3 Reasons to Clean Your Air Ducts this Winter

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As a homeowner, you maintain various systems throughout your home. You most likely clear out clogged drains, repair your appliances, and replace your burnt-out light bulbs—but have you cleaned out your air ducts since you moved into your home? Here are three reasons to have your air ducts cleaned before you begin running your forced-air furnace all day and night:

Mold Growth

Over the years, moisture collects in your air ducts and creates an optimal environment for mold growth. The most common way for water to collect in your air ducts is through your air conditioner's evaporator coil. When your evaporator coil cools the air that passes through your air conditioner, it becomes icy cold and leaks condensation. When the condensation from your air conditioner accumulates in your air ducts, it becomes contaminated with the bacteria already present in your ducts and allows mold to spread rapidly throughout your ducts.

Once mold grows inside your air ducts, it releases spores that travel throughout the rest of your air duct system and into the various rooms of your home. Although not all mold spores are toxic, they can be inhaled by you and your family members and cause respiratory problems. Additionally, certain strains of mold are capable of growing inside your lungs once they enter your respiratory system.


Unfortunately, your home isn't a sealed environment. Outdoor air containing allergens (such as pollen) can enter your home any time you open a window or door. Additionally, a large volume of indoor allergens (such as pet dander or pest waste) will further agitate the respiratory systems of sensitive members of your household.

Although vacuuming your carpets and dusting your shelves relieves the symptoms your allergy-plagued household member experiences, members of your household can continue to suffer reactions from pollen, pet dander, or other allergens that become trapped in your HVAC system's filter, blower, or air ducts. Any time you activate your HVAC system, these allergens will be re-released into your indoor air and will be inhaled by you and your household members.

Unfortunately, you'll need to do more than just clean your air ducts to remove allergens from your HVAC system. You'll also need to clean both your furnace and air conditioner, your blower motor, and replace your air filter with one that has a MERV rating capable of permanently retaining allergens present in your indoor air.

Furnace and Air Conditioner Efficiency

Airborne debris (such as pet fur or dust) in your air ducts will ventilate into your home and recirculate back through your air conditioner or furnace. Although some of this debris will be trapped by your air filter each time, this cycle will repeat indefinitely until the debris is manually removed from your home.

However, as debris collects in your air filter, furnace, or air conditioner, your heating or cooling efficiency will be reduced. As your filter becomes filled with more and more debris, the amount of air that can pass through the pores of your filter will be restricted. Debris that slips through your filter and enters your furnace's combustion chamber will produce soot that coats the burner tubes and restricts the flow of gas. Additionally, debris that coats your blower motor's fan wheel will reduce the airflow through your air conditioner's evaporator coil and your furnace's heat exchanger.

To permanently rid your HVAC system of these three problems, hire local HVAC companies such as http://www.capefearair.com to clean your air ducts immediately. Additionally, set a schedule with your technician to have your ducts regularly cleaned. By doing so, you can significantly improve your indoor air quality and increase the efficiency of your HVAC system.