A choked air filter in your car restricts air flow to the engine leading to increased fuel consumption, costing you more in gas. And clogging your engine with dirt and insects, causing starting problems and reducing acceleration.
Same is true of your forced air furnace. It’s the engine, and if the filter and ductwork are clogged with debris the furnace can’t get enough air from your home and your heating system is suffocating.
Over time, dirty ductwork and filters cause your furnace to work harder, efficiency suffers and your oil or gas bill increases. Unnecessary wear leads to earlier than expected furnace repairs or a shorter lifespan.
Furnace ductwork really seems invisible. We can’t see it, so we don’t think about it, or what dirt is in their building up.
I change the hot air furnace filter regularly, so how could any dirt get into my duct work?
Your ducts are probably in good shape if you follow the recommendation to check or clean your furnace filter every month and replace it every 3 months. Or you don’t see any of the obvious signs mentioned below.
But even so, dirt gets into the ducts in lots of ways.
Leaky ducts are the most common culprit. Over time, holes, cracks and damaged seals appear in furnace ductwork allowing dust, debris and particles into your ductwork. And like a shop vac in reverse, it sends that dirt (dust, debris, insects, animal dander and fur, human skin cells and hair, bacteria, mould, mildew) circulating into the rooms in your home. Adding a fine layer of dust over your furniture and into the air you breathe.
How do I know if my ductwork is dirty?
Here are some obvious signs and situations that your ductwork should be cleaned out:
Visible Mould or Mildew If you see mould or mildew growth in the ductwork it’s best to hire a professional duct cleaning company for removal. Mould can cause serious respiratory issues, skin and eye irritation. Especially for those in the home who may have chronic health issues.
Bugs or Rodents coming from your vents It’s not uncommon to see crawlers and critters coming from your vents if your ductwork is compromised. Even wasps dropping out of the vent inside the bathroom. It happens! An infestation can damage your heating system and the smell from decaying droppings and debris is very unpleasant in your home.
Dust, Dust & More Dust If you can’t keep up with the dust, it might not be your cleaning skills :). Dirt and dust build up in your forced air furnace ducts and even a clean furnace filter can’t keep up with the volume of air and dirt fast enough. You’ll notice debris, dirt near vents and always a layer of dust over your furniture if you have build up in your home’s ductwork. And a filter that gets dirty fast as it can’t keep up with that volume of dirty air cycling through.
New Home Construction or a Major Renovation Construction debris like drywall, sawdust and bits of insulation can get swept into your home’s ductwork. Turn off your furnace, heating system or air exchanger (when possible) and cover vents. Keep uninstalled ductwork covered or in another area and vacuum and sweep the construction area often to avoid pulling dust into your ducted systems.
Spike in Your Heating Costs You’re not using any more oil or gas. Your furnace is working properly, but energy bill keeps increasing. Get your ductwork inspected for clogs or leaks. A service technician can give you an estimate for duct cleaning and resealing where needed.
Inconsistent Room Temperature If the thermostat is working properly and vents are open a common issue for uneven temperatures from room to room can be blocked ductwork. Obstructions in ductwork get expensive as the furnace is constantly trying to keep the thermostat’s temperature setting.
Who wants to breathe in other people’s dirt? Moving into a new home means there is no way to know if the sellers regularly cleaned their furnace filter or had the ductwork cleaned out. For peace of mind, now’s a great time to get your ducts cleaned.
How Invasive is a Duct Cleaning?
Duct cleaning is not invasive or messy for the homeowner. You can be home when the cleaning takes place and a professional duct cleaning service will move your furniture (and put it back!) when work is finished.
Holes do need to be cut in the ductwork close to the equipment for cleaning access. But not to worry, all holes get sealed after cleaning and a professional duct cleaning company will guarantee their work and show you before and after pictures of your ductwork.
Furnace duct cleaning takes between 1-4 hours depending on the size of the home and system.
Avoid hiring a careless contractor
If the price is $49.99 for a full duct cleaning and the contractor uses air quality & your health as a scare tactic, consider these red flags. You get what you pay for and they will probably try to upsell you. Air quality is important but not the only reason and especially not as a scare tactic.
Don’t take their word for it. Check what credentials they have. Is the contractor certified or licensed? A Better Business Bureau rating and online reviews from previous customers are good indicators of who you can expect to deal with.
Get an in-home ductwork cleaning estimate. A professional will go through your home and inspect your ductwork, provide an accurate estimate and explain the cleaning process. Specialized equipment allows a professional duct cleaning service to clean far beyond what you the homeowner can get to and avoid any mess or damage to your ductwork.
If you think you need your ducts cleaned you can contact us at 902-702-6219 or fill out the form on this page. We’ll give you a free, no-obligation inspection of your furnace ductwork, remove mould, dirt and obstructions from your ductwork, and use a 100% natural disinfectant.