Since it's not easy to see inside air ducts, many homeowners have the wrong impression about what is inside them. You may think that your air ducts look pristine on the inside, since that is what you typically see in movies when people have to crawl through air ducts. The truth is that air ducts can be quite dirty, and there will come a time where you need to have them professionally cleaned. Here are two common questions you may have about getting this job done.
1. Doesn't The Air Filter Remove Contaminants Before They Reach The Ductwork?
A common reason that people think their air ducts are clean is that they have an air filter on their HVAC system. After all, the filter is designed to remove contaminants from the air prior to the air traveling through your home. While all air passes through the filter, that doesn't mean that all contaminants do not make their way through.
Contaminants can get into your ductwork through a variety of ways. For instance, you can have places that are not sealed properly that will let air inside, or screws that are loose and allow moisture to easily enter the ductwork. This can cause mold to eventually form in places near openings, and then get into the air that travels through your home. Mold spores are very small and can be bad news for people in your home that have allergies, are elderly, or a small child.
If insects get into the ductwork, they will also leave traces behind that will get into the air. They can use ductwork to form a nest, which will allow even more contaminants to flow through the air every time you turn on your heating or cooling system. Pet hair is also small enough to find its way into the ductwork, where it will spread the allergens throughout your home.
2. Will Duct Cleaning Remove All Contaminants?
Air duct cleaning is performed by using a strong vacuum that has attachments designed for navigating ductwork. It's even possible to use a camera to see inside the ductwork, which will help verify that the contaminants have been removed.
One thing to keep in mind is that a professional air duct cleaning will only clean the ductwork, not fix existing problems with your ductwork. If you have a pest problem or damaged ductwork that is causing mold to get in, you will need to fix the problem to prevent it from coming back after the ductwork is clean.