Maintaining a clean HVAC can contribute to better health and wellness for your entire family. A clean HVAC contributes to better air quality by pulling contaminants from the air and storing them in a filter. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) estimates that those contaminants are recirculated five to seven times per day, on average. But over time your HVAC will need to have some type of HVAC cleaning maintenance performed to keep it in good working order.
There is no set timeframe for when or how often you should have HVAC cleaning performed in your home, as it can often depend on how much you use your HVAC and which type of unit you own. It can also depend on factors such as if you have pets in your home or if any residents are smokers. The best way to know what’s best for your system is to enlist the help of a knowledgeable professional.
Cleaning shouldn’t be done unnecessarily, which is why it’s a good idea to schedule occasional maintenance on your HVAC or duct system with local professionals. A local expert like Entek can take a look into your HVAC, examine spaces that are typically inaccessible to homeowners, and tell you if there is a need to have your system cleaned now or later.
In addition to going off the advice of professionals, there are a few signs that may signal to you that it’s time to have HVAC cleaning performed at your home. Here are a few potential reasons for having your HVAC cleaned.
- Experiencing Allergy-Like Symptoms
One sign that you may want to have someone look at your HVAC for cleaning is if you or someone in your household has had increased allergy-like symptoms. For some, symptoms like a runny nose or itchy eyes are normal, especially during certain times of the year. Others rarely experience these symptoms unless they’re suffering from a cold. When you find these symptoms occurring outside of those specific times, it may be due to an unclean HVAC.
An unclean HVAC, including unclean ducts or unclean filters, is known to cause allergy symptoms in people. It’s due to the excess dust, pollen, debris, or pet dander being circulated throughout your home. Your HVAC will be unable to keep those things out of the air when it isn’t cleaned properly and may even contribute to keeping them in your air and decreasing your air quality. Cleaning can help to decrease those symptoms and provide you with more symptom-free days throughout the year.
- Visible Mold
If you see any sign of mold on your HVAC system, it’s time to have it cleaned thoroughly. Mold is a dangerous contaminant to have in or on your HVAC because it can be circulated throughout the air. Aside from just seeing the mold on your system around the ducts or vents, you may notice other signs of its presence such as a strong musty smell or a noticeable leak or puddle around the system. These are things to be on the lookout for so that you can notice mold growth right away and schedule a cleaning.
It isn’t uncommon for mold to find its way into or around your HVAC unit. HVACs provide the perfect environment for mold to grow, as they often have moisture present and contain nourishment for the mold to feed off of in the form of bacteria caught in the filter. Breathing in air that has been contaminated by mold can cause major health issues for the people in your home. Some health side effects of mold include symptoms such as coughing, headaches, bronchitis, pneumonia, and congestion.
- Visible Dust
Usually, a good dusting of your home should keep it dust-free for a week or so. You should feel free to put your cleaning supplies away and spend the rest of your time doing other more enjoyable tasks. Still, sometimes dust just doesn’t seem to stay away long enough and collects back on flat surfaces too soon after the last cleaning. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your home is destined to be dusty forever. It could just mean that you’re cleaning the wrong thing.
A home that can’t keep dust away could be a sign of needing an HVAC cleaning. Professionals like Entek can take a peek into your system and let you know if the dust issue is being caused by buildup in your filter or duct system. This type of issue could be causing built-up dust to resettle on your flat surfaces more often than normal.
- New Construction
The feeling of freshness is never more present than when you enter a newly constructed home. Having everything in a home be completely new is a great feeling, but having construction not too long ago can come with a few setbacks in terms of air quality. While your new home may look clean, there are likely lingering dust particles on surfaces or in the air from all the recent work that has been done. If your ductwork was installed not too long before work was completed, those dust particles may have found a new home in your ductwork. This can require having your ducts cleaned.
Complete reconstruction isn’t the only time you should consider having your ducts cleaned. Even smaller projects, such as kitchen remodels, are considered construction projects in the home and can lead to additional dust in the air. Scheduling an HVAC cleaning right after having any kind of construction done in your home is a wise choice. This ensures that no dust or wood debris has settled into your duct system during the construction process. If it has, it likely will recirculate itself into the air you breathe.
- Your Heating and Cooling Costs Are Rising
Not every sign that your HVAC needs cleaning will be as apparent as seeing dust collecting in your home or mold visible on your unit. Some signs will show themselves in other ways, like the rise of your heating and cooling costs. Clean air ducts will allow for optimal functioning of your HVAC, giving you an efficient result and keeping your energy costs as low as possible.
If you notice that your heating and cooling costs are rising during a time of the year that doesn’t bring harsher weather, it may be because of your ducts. Unclean air ducts make it harder for air to flow through them, as it works to get around the debris in its way.