Since most of your home's ductwork is hidden behind the walls, it can be easy to forget to perform regular maintenance. If dust and mold is allowed to build up in your ducts, you may notice more frequent allergy flare-ups and respiratory problems due to decreased indoor air quality. Here are three signs that it may be time for a professional duct cleaning.
Dirty Furnace Interior
If the inside of your furnace is caked with dust, it is almost guaranteed that your ducts are dirty enough to need cleaning as well. Because air is circulated continuously through your HVAC system, some of the dust in your ducts will be carried back into your furnace to build up inside it over time. This can lead to overheating and clogging of internal components that could drastically reduce its lifespan and efficiency.
You can turn off your furnace and remove the side panel to inspect the amount of dust that has built up on the inside. If there is a solid coating of dust on the interior walls or blower motor, you should have a professional duct cleaning performed soon. Cleaning the inside of the furnace yourself will not solve the problem, as the dust from your ducts will start collecting in your furnace again relatively quickly unless a full system cleaning is performed.
Since mold flourishes in dark, damp places, the insides of your ducts are unfortunately an excellent candidate for mold growth in all but the most arid climates. In some cases where mold growth has spread to a significant portion of your ductwork, you may start to see mold beneath your vent registers. You should take this as a sign that you should have your ducts professionally cleaned as soon as possible.
Dusty Return Vents
The return vents in your home are responsible for circulating cold air back into your HVAC system so that it can be reheated. The return vents are usually the first places where dust buildup will be visible, so you can use them to estimate the condition of the rest of your ductwork. This is because return vents are close to the floor, so they will pick up hair, pet dander, and other contaminants more quickly than other parts of your system.
Keep these signs of dirty ducts in mind so you can maintain good indoor air quality and keep your HVAC system running efficiently. To learn more, contact HVAC companies like A & E Heating and AC Inc.