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7 Signs Your Air Ducts Need Cleaning

air ducts on wall

The Importance of Duct Cleaning

When was the last time your air ducts were cleaned? If you can’t remember the answer to that question, then it’s probably time to book it in soon. A lot of dust and grime can accumulate in your ducts which not only make it inefficient, and so more expensive to run, but can also make your family sick! As heating & cooling experts, we’ve got 7 signs your air ducts need cleaning.

You’ll often hear that your ducts should be cleaned every 2-5 years, but that isn’t always the case. Every home uses its ducts differently, and so will need to be cleaned at different times as well. That’s why it’s useful to know what signs to look for so you know when your ducts are in need of a cleanout.

1. Your Energy Bill has Unexpectedly Spiked

Unless you’ve been using your heating & cooling more than is typical for a quarter, your energy bill should be relatively consistent each year. If your energy bill for that quarter comes in with a major spike unexpectedly, or it’s been climbing over the past few years, dirty ducts could be a reason for this.

When dirt and dust accumulate in your ductwork, it stops the free flow of air in your ducts. This means your air conditioner requires more energy to push air through the ducts, causing the gradual climb or spike in your bill.

2. There are Signs of Rodent or Insect Infestation

Have you been noticing unpleasant smells coming from your ducts? Or maybe it sounds like something is crawling around up there? This can be bad news for your HVAC system.

Possums, rats, mice and insects are just a few of the things that might decide to set up shop in your ducts. Their droppings will leave a highly unpleasant smell throughout your home, and their fur and hair can make its way through the ducts and make your family feel sick.

3. Your Air Filters Get Dirty Quickly

If your return air vents are showing dust and grime buildup, and you’re needing to frequently change over your filters, this is one of the signs your air ducts need cleaning. This buildup gets sucked back into your ductwork and is recirculated back through your filters, causing them to get dirty more quickly.

If your air filters are dirty, this also means your air quality might be compromised. Clean filters will remove the dust, pollution and allergens from the air before it is pumped into your home. Dirty filters are inefficient at removing these air particles and are pumped into your home along with the air.

This can be especially bad for asthmatics and those who suffer from allergies. Even those who don’t suffer from asthma or allergies might begin to show poor respiratory symptoms if your filters are dirty.

4. There is Dirt and Dust Around the Vents

If you notice dirt and debris building up around your vents, this too is a sign that your ducts need cleaning. This likely means there are contaminants in your ductwork that could also be making your family unwell.

5. Mould and Mildew Growth is Visible

Dirt and dust are one thing, but if there’s visible mould or mildew around your duct and vents, then you urgently need duct cleaning. Mould will not only significantly reduce your air quality, but it also grows! This means your problem will only get worse until you have your ducts cleaned.

Depending on the type of mould growing, your family can feel very sick from breathing it in. This is why it is urgent you have your ducts cleaned when you start seeing mould and mildew growth.

6. Air Flow to Different Rooms is Inconsistent

Unless you have zoning capabilities, your ducts should be delivering the same volume of airflow to each room. If this isn’t the case, it is likely there is a buildup that requires duct cleaning.

This will ensure airflow is consistent for all rooms and that your air conditioner is heating & cooling as it should.

7. Your Ducts are Noisier than Usual

Your air conditioner and ducts won’t be completely silent, and the more you use it, the more you get to know the normal noises it makes. If it begins to make noises that are out of the ordinary, or it has become much louder than usual.

This could potentially be caused by a blockage in the ductwork which requires duct cleaning.

Is your home showing any signs your ducts need cleaning? Contact Mr Emergency for our duct cleaning services.