We all know the importance of air quality. We hear about the air quality reports given for the outside “atmosphere” on a daily basis, but what do we do about our “inside” atmosphere? Most of us only focus on vacuuming and dusting…basically getting the superficial dust and grime out of the air, but we overlook the biggest factor for poor quality of air: our air ducts. Because this area is so often overlooked, it’s easy to listen to the few myths you actually do hear about
- You must use chemicals to clean air ducts properly. Not true. Everyone has their own preference, of course, but the truth of the matter is that it’s not necessary to clean the dirt and debris. Ask your HVAC expert what non-chemical alternatives they have for duct cleaning. Many chemicals used to clean industrially can be harmful if breathed in, so you may not want it circulating through your HVAC system.
- You rarely need to have your ducts cleaned. This is certainly not true. You may not necessarily need to invest in a full inspection every year, but you can have your HVAC expert stop in and perform brief inspections to make sure everything is performing properly. Professionals have the ability to run tests that the client cannot run to ensure proper air quality. Once you establish a relationship with an HVAC expert, try and establish a once a year inspection for your ducts.
- Air ducts only get dirty when you use an air conditioning system. Again, this is false. Ducts get dirty any time you use a forced air system; whether it’s a heat exchanger, heat system, fresh air ventilation system, hot air pump system, etc. Any time forced air has to travel through a duct, it will get dirty.
- Bacteria can only be produced by an air conditioning system that has a dehumidifier. This isn’ true either. Though moisture is definitely the culprit in producing bacteria, all air conditioning systems have some sort of water involved in their makeup. Some have drip trays which collect water when the hot air is removed from the room and run over the coils. If the trays drain get blocked or obstructed, you can have a collection of water that becomes a breeding ground for germs and bacteria.
- Unclean air has no effect on our health. This is absolutely untrue. If you have poor air quality and are producing mold, mildew, and bacteria, you will certainly be doing damage to your body by breathing it in on a regular basis. You can experience flu-like symptoms, fatigue, asthma-like symptoms, and even headaches. Many people who have these symptoms on a regular basis try every resolution except duct cleaning.