If you don’t know when the last time you had the ducts of your HVAC system professionally cleaned, then it has probably been too long. Clean ducts are integral for ensuring that your HVAC system is running as efficiently as possible. Ideally, you want to have HVAC ducts cleaning every three years, but this time frame is ultimately dependent on use. Regardless, preventative maintenance can ensure that your heating and cooling system is running as smoothly as possible.

Does Climate Make a Difference?

Climate plays a big part in how often you need to have your ducts professionally cleaned. While there are different environmental contaminants based on climate, traditionally every microclimate has some form of a disruptive pollutant that is bad for air quality. For example, if you live in a dry arid climate, dust, and dirt are going to be a problem that collects in the ducts of your HVAC system. Similarly, if you live in a humid climate, mold spores and pollen will eventually become an issue that needs to be addressed with thorough cleaning services.

What are the signs that I need to have my ducts cleaned?

Typically, it is fairly easy to notice if and when HVAC systems need a thorough cleaning. Using your sense of smell, sight, and hearing, you can tell if your ducts need to be cleared out. Here are some of the more regular signs that you are due for a cleaning:

You see vermin in your home. 

Whether it is a rodent infestation or a bug problem, pests are bad news for your HVAC system. Where there are vermin, there are droppings, and these droppings can be extremely hazardous to your health. Pests love air ducts as they act as a superhighway throughout your house. If you have had issues with pests in the home you can throw the three-year timeline out the window; it’s time to get a cleaning.

You smell mildew.

If you are wondering what mildew smells like, think back to the last time you forgot to pick your used towel off the bathroom floor. Mildew smells musty, damp and a little sour, and it has a very unique and pungent odor. Mildew is bad but not nearly as harmful as the mold it will turn into if you allow it to grow unimpeded. Mildew poses a host of health threats, especially to those with bronchial issues like bronchitis or asthma. If you smell mildew, follow your nose to the telephone and call for professional duct cleaning services.

You see dust. 

If you see dust coming out of your air vents, then you are past due for HVAC ducts cleaning. Dust is the number one most common particulate that goes unnoticed in homes and businesses. Because of its fine consistency, dust is hardly noticeable until the buildup has become large enough for large chunks to be seen with the naked eye. If you notice yourself, or those around you, having sneezing fits every time the air comes on, then dust is building in your air ducts. Take proactive steps to ensure that dust does not build in your air ducts and schedule a cleaning today.

Businesses Require Regular Cleanings

In a professional setting, HVAC ducts need to be cleaned on a more regular basis for several reasons. First, in a professional setting, the air conditioning is likely running all the time. Most professional offices and small businesses use their HVAC systems year-round to ensure that the workplace is always a perfectly balanced temperature. This means that whether your system is pumping hot or cold air through your ducts, the air is constantly moving. 

Where there is air moving, there is debris, and the larger the HVAC system, the bigger the threat debris becomes to your ducts. The larger the system you have for your business, the bigger the intake and the higher the percentage of debris entering your system from the street. 

You may be thinking, shouldn’t the filter stop all that debris from getting into the ducts of my HVAC system? Isn’t that part of how air conditioning works? Yes and no. Your filter is very good at preventing large items from finding their way into your HVAC system. However, fine particles like dust, dirt, and hair sometimes slip through the cracks. These microparticulate coagulates inside your air ducts where over time they become at best nasty clumps of dirt. This negatively affects the quality of the air, your breathing, and worse, creates significant blockages in your ducts. 

Regular Maintenance is Important

A regularly maintained HVAC system will prevent the need for cleaning the ducts as often. Whether you are dealing with a small home system or a large commercial HVAC installation, staying ahead of maintenance will keep your ducts clean for longer. Changing the filter on time and cleaning the outdoor cooling unit are both good practices that will help your system run at full efficiency. Your HVAC system runs best when it’s clean and well maintained, and clean ducts are an integral part of HVAC maintenance.