Woodward Heating today.