IF your house is like most in America today, you and your family create up to 40 pounds of dust a year, just through everyday living. In addition, high temperature and humidity can also increase concentrations of some pollutants. So can not getting in enough outdoor air, which can happen, especially with modern homes designed to minimize air “leaks.”
Through normal occupation in a home, people generate a great deal of contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust and chemicals. These are pulled into the HVAC system and recirculated several times a day. Over time, this causes a buildup of contaminants in the ductwork.
Dirty ducts can harbor contaminants that could cause serious problems for people with respiratory problems, autoimmune disorders or allergies.
Health effects from indoor air pollutants may include irritated eyes, nose and throat, as well as headaches, dizziness and fatigue. Symptoms of asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis and humidifier fever may also come from exposure to some indoor air pollutants.
To protect you from this pollution, your heating and cooling system acts as the lungs of your home. The system takes air in and breathes air out. A good rule of thumb: If your ducts look dirty, they probably are and should be inspected by a reputable, certified HVAC professional.
In addition to better air, clean ducts can mean saving money and energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and wear out sooner. Even with filters, the heating and cooling system still gets dirty through normal use. A clean system uses less energy for more cost effectiveness.
Who can help
A good way to get your ducts properly cleaned is to have them done by a professional who belongs to NADCA, a trade association of companies in the HVAC inspection, maintenance and restoration industry that have signed the NADCA Code of Ethics and invested time and resources into industry-related training and education.
Members possess general liability insurance and will clean and restore your heating and cooling system in accordance with NADCA standard and guidelines.
For further facts and to find a nearby association member, go to www.nadca.com. North American Precis Syndicate