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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 air duct cleaning 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. Indoor air quality has a big influence on health.

As heating and cooling system experts, we’ve got seven 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. It’s also important to note that DIY duct cleaning is not recommended and it’s advisable to contact a professional air duct cleaning service.

1. Your Energy Bill Has Unexpectedly Spiked

Unless you’ve been using your heating and cooling system 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 air 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 air ducts? Or maybe it sounds like something is crawling around up there? This can be bad news for your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) 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 build up, and you’re needing to frequently change over your filters, this is one of the signs your air ducts need cleaning.

This build up 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.

This is a definite sign your HVAC system is not working to optimal capacity and you need to get your air ducts cleaned immediately.

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. Duct contamination will only get worse until you schedule air duct cleaning services.

Depending on the type of mould growing, your family can feel very sick from breathing it in. Instead of enjoying clean air, you’re experienced indoor air pollution.

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 supply vents should be delivering the same volume of airflow to each room. If this isn’t the case, it is likely there is a build up 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.

How Does a Professional Clean Air Ducts?

When you hire a professional technician to clean the air ducts in your heating and cooling system, it’s crucial to understand how they get the job done. Here’s a brief overview of the process:

  1. Inspection: The first step is a thorough inspection of your air duct system. A trained technician will assess the condition of your ducts, looking for any signs of dirt, dust, debris, or potential issues.
  2. Equipment setup: Once the inspection is complete, the technician will prepare their equipment. This typically includes a powerful vacuum cleaner, specialised brushes, cleaning cloths and other tools designed to remove contaminants from dirty ducts.
  3. Cleaning: The technician will then use these tools to clean your dirty ducts. They’ll start by loosening and dislodging any dirt and debris that may have accumulated in your duct work. The powerful vacuum hose will then suck up all the loosened contaminants, ensuring they’re removed from your system.
  4. Sanitisation (optional): Some professional duct cleaners offer an additional step of sanitising the ducts to kill any remaining bacteria, mould, or odours. This step can help improve indoor air quality further.
  5. Re-inspection: After cleaning, the technician will re-inspect the ducts to ensure that they are clean and free from any obstructions.
  6. Replacement of filters and sealing: If necessary, the technician may replace filters and seal any gaps or leaks in your ductwork to prevent future contamination.
  7. Documentation: A reputable technician will provide you with documentation of the cleaning process, including before-and-after photos and a report on the condition of your ducts.

Whether your set up is a heating and cooling system or a central heating system, you should always remember that clean air ducts mean clean, healthy air.

Hiring professional duct cleaners ensures a thorough and effective cleaning of your air ducts, promoting better indoor air quality and potentially reducing energy bills.

Regular air duct cleaning is recommended

Need a Professional Duct Cleaning Service?

Is your home showing any signs your ducts need cleaning? One of the benefits of regular duct cleaning is that you know you’re always breathing healthy air.

Mr Emergency offers professional air duct cleaning services and duct repairs 24/7, every day of the year. We are regarded as one of the top air duct cleaning companies in the business. Contact Mr Emergency for our duct cleaning services today.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.

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