Should I have the ductwork in my house cleaned before Winter?

While it may make sense to have ductwork in your house cleaned because dust is visible on the grates and in ductwork, cleaning ductwork has never been proven to prevent health problems and according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), studies are inconclusive as to whether or not dust levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts.

Young attractive young woman doing cleaning, wiping dust in the living room using blue rag, wearing rubber protective yellow gloves. Home, housekeeping concept. Focus on hand

Much of the dirt in air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space. It is also important to keep in mind that dirty air ducts are only one of many possible sources of particles that are present in homes.

Pollutants that enter the home both from outdoors and indoor activities such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, pets or just moving around can cause greater exposure to contaminants than dirty air ducts. Moreover, there is no evidence that a light amount of household dust in air ducts poses any risk to your health.

It may be unnecessary to have your air ducts cleaned if no one in your household suffers from allergies or unexplained symptoms or illnesses. It is normal for the return registers to become dust-laden as air is pulled through the grates.

However, you may want to consider having air ducts in your house cleaned if:

• Numerous sections of your heating and cooling system are not accessible for inspection.

• If insulation in ductwork gets wet, it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced.

• The cause of mold growth should be eliminated so that it does not reoccur.

• If you think that mold is growing in the ductwork, only an expert can determine if it is or is not mold and may require lab analysis for confirmation. Highland Home Inspections offers Mold Testing services and can help determine if the substance is a toxigenic or allergenic mold.

Whether or not you decide to have the air ducts in your home cleaned, preventing dirt and water from entering your system is the most effective way to prevent contamination.

Knowledge about air duct cleaning is in its early stages so a blanket recommendation can not be given regarding ductwork cleaning. If you decide to have your air ducts cleaned, take the same consumer precautions you normally would in assessing the service provider’s competencies and reliability

Fall is fast upon us and we look forward to helping you with continued success.

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