If you want your furnace and/or air conditioner to work to the best of their capabilities, you need to keep your ducts clean.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of your HVAC system’s functionality, your ducts are perpetually intaking dust and debris. As such, buildup occurs rapidly.
It’s for this reason that, every few years, you need to have your ducts cleaned out. Cleaning out your ducts will not only improve airflow throughout your home but it will also allow your HVAC system to work as efficiently as possible. Not to mention, it will improve your air quality.
What you might be wondering, though, is: how often should you have your home air ducts cleaned? What is the general rule and what factors can affect the timespan between duct cleanings?
We’re going to answer all of those questions and more below. Here is everything you need to know about the frequency of air duct cleaning in Washington.
How Often Do You Need Air Ducts Cleaned?
While there is no hard and fast rule pertaining to how frequently you need to clean your air ducts, generally speaking, a cleaning every 3 to 5 years is ideal. In most homes, 3 to 5 years of time will have resulted in a substantial amount of debris buildup.
Note, though, that this is dependent on a few factors. Homes that face these factors frequently are bound to experience more duct buildup than are homes that face these factors infrequently. We’ll discuss these factors now.
How Often Do You Clean Your Home?
Simply put, the more frequently you clean your home, the less often you’ll need to have your ducts cleaned. This is because, in cleaning your home often, you leave less residue behind for your ducts to take in. In essence, the residue ends up inside of your trash can instead of inside of your duct system.
So, if you want to prolong the amount of time that elapses between duct cleanings, be sure to clean your home regularly. Make sure to dust, vacuum, sweep and scrub.
How Dirty Does Your Home Get?
Some homes are more prone to getting dirty than are others. Whether it be because they’re located in rural areas or because they’re worn down and deteriorating quickly, the more dust and debris a home takes on, the quicker its duct system will get dirty.
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot that you can do to combat this. Some homes just take on more debris than others.
Do You Have Pets in Your Home?
Another factor that expedites duct cleanings is having pets in the home. Specifically, we’re speaking of furry pets such as cats and dogs.
After all, cats and dogs shed. And when they shed, their fur has the potential of being sucked up into the HVAC system. This, of course, causes it to become stuck within the adjoining duct system. As such, those with pets sometimes need to have their ducts cleaned even more often than the typical 3 to 5-year range.
Fortunately, you have some control over this. Namely, you can vacuum often, removing fur from your home before it’s able to enter your ducts.
How Often Do You Use Your HVAC System?
The last factor we’re going to discuss is overall HVAC system usage. Simply put, the more you use your HVAC system, the more dust and debris your duct system will encounter. So, if you’re able to get through springs and falls with only minimal HVAC use, you’ll protect your ducts from a great deal of dust and debris.
Signs You Need an Air Duct Cleaning
While it can be beneficial to clean your ducts on a specific timeline, it’s even more beneficial to look out for specific signs that duct cleaning is necessary. This way, you can eliminate the issue the moment it arises, instead of months or years after the fact.
Curious as to the signs that air duct cleaning is necessary? Here they are.
Your Room Temperatures Are Inconsistent
A common sign that ducts need cleaning is that the temperatures within the home are inconsistent from room to room. This comes about as a result of blockage within the ducts.
Dust and debris are literally blocking air from traveling to certain rooms, thereby creating temperature inconsistencies. So, if one of your rooms is 72 degrees while another of your rooms is 68 degrees, this is likely the culprit.
This problem will grow worse over time, creating a wider and wider gulf between one temperature and the next. As such, you’re advised to nab it in the bud the moment it presents itself.
Give a call to your local air duct cleaning company. They’ll come to your home, disassemble your ducts, vacuum out all of the debris, and reassemble your ducts for further use.
Your Energy Bills Are Increasing
Another sign that you need air duct cleaning is that your energy bills are increasing in cost. Sure, there are many other factors that could cause this problem as well. However, dirty ducts are a common culprit.
See, when ducts are dirty, they prevent air from traveling freely to different rooms throughout the house. As such, much of the air that is produced ends up being lost.
This forces the furnace and/or air conditioner to produce even more air, thereby driving up energy costs. In essence, it’s an issue of efficiency.
Allowing your ducts to get dirtier will only exacerbate this issue. Therefore if you want to knock your energy bills down to their typical standard, you need to have your ducts cleaned.
Cleaning your ducts will provide a clear pathway through which air can flow, allowing your HVAC system to cool and/or heat your home with as little effort as possible. Energy cost savings will be the result.
There Are Foul Odors Coming From Your Ducts
When dust and debris get trapped in your duct system, they bring odors along with them. Whether it’s a dank smell from mold spores, a musty smell from animal fur, or otherwise, it can have a seismic negative impact on your indoor environment. Namely, it can fill your home with a foul odor.
This stands to reason, as that odor is literally being blown into your home from your ducts and into your vents. It has to go somewhere, after all.
Fortunately, this is a problem that can easily be fixed. All you need to do is clean your ducts out. By removing dust, mold spores, pet dander, and other debris, you’ll also remove the foul odors from your ducts, allowing your home to take on a fresh and pleasant aroma.
Your Indoor Environment Feels Stuffy and Stale
Dirty ducts don’t just force foul odors out into your indoor environment. They force airborne particles out into your indoor environment as well. The result? A stuffy and stale-feeling home.
So, if you feel like it’s difficult to breathe in your house, or if the air just feels a little heavy to you, you’ll know why: you’re essentially swimming amongst dust, mold, and bacteria.
Again, this is an easy fix. All you have to do is clean out your air ducts. Once your ducts are cleared of debris, your indoor environment will possess greater air quality and will be much more comfortable to live in overall.
You’re Experiencing Allergy Symptoms on a Regular Basis
If you’re like some people, you’re allergic to mold and/or dust. Therefore, if you have mold and/or dust in your home environment, you’re bound to experience coughing, sneezing, rashes, and a variety of other symptoms.
And where does a great deal of mold and dust reside? Inside of your duct system, of course. Therefore, any time your AC or furnace is in use, it’s forcing allergens out into your air, thereby causing your allergies to flare up.
Want to reduce the severity of this problem substantially? It’s as simple as cleaning your duct system. By cleaning your ducts, you’ll eliminate most of the allergens that were infiltrating your indoor environment, creating a healthier and more breathable atmosphere in general.
It’s Been Over 5 Years
Generally speaking, it’s unwise to let ducts go uncleaned for anywhere over 5 years. After that amount of time, there’s sure to be a substantial amount of buildup within your duct system, regardless of how much you’ve used your HVAC system.
As such, if it’s been over 5 years since you last cleaned your ducts, you’re advised to have them cleaned as soon as possible. A duct cleaning will ensure that your ducts are fully functional and not causing any ill effects within your home.
Need help cleaning your ducts? Your local duct cleaning company will have you covered.
The Consequences of Not Cleaning Your Air Ducts
Failing to clean your air ducts brings about a number of negative consequences. The most prominent of these consequences include the following.
A Reduction in Energy Efficiency
Perhaps the most consequence of not cleaning your air ducts is a reduction in the energy efficiency of your HVAC system. See, when the ducts aren’t cleaned regularly, piles of dust and debris are allowed to accumulate inside of them.
These piles of dust and debris essentially create a barricade, preventing manufactured air from flowing freely. As a result, a good amount of this air is lost and thus provides no benefit.
Nonetheless, the HVAC system still has a job to do. As such, in order to counteract air loss, it will produce even more air. In doing so, it will increase its energy usage, thereby reducing overall energy efficiency.
Reducing energy efficiency has one big consequence for homeowners: increased energy costs. So, if you want to save as much money on energy costs as possible, be sure to clean your air ducts regularly.
A Reduction in Air Quality
Not only will dirty ducts reduce the energy efficiency of their corresponding HVAC system but they will also reduce air quality in their corresponding home. This is because the dust and debris within the ducts will be pushed out by manufactured air, floating into the indoor environment and contaminating it in perpetuity.
On the other hand, if the ducts were clean, there would be no risk of this. Only air would come out of the duct system, and not dust, pet dander, or mold spores.
Note, reduced air quality isn’t just an issue that affects your comfort. If you’re allergic to dust, mold, or pet dander, this problem can actually cause you to suffer cough, rash, sneezing, watery eyes, and more. As such, it’s a problem that you should confront head-on.
A Reduction in the HVAC System’s Lifespan
Another consequence of not cleaning your air ducts is a reduced HVAC lifespan. How can dirty ducts affect the lifespan of your HVAC system? By counteracting its functionality and causing it to work harder than it would have to otherwise.
See, when dust and debris are trapped inside of a duct system, the adjoining HVAC system has to step up its game, so to speak. This is because much of the air that the HVAC system produces ends up being blocked by the debris.
Because the HVAC system has to step up its game, it ends up taking on unnecessary wear and tear. Over time, this can cause the HVAC system to wear down, resulting in its premature demise.
So, in essence, if you want to get the most use out of your HVAC system possible, you need to clean your ducts regularly. This will remove stress from your HVAC system, allowing it to work steadily over the years.
Inconsistent HVAC Functionality
HVAC and duct systems are designed to work in tandem with one another. When all is clean and maintained, they do so beautifully. However, once dust and other debris are introduced, the HVAC system tends to struggle.
What results is an inconsistency in the HVAC’s functionality. For instance, the HVAC system isn’t able to equally distribute air to different rooms throughout the house, resulting in differences in temperature from one room to another.
In other cases, the dust and debris prevent the HVAC system from properly communicating with the thermostat. As such, there can be delays in operation as well as problems like short cycling.
Put simply, if you want your HVAC system to behave in the way that it’s supposed to behave, you have to keep your ducts clean. Clean ducts will enable the HVAC system to operate at max capacity, allowing for optimal performance.
Finding Professional Air Duct Cleaning Near Me
When having your ducts cleaned, it’s vital that you utilize the services of a seasoned professional. Cleaning ducts is an intensive process, one that involves disassembling your duct system, utilizing a high-powered vacuum, and applying certain liquid cleaners. It’s not a job that you can easily facilitate yourself.
Now, you might be wondering: how do you find the right air duct cleaning company in your area? Generally speaking, it involves utilizing the following tips.
Check Search Engines
You should begin your search for air duct cleaning by checking searching engines. A search engine will enable you to identify most of the air duct cleaning companies in your area. For this purpose, Google is the ideal search engine to use.
Type “air duct cleaning near me” into the search box. This will return a long list of relevant companies in your town or city. Next to each of these companies will be a star rating as well as a link that leads to reviews from the company’s past customers.
Utilize these star ratings and customer reviews to determine which companies are the best. Then, create a shortlist of candidates that appeal to you.
Next, you’re going to want to assess the experience of the companies that you’ve put on your shortlist. Typically speaking, experienced companies provide better service than inexperienced companies.
Not only does experience allow a company a chance to iron out kinks and work out mistakes but it also gives the company the opportunity to fine-tune its business processes. Companies with no or little experience are often still in the trial-and-error process, and that can have a negative effect on you, the customer.
We suggest choosing a company with 2 years of experience in the field, minimum. Any company that has maintained a positive reputation over this length of time is likely doing something right. In other words, it’s a fairly safe bet.
Inquire About Insurance
Another thing you must do when searching for an air duct cleaning company is to ask about insurance. If a company isn’t insured, utilizing its services is risky. Not only could you open your home up to damage but you could also open yourself up to legal liability in the event that one of the company’s employees gets injured on your property.
Insured companies, on the other hand, have the backup necessary to pay for damages and injuries. They’ll be much less likely to scam you, and much less likely to cause you headaches after the job is finished.
Now, what types of insurance should an air duct cleaning have? As far you, the customer, are concerned, there are two types of insurance that an air duct cleaning company must have: general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. Make sure to see proof of both before signing any contracts.
Ask to See Pictures of the Company’s Work
To ensure that your chosen company really can get the job done, you’ll want to see proof of their past work. You can do this by asking to see pictures of such work.
Most duct cleaning companies have before and after pictures for their prospective customers to see. They might even keep these pictures up on their websites. So, check there before making any calls.
Once you’ve seen pictures of the company’s work, and once you’re satisfied with what you see, you can rest assured that the company is capable of doing a good job on your duct system. This makes the company a viable candidate in your search and means that it should be assessed further.
Not all air duct cleaning companies charge the same rates. In fact, there can be quite a bit of cost variation from company to company. As such, before hiring a company, you need to be sure of what you’ll have to pay.
You can achieve this by calling the company up and asking for an estimate. Any duct cleaning company that’s worthwhile will provide you with an estimate upon inquiry. If a company won’t provide you with an estimate before the services are rendered, you shouldn’t utilize its services.
Generally speaking, it’s wise to compare a few estimates against each other. This enables you to get a good deal, while also helping you get a feel for the average costs in your area.
We recommend staying away from companies that charge much less than the others around you. Charging exceedingly low prices is often indicative of poor service or inexperience.
Need Air Duct Cleaning in Washington?
Are your air ducts dirty? Are they due for a cleaning? Do you need air duct cleaning in Washington or air duct cleaning in Thurston County?
If so, look no further than Capitol Duct Cleaning. We’ve cleaned countless duct systems throughout the Thurston County area, helping a bevy of home and business owners along the way. Quick, knowledgeable, and professional, our team will have your ducts clean as a whistle in no time.
Contact us now to schedule an appointment!