Should You Have Your Air Ducts Professionally Cleaned
If you are like many, your air ducts are a frequently part of your house. Air ducts are hidden and don’t tend are not likely to break so it is easy to overlook them when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your house. The result is that most home owners only clean their air ducts after an issue is detected. Even the U.S. E.P.A suggests on an as needed basis but this reasoning has one possible flaw.
This strategy is only if the cleaning is performed as a preventative procedure in response to a certain incident or situation but not as a reactive response to an incident or condition. This won’t prevent you and your family from being exposed to unhealthy air inside your home if it is not the result of to a particular situation. It is not unusual for mold to build up from expected deterioration of your cooling system, a roof leak and pipe leaks which can exist for many years before they are found. Rodents and insects may be in your air ducts on and off for years without detection.
Instances of getting your air ducts cleaned as a preventative step on an as needed basis include cleaning them immediately after finding a leaking roof, a leaking pipe, a nearby forest fire or industrial fire, a flood, home remodeling, insect or rodent infestation, buying a new house.
Unless a family member has asthma or allergies, the most significant problem with air ducts is mold. Mold can create a bunch very serious health situations that often take a long time and a number of expensive doctor visits to diagnose. Mold related health issues often show up well after a person has been exposed to the mold. Further, persons with asthma and allergies can be much more sensitive to mold and the results much more severe.
If you do not get your heating and cooling system and air ducts inspected and serviced routinely, the most common ways people discover they have mold is:
- A family member becomes sick
- They can smell it
If a family member has become ill caused by mold in the air ducts then it is obvious the air ducts should have been cleaned sooner and there is genuine concern that other members of the family have been affected but the symptoms won’t show until year later.
Mold is challenging to detect and apart from a family member becoming ill it is often detected by smell. Relying on smell to detect the presence is not a good idea since not all mold smells and also because, if you can smell mold or mildew, the infestation is more than likely serious. Not a lot of mold is required to cause complications, often much less than is needed to smell it. By the time you smell mold, your loved ones have very likely been exposed to the mold for an extended period of time which can have permanent health consequences, often showing up years later.
The logical way to prevent your family from being exposed to mold is preventing mold from entering your HVAC system and air ducts. This is best done with periodic professional air duct cleaning or regular cleaning and inspection by the homeowner.