The HVAC technicians at Richmond’s Air explain when Houstonites should get their homes’ ductwork cleaned
It doesn’t matter how good of an air filter you buy – if your home’s ductwork is dirty, you can expect to have problems with your indoor air quality. Your ductwork is the metal piecing that carries conditioned air from your AC or furnace to the registers in your home. And if it’s moldy or grimy, those particles can end up in your home.
But obviously, even if your ductwork is dirty, you wouldn’t necessarily know it. Even if you did, without the right tools you wouldn’t be able to clean the ductwork well apart from vacuuming at the opening of the register.
While many air repair companies offer ductwork cleaning, some less reputable companies can often charge exorbitant prices for cleaning out ductwork that doesn’t really need it.
So how do you know when you really need duct cleaning? According to the EPA, cleaning out ductwork is necessary when:
- There is visible and substantial mold growth inside the ductwork. You won’t always be able to see mold growth in your ductwork. But if your home is otherwise clean of mold and yet you detect that musty smell, all while household members are suffering from burning eyes and other allergy symptoms, then you should have your ductwork checked by a licensed HVAC contractor. Mold can cause serious health and indoor air quality problems.
- The ductwork has been infested with insects or rodents. It sounds terrible, but rodents and insects taking up in ductwork can happen, especially if you inhabit your Houston home for only part of the year.
- The ductwork is clogged with dust or debris . If you have so much dirt in your ductwork that it’s affecting your air conditioner’s functioning, you definitely need to schedule a cleaning.
- Dust particles are released from the registers when air is circulated through the ductwork . This is one of the easiest problems to spot on your own. If you have rooms of your home that get dusty again quickly after cleaning, particularly near registers, that’s a good indication that your home’s ducts need some work.
Obviously, some of these problems could exist without you even knowing it, so it pays to have a trustworthy HVAC contractor occasionally inspect your ductwork.
Leaky ductwork not only lets out lots of conditioned air (and money) into places you don’t want it, like your crawl space, but those cracks and holes in the ducts can pull in dust and dirt from that very same space and send it throughout your home.