How Do You Know If Your Home Needs A Vent Cleaning?

Any system that moves air through your home will inevitably collect dust, hair, allergens, and other small particles along the way. If you've ever replaced the filter in a small room-sized air purifier or cleaned the top of a ceiling fan, you know how quickly these problems can develop. Your home's HVAC system uses a filter to help protect its components from dust, but it's not a foolproof solution.

Contaminants can still make their way past the filter, allowing dust and other particles to pass over your evaporator or heat exchanger and, eventually, travel into your home's HVAC system. These issues can create potentially severe air quality problems, but it's not always easy to know when to take action. If you're experiencing any of these three issues, it's probably a good idea to clean your home's vents.

1. Severe Indoor Allergies

Your home should be a safe place against many problems you can experience outdoors, including uncomfortable allergy symptoms. Even if you live with pets, cigarette smokers, or other allergy sources, your HVAC filter should do a relatively decent job of keeping your air quality high. If your allergies worsen when you step inside, that's a good sign that something may be wrong.

In these cases, a good first step is always to consider replacing and even upgrading your HVAC filter. However, a new filter won't help if allergens are trapped and circulating on the supply side of your ductwork. An air conditioner vent cleaning will help eliminate the entire problem, turning your home into a fortress against air quality issues.

2. Known Mold Issues

Mold is one of the most dangerous potential sources of air quality issues, and it can strike surprisingly quickly. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), mold can grow in as little as two days following a flood. However, floods aren't the only source of mold. Excessive humidity can also create the perfect conditions for mold to flourish.

If you know your home has a mold issue, remediation is a multi-step process. While you need to remove the mold from your living spaces, it's also important to ensure that spores don't continue to circulate through your AC system. A vent cleaning will remove mold spores from this potential refuge, helping to prevent the problem from returning.

3. Unknown HVAC History

When you buy a brand new house, you get peace of mind from knowing your home's full maintenance and history. Of course, most people don't buy freshly constructed homes. Since it's relatively uncommon to replace ductwork, there's a good chance that your home's vents are still those installed by the original builder.

Years of operation can allow dust and debris to accumulate in the vents, spreading small but noticeable amounts of contaminants around your home. If you don't know the previous owner's maintenance schedule, it's best to assume they never scheduled a cleaning. Taking care of this issue now may improve your home's air quality or, at a minimum, prevent future problems. 

For more information on air conditioner vent cleaning, contact an HVAC company.