The Link Between Turning On Your Furnace, Dirty Ducts, and Poor Health!
With the onset of cooler temperatures, many people turn on their furnaces to force warmer air into their home. This air travels through the home’s duct system.
Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors breathing air that is confined within a heating and air conditioning system.
At most workplaces and homes, the windows are rarely opened so air quality can sometimes be worse indoors than out.
One of the most important actions homeowners can take is to change their furnace filters regularly and keep their HVAC system properly maintained.
Are you aware that if the air ducts of your home are dirty, this could also impact the indoor air quality of your home?
Air duct cleaning is important because it removes all air-borne dust and debris from the air duct system components of the HVAC, forced air systems, gravity heaters and other related systems.
The purpose of this article is to explain why you could be getting sick soon after your furnace is turned on, why your ducts get dirty, and why you should have your ducts cleaned!
Did You Know That Your Indoor Air Quality Can Be Impacted By Your Furnace?
Mold in the furnace can become apparent when the blower pushes air throughout the home. Here are a few signs of mold in your furnace:
- The sudden onset of allergic symptoms involving the respiratory system such as cough, congestion, sinus infection, asthma, and bronchitis.
- Unexplained headaches, decrease in attention span or memory, difficulty concentrating, or dizziness.
- Other physical symptoms of mold could include skin rash, itchy eyes, fatigue, and a general unwell feeling that disappears when leaving the house.
If you experience any of the above health issues after turning on your furnace, you may want to check for mold. Check the furnace for black, gray-brown, gray-green, or white-and-orange spots. The insulation, condensers, cooling coils, and drip pans of furnaces and air conditioners, as well as the ducts are all potential areas where mold growth can occur.
Why Ducts Get Dirty!
Your heating and cooling system are the lungs of your home because the system takes in air and breathes it out.
One of the primary reasons you should be concerned about keeping your ducts clean is that it can affect the indoor air quality in your home.
In a typical six-room home, up to 40 pounds of dust is created annually through everyday living.
In addition to dust, through normal occupation in a home, we generate a great deal of contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust, and chemicals.
On average, these contaminants are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated 5 to 7 times per day. Over time, this re-circulation causes a build-up of contaminants in the duct work which can affect the indoor air quality of your home negatively.
The video below explains why your ducts get dirty.
Listed below are 15 reasons why you should invest in duct cleaning. If you suspect that you have mold, please call us so we can determine the cause!
#1 Energy Efficiency!
When your ducts become contaminated, your heating and cooling system works harder, which cuts down its life span. Clean air ducts increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems which should lower utility bills and increase money saved.
#2 Never Cleaned Before!
A lot of homeowners have never even considered cleaning their ducts leading to years of build-up. If you have lived in the home for more than five years and never had the ducts cleaned, now is the time to get it done.
#3 Mildew and Mold
You may have a wet, soggy or flooded crawlspace or basement that may have allowed the growth of mildew and mold, which may have further penetrated in your HVAC duct system. The last thing you want are those spores circulating around your home.
If you suspect that you have mold in your home, you may also want to consider a mold inspection and indoor air quality test as well.
#4 Allergy Relief
The duct system is an ideal breeding environment for bacteria, mold, fungi, and other allergens.
These allergens cause respiratory discomfort and allergies and can impact the children and elderly more because their immune systems may not be as strong.
Pollutants are brought indoors because of their microscopic air borne properties and then introduced into your HVAC system via the “cold air returns” contaminating the air.
Duct systems also provide the perfect environment for dust mites, fungi, bacteria, molds and other allergens to breed. For instance, dust mites like to breed in temperatures that fall between 72 and 86 degrees.
Cleaning your ducts will reduce allergy symptoms and improve the indoor air quality of the home.
#5 Reduce Dust
Up to 40 pounds of dust can accumulate in a six room house annually. Air duct cleaning will remove the dust that has accumulated over the years so that it does not keep circulating back into your home.
#6 New Furnace
The installation procedure is often quite messy that allows accumulation of dust and pollutants, which enter the living space once you start the system.
#7 You Have Pets
Pet fur has the tendency to get caught in the air vents, which provide fungus, germs, molds and allergens the right place to live on.
#8 Improper Cleaning
You had your Furnace and Air Duct System cleaned by a cleaner who simply “Blow’s and Goes” doing an unsatisfactory job.
Some cleaners utilize portable cleaning equipment they pack inside your home and assemble, potentially cross-contaminating your household from a previous job.
Hire an air duct cleaning company with a truck mounted system to prevent cross contamination.
#9 Water or Fire Restoration
Abnormal moisture levels, no matter how big or small they seem, can potentially cause significant air pollution because of mold spores or other contaminants caused by water damage.
#10 Purchased A New Home
If you recently purchased a home, it is a good idea to have the ducts cleaned particularly if the previous owners had pets. The other reason, the home may have never had the ducts cleaned. We recommend that you get the ducts cleaned before moving in.
#11 Home Renovation
Home remodeling and renovations can stir up dust and also release drywall dust into the air. Dust and debris from construction takes refuge inside the HVAC systems and begins recirculating. To avoid this, get your ducts cleaned immediately after the renovation is complete.
#12 You Smoke In Your Home
The ducts in your home are the respiratory system of your home. When you smoke, the ducts of your home will get clogged and dirty, reducing their efficiency. If you must smoke, we recommend that you do it outside to avoid the negative impact on your ducts.
#13 You Have Young Children or A Baby
If you have young kids or are welcoming a new baby to the home, provide the freshest air possible to them by making sure your HVAC system and ducts are serviced and cleaned regularly.
If you notice that your home has more spiders, insects, and other creepy crawlies, they could be living in the ducts of your HVAC system. In fact, spring duct cleaning is recommended because insects love to hide in the duct work to avoid the cold. Cleaning the ducts will remove the dead insects and also prevent further infestation by stopping the life cycle.
#15 Vermin and Rodents
If you notice an odor coming from your ducts or have allergic reactions, this could be an indication that there are dead mice, rats, or other animals in your duct work.
Dead insects and animals can have a negative impact on your indoor air quality.
A thorough duct cleaning and disinfection of your ducts by a professional will address this problem.
Got Indoor Air Quality Questions?
Duct cleaning is typically not a priority maintenance item for many home owners.
As this article shows, however, there are many valuable benefits to having routine air duct maintenance and cleaning services performed in your home.
In addition, one of the services that Valor Mold specializes in is Air Quality Cleaning.
We are here to help with all of your indoor air quality needs. Please give us a call 703-897-7121 or send us an e-mail.
The team at Valor Mold wishes you a safe and happy holidays! We look forward to serving you in 2018! 🙂
What’s Hiding In Your Ducts?
— Valor Mold (@ValorMold) December 13, 2017