Home 5 HVAC 5 Should I Clean my Vents?

Should I Clean my Vents?

The short answer is, yes.  The long answer requires us to take a look at your vents first.  The jury is still out on exactly how often or under what circumstances to have your ventilation system cleaned but, if you’re having trouble breathing, then a deep-clean is completely worth it.

Why Clean Air Ducts?

Maintaining clean air is essential to easy and allergy-free breathing.  Unfortunately, life is never so clean.  Every day we bring in or generate countless contaminants that fill our homes and ventilation systems with dust and other contaminants such as:

  • Pet Hair and Dander
  • Cigarette or Cigar Smoke
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Hair and Skin
  • Mold Spores

Most of this is, of course, captured by the air filter in your home.  If you’ve neglected to change it out every 3-6 months or have simply skipped your annual HVAC and furnace maintenances, that filter will not be as useful, leading to filthy air ducts and compounded breathing problems.  All of the dust in your home, while it will eventually settle, has a chance to end up in your ventilation system.  If it settles there, those same contaminants will continue blow around every time you turn on your forced air system.

Clean air, fewer allergy symptoms, and a more efficient heating and cooling system are all key benefits of a full ventilation duct cleaning.

What You Should Do

First, see if you need to have your air ducts cleaned.  If you see a buildup of dust on an air vent that is not an intake (air blows out of it rather than being pulled in), then there is sufficient dust getting into your system to cause this buildup.

  • Clean the vents using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment (avoid accidentally stirring up the dust and forcing it into the air again).
  • Replace your air filter or consider upgrading to a better quality filter.
  • Dust rooms, vacuum carpets and upholstery, and sweep floors.

This will help deal with dust and contaminants in the home, and will help to prevent more allergens from entering your ventilation system.  Next, take off the cover for a vent and take a look inside.  You can use a phone to snap a picture if you aren’t able to see inside.  If the inside of the vent looks clear (no buildup of dust on the walls) then you should be fine with a simple cleaning of the external vents.  But, if you can clearly see dust, dirt, or even mold within the ventilation system, then a professional cleaning really is the best solution to your allergy problem.

Getting your ventilation system cleaned in October is a great time to do so as well.  It’s typically cool enough to open the windows and dust the house.  You can avoid running the central air while you’re cleaning and before you get a professional out to clean the ventilation system.  Plus, with ragweed season practically over, you’ll be removing all of the built-up pollen that’s accumulated in your home and won’t be tracking anymore in.  With clean air ducts and a dust-free home, you’ll have the best start when winter-time comes and you start keeping the windows closed once again.

Metro Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning is the service company you want!  Call us today at (423) 616-1025!

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