Cleaning air ducts is a great way to ensure that you have fresh, healthy air inside your home. But if you suffer from allergies, it's important to consider the severity of your symptoms before deciding whether or not to clean your air ducts. If you only have mild allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose or itchy eyes, cleaning your air ducts won't make much of a difference. However, if you have more serious allergy symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or swelling, cleaning the air ducts can help improve your symptoms.
Household dust contains a variety of substances that vary from one home to another depending on factors such as construction materials, type of furniture, humidity level and the presence of pets. This dust can be so fine that it becomes part of the air you inhale in your home. Unfortunately, allergy symptoms usually worsen immediately or after a short period of time after dusting, sweeping, or vacuuming. Air ducts often collect and distribute allergens throughout the house.
The American Asthma and Allergy Foundation defines an allergic reaction as the release of antibodies by the immune system to combat anything it determines to be a threat. An allergy attack can include a rash, itchy eyes, runny nose, or sneezing. Before an air conditioning system can push hot or cold air throughout the house, it draws in unfiltered air that may contain contaminants. If you blow on a dirty bookshelf, that dust hangs in the air and covers your throat and nasal passages as it spreads.
Keeping your home clean is very important, but these allergens build up in your ducts over time. Regular cleaning of ventilation grilles and ducts reduces allergens in the home that are known to cause asthma attacks, sinusitis, and other respiratory problems. When the air conditioning system is working, these allergens are released back into the air so you can breathe. Therefore, cleaning the air ducts removes any potential allergens from the ducts.
In addition to dust mites, pet dander, bacteria, viruses, and mold spores can also enter your air conditioning system and circulate throughout the indoor space through air ducts. If you suffer from allergies or asthma symptoms, cleaning the air ducts can help reduce harmful contaminants in the air you breathe. Legitimate and reputable duct cleaning services exist in most communities and are usually offered by professional HVAC contractors. So how often should you clean the air ducts? Generally speaking, only if there is a serious problem such as mold in the air ducts should they be cleaned.
If your goal is for indoor air to be as fresh and healthy as possible, you might consider hiring a company to clean your home's air ducts. Only qualified HVAC inspection and cleaning technicians can safely clean ductwork and expel air outside your home. If you recently moved to a new home or renovated it, cleaning the air ducts can help eliminate any allergens left behind from the construction process. However, if you're dealing with scammers who falsely claim to be members of professional HVAC associations like NADCA (National Association of Air Duct Cleaners), make sure to do your research before hiring them.