Duct cleaning is something that has only in the past fifteen years or so been something that has gained popularity outside of those that work in the HVAC profession.
A good part of an HVAC technician’s job, aside from diagnosing and repairing broken mechanical equipment has always been cleaning the ducts in industrial and large commercial applications. Now you might be asking yourself why that never caught on as a residential service.
The truth is that people just didn’t think they needed it and when a technician came out to fix a problem the homeowner was having, and suggested it, they often turned it down as nothing but a needless service and an attempt to get more money from them.
The trouble is that even residential homes need to have their ducts cleaned from time to time. While they might not work as hard, or have nearly as much area to treat as a commercial or industrial application, they still accumulate loads of dust.
There’s a few reasons why this should matter to you. Firstly, all that dust will release particulate matter into your air. Have you ever noticed dust trails leading out from a vent in the ceiling or floor? That’s a surefire sign that your ducts need to be cleaned. If you or your loved ones suffer from asthma or allergies, this is going to cause more problems for them and can easily be avoided.
Secondly, when any system that has to move a mass of some sort through it becomes clogged up or has obstacles along its path of travel, it’s going to move less of that mass in total or have to work harder to move the same amount of mass.
Think of stepping on a garden hose. The more you step on it, the less water that moves through it or the more you’re going to have to turn up the faucet in order to keep the same amount of water moving through it.
That’s much like having to turn your central fan from low to high in order to continue to have the same effect as it had when the ducts were free and clear.
And chances are, you’ve never had your ducts cleaned or the people who lived in the house before you never did. You should have them professionally cleaned out once every five or ten years depending on the type of environment you life in and how much you run your central air.