The Essential Guide to Air Duct Maintenance

When's The Last Time You Checked Your Ducts?

One of the most overlooked components of your air conditioning system is the ductwork—and let’s be honest, when was the last time you had air duct maintenance? Although the ductwork is often an afterthought in the minds of homeowners, the ducts in your AC system are essential in keeping your home cool and comfortable. The HVAC experts at Engineered Air in Pompano Beach are here to help with this essential guide to everything to need to know about your air ducts.

When do you Need Air Duct Maintenance?

Cleaning your air ducts is more important than you probably suspect. Not only can cleaning the ducts make your entire AC system more efficient, but a good cleaning can improve your home’s indoor air quality too. But when should you clean those air ducts? And how often? Here’s what you should know: Start by checking if…

  • There’s mold. If you suspect that there is any mold in your air ducts, call a professional to clean or replace the ductwork.
  • There’s vermin. It’s possible for vermin or insects to get into your ductwork, but if you expect that any critters are hanging out in your ducts, it’s time to have them cleaned.
  • There’s dust. When cooled air is exiting the vents, pay attention to the supply register. If you can notice dust emitting, your ducts are in need of a cleaning.
  • It’s been 3 to 5 years. If it’s been more than 5 years since you’ve cleaned your ductwork, now is the time to do so.
  • You’ve moved into a new home. Unless the previous homeowner had the ductwork cleaned in the last 3 to 5 years, have a professional check it out.
  • You’ve remodeled. If you’ve recently remodeled your home, it’s important to have the ductwork cleaned. Remodeling projects often spread sawdust and the like which will spread to your ductwork.
Source: Angie's List

Source: Angie’s List

How to Clean Air Ducts

Some homeowners love a good do-it-yourself. Many think that they may be able to save some money by cleaning their air ducts themselves. However, these homeowners should be very cautious. Air duct cleaning may seem like a simple DIY project, but it actually requires specialized equipment and training.

Your air ducts are a long and intricate set of metal tubes running throughout your entire home. They reach far beyond the reach of your arm. So, while you may be able to do a surface clean, chances are there is much more dirt and debris sitting out of sight, still polluting your home. When a professional comes to your home for an air duct cleaning, they bring specific tools to do the job. They will actually have a camera, so you can see exactly how dirty your air ducts were, and how clean they are after.

How to Find the Block in Your Air Ducts

One of the most common things blocking ducts is a dirty filter. When we don’t change our filters once a month, dirt starts to build up inside them. Dirty filters do not allow air to properly pass through and lower your home’s air quality. If it has been a while since you last changed your home’s air filter, then this might be the first thing you want to try. You’ll be amazed how quickly you notice a difference.

Damage in the ducts themselves may be preventing air from reaching your home. Ducts become damaged a variety of ways. Commonly, it’s just old age that wears them out. If you get a new AC, but do not update your ducts, the old ductwork won’t be able to keep up with the high demand of your new system. This may cause leaks, allowing the air to escape.
Dents are another danger to your air ducts. When people go in your attic, like an electrician or the cable man, they may dent or damage the ductwork if they do not know where it is. This is due to simple carelessness and can harm your homes airflow.

If it has been over a year since your last air duct cleaning, then dirt or debris may be what’s causing your air duct woes. Dust and dirt gets trapped in your ducts and slow down the air. Even worse, small animals can find their way into your ducts. When the unfortunate critters pass away, their bodies slow down the airflow along with leaving a foul odor.

How to Know If Your Air Ducts Are Leaking

When your air ducts are leaking, there will generally be warning signs. If you notice any of the following problems, you might have an air duct leak:
-Decreased Comfort: This is generally the first sign people notice. No matter how low they set their thermostat, their rooms never seem to cool down. Many people just accept this as the way their system is built. However, AC should always be able to cool your house down to its set temperature.
-Low Air Flow: If you put your hand up to your vent and feel little or no air coming out of it, chances are you have a leak. When your unit is on, air should be pumping out of your vents, and only feeling a faint breeze is not normal.
-Increased Energy Bill: When your home isn’t cooling, but your bill is rising, something is wrong. If you have a leak, then your system will work twice as hard to try and cool your home. This means that you will be getting a much larger energy bill, without feeling comfortable in your home.
-Poor Air Quality: Leaky ducts don’t just let out air, they let in dust and other pollutants. If you notice that your home is constantly dusty, or that the air quality inside is generally lacking, you may have leaky ducts.

When to Replace Ductwork

Cleaning your AC’s ductwork can increase your system’s energy efficiency and can make your home cleaner overall, but sometimes cleaning won’t be enough. In these situations, it’s better to replace your ductwork altogether. Although it may seem costly, replacing your ductwork will guarantee that your air conditioner will have a long life and will also help to cut down on energy costs. If your ductwork meets any of the following, it’s probably time for a replacement.

  • Excessive Mold
  • Extreme Age
  • Tears
  • Poor Indoor Air Quality
  • Increased Humidity
  • Improper Installation

via GIPHY

Contact Engineered Air for Air Duct Maintenance

At Engineered Air, we want to keep your home cool and comfy year-round, and a comfortable home starts with clean, efficient ductwork. Our trained technicians can quickly assess any duct damage and ensure the ductwork is clean of any debris. If you think your ductwork needs to be cleaned, contact us today,

Check out our HVAC Blog and for more blogs on everything HVAC.

Comments