Did you know that indoor air can contain 100% to 500% more pollutants than outdoor air?
These include microorganisms like mold, as well as combustion particles like carbon monoxide. Pesticides, lead, radon, and particulate matter are also included in the list.
This is even more concerning since most people in the US spend at least 90% of their time inside buildings. In particular, they spend much of their time inside their homes and offices.
Sounds familiar? If so, then know that filthy HVAC ducts may put your health at even higher risk. Going without duct cleaning services for too long can make you and your loved ones ill.
The question now is, how exactly do you tell that you have dirty ducts? Is air duct cleaning even necessary?
We’ll answer all these questions in this post, so be sure to keep reading!
1. Increase in Cold-Like or Allergy Symptoms
Sarasota County, for the most part, has acceptable levels of air quality. However, it’s common for many areas of the county to experience moderate levels of ozone. This is a major pollutant that can trigger coughing and airway obstruction.
It’s an even greater risk for those who have existing health conditions like asthma. Exposure to ground-level ozone can also worsen bronchitis and emphysema.
Moreover, researchers found that ozone can interact with ductwork material. Ozone exposure can make duct liners, gaskets, and sealing caulk produce more pollutants.
All these can then result in colds and allergies at your home becoming more common. If you’ve noticed that you or your loved ones always seem to be down with a cold, dirty ductwork may be to blame. Schedule HVAC duct cleaning as soon as you can before these symptoms worsen.
2. You’ve Never Had Duct Cleaning Services
Or if you simply can’t remember the last time you had AC duct cleaning, then now may be the best time to. All those years of HVAC use have likely made your duct network a haven for dust, dust mites, pollen, and pet dander.
3. Your House Smells Like Moldy and Musty
Have you noticed musty smells around the home, especially when you first power on the HVAC unit? Perhaps you’ve seen white, gray, or yellow powdery spots near your vents. If not, then maybe green or black fuzzy, slimy growths near or around the ducts.
Either way, all these are signs of mold and mildew growths affecting your ductwork. It’s best to schedule duct cleaning before these microorganisms spread further.
Granted, molds and mildew aren’t always a major health threat. However, constant exposure to them can still be harmful. Especially for people who already have allergies or lung problems like asthma.
4. You’ve Been Hearing Squeaks and Creaks from and in the Ducts
The most recent reports found that at least 21 million US homes have some form of rodent infestation. If you’ve been hearing squeaks and creaks up in the ceiling or in the walls, those are likely rats or mice. It’s even more likely if you’ve seen tiny black droppings behind your stove or near food supply.
These pests, unfortunately, could make their way into your air ducts. They can live, reproduce, and worse, die there.
A solid sign that you have rodent-infested air ducts the putrid smell of urine. This is even more noticeable if you have your heater or air conditioner turned on. The air that it blows and circulates into your home can carry the odor of rodent urine.
If you suspect mice and rats in your air ducts, it’s best to contact not only pest control but also HVAC experts. Pest control will take care of the infestation, while HVAC pros will clean and sanitize the ducts.
5. A Spike in Your Heating and Cooling Bills
Rising heating and cooling bills without any noticeable improvement in indoor comfort? If so, a pest-infested and filthy ductwork may be the culprit.
If you do have pests living in the ductwork, they could cause damages there like cracks and holes. If this happens, your ductwork can leak up to 30% of cooled or heated air. This means that not enough cooled or heated air reaches the inside of your home
This can then trigger your HVAC thermostat to incorrectly read temperatures. It’ll force the system to work doubly hard to bring in more conditioned air. The result is more energy used, which in turn, equates to higher energy bills.
Excessive dirt accumulation in your ductwork may also obstruct airflow. The same thermostat problem — and increased energy costs — may occur.
Crucial Safety Tips During These Trying Times
With the Coronavirus threat, it’s crucial to limit your contact with other people. Medical experts believe that the main way the virus spreads is through person to person.
At the same time, you can’t just ignore your dirty air ducts, seeing as they may also pose a health threat. Clean air ducts are even more important if a household member has compromised health. Moreover, HVAC-related services are essential services that can still operate during these times.
This is why you should hire HVAC technicians who implement stricter safety measures. Here at Bowersox, we ask our clients to take and send us photos and videos of their HVAC units. We then use these images and clips to provide virtual estimates for their job request.
This all helps us remain in compliance with the state’s Executive Order 20-91, or the “Safer at Home” order.
What about during the actual air duct cleaning service?
Our technicians will wear proper personal protective equipment. These include face masks, gloves, and booties.
Duct Cleaning Can Help Make Indoor Air Safer and More Breathable
There you have it, your ultimate guide on how to tell that you need duct cleaning services. If you’ve seen, heard, or smelled these symptoms, don’t delay getting int ouch with an HVAC company. This way, you can have their PPE-wearing HVAC technicians to clean and sanitize your ducts.
Still unsure if you need to get your ductwork cleaned? Let us help! Get in touch with us now so we can help determine if you do need duct cleaning.