Your ducts are a central part of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system since they are the highways that move heated or chilled air throughout your home. Clogged or dirty ducts can cause all sorts of complications for your family and home Understanding some of the warning signs associated with ducts that are well overdue for a professional cleaning can help you determine when to get in touch with an air conditioning maintenance service.
Dusty Vents and Low Air Quality
The first sign of dirty ducts that will manifest—which is also relatively hard to spot—is a higher concentration of airborne contaminants, as well as dusty vents throughout your home. You'll notice that you'll have to dust off your shelves, TV screens, and other surfaces much more often. Furthermore, if you have allergies or another respiratory condition, you may notice more frequent flare-ups throughout the day. You can check how badly your ducts are by removing a vent cover from the floor or wall and peering into the duct with a flashlight. Dirty ductwork will have a great deal of dust and other debris collected there, indicating that you should talk to a professional straight away.
Another sign that your ducts are dirty and should be cleaned immediately is if you notice a pervasive, unpleasant smell throughout your home. Condensation in your ductwork can lead to mold and mildew growth fairly easily, no matter the season. Mold growth is a serious health concern since the spores can cause or aggravate various health conditions and infections. Avoid running your HVAC system as much as possible until a professional has been able to inspect and clean your ductwork out for you.
Increased Energy Bills and Uneven Heating or Cooling
Another symptom associated with dirty and clogged ductwork is if you notice that your energy bills are steadily increasing each month while the temperature that your thermostat is set at has not changed. At the same time, you may notice that the temperature within your home is no longer even and comfortable like it used to be. Drafts may have developed, and there may also be a significant difference in the temperatures of rooms throughout your home. This points to an obstruction in your ductwork, preventing the heated or cooled air from your HVAC system from properly circulating and forcing your central unit to operate for longer periods of time in an attempt to hit the set temperature—usually with mixed results. Cleaning the ducts out can restore the efficiency of your system and save you money in the long run.