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The US Environmental Protection Agency claims that Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. The concentration of common air pollutants may be two to five times higher than the standard outdoor concentrations. Most homeowners rely on air conditioning systems for desirable thermal conditions during this time, regardless of the external weather conditions. This is because their primary function in your Richardson, TX, home is to offer cool indoor air.
However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg since your residential air conditioning service can help monitor and evaluate thermal conditions via thermostats. It also has an inherent air filter whose job is to remove particulates of indoor air pollutants to keep them from circulating. Additionally, AC units can help maintain acceptable levels of humidity within your residence.
To perform any of the above-described functions, they rely on various critical components located both indoors and outside. These include the evaporator that receives the refrigerant in liquid form, the condenser responsible for heat control, the expansion valves that regulate the flow of the refrigerant into the evaporator, and the compressor, a pump that pressurizes the refrigerant. The refrigerant handles the bulk of the heat exchange process, traveling to and from the components mentioned earlier to produce that cool effect you enjoy during the summer.
Therefore, without an occasional air duct cleaning service, the concentration of the particles of indoor air pollutants may increase with time, compromising your family’s health and general indoor comfort. In that regard, below’s a detailed account of everything you should know regarding air duct cleaning.
What Is an Air Duct Cleaning Service?
As predetermined, indoor air pollution is an issue of growing concern among homeowners and air conditioning service professionals alike. That’s why many HVAC service companies are constantly creating wide-ranging marketing messages and offering comprehensive solutions meant to improve indoor air quality.
These solutions include air duct cleaning services, which vary in pricing based on the size of the system being cleaned, its ease of access, and level of contamination. Air duct cleaning specialists may also consider the climatic conditions of your home’s geographical location as they request payment for services offered.
Despite that, an air duct cleaning service is a general term used to describe the professional and comprehensive cleaning of the various components of your residential HVAC system. The cleaning exercise covers the unit’s supply and returns air ducts and registers as well as heating and cooling coils in heat exchangers. Other components that may be cleaned include condensate drain pans, also known as drip pans, fan motor, fan housing, and air handler’s housing.
Even though each heating and AC service specialist has their way of coordinating air duct cleaning services, they typically involve the technician using a specialized tool to dislodge dirt and debris from your HVAC system’s interior infrastructure. Once they’ve done that, they may use a high-powered vacuum cleaner to blow the dirt out of the unit.
Alternatively, your air duct cleaning provider may also apply biocides and chemical treatments to clean your residential heating and air conditioning system. However, the EPA warns that since the effectiveness of these methods is yet to be proven, it’s safe to use them after all the visible dirt and debris has been eradicated.
Common Issues that may Prompt the Need for an Air Duct Cleaning Service
Most air duct problems may go undetected mainly because of the inconspicuous location of your home’s air conditioning system. However, below are some of the common problems your air duct cleaning contractor near Richardson, TX, can help troubleshoot and resolve.
- Dirty Air Ducts
As aforementioned, the concentration of common air pollutants such as environmental tobacco smoke, pesticides, lead, and asbestos may be significantly higher indoors and outdoors. In that context, these particles may accumulate in your system’s air ducts if you fail to clean and service them regularly. Fortunately, air duct cleaning can help improve your unit’s efficiency and your residence’s indoor air quality.
- Poorly Designed HVAC Systems
If your heating and AC unit was improperly installed or designed, serious HVAC problems are bound to follow. This is because the air ducts therein may fail to deliver the airflow required to maintain favorable indoor conditions.
Even if your technician installed the right HVAC unit size and ensured that it was operational, the unit may fail to perform optimally if the air duct design was substandard. In such cases, you may need to schedule an air duct cleaning service so that your technician can determine if the air duct was installed correctly. They may also provide the appropriate solutions if it wasn’t.
- Leaky Ductwork
Leaks in the ductwork can place an unnecessary strain on the performance of your home’s heating and air conditioning system. Specifically, studies show that leaks that allow even 20 percent of the conditioned air to escape can make the unit work 50 percent harder to maintain favorable indoor thermal conditions. A professional air duct cleaning service can ensure that the ducts are properly sealed, leaving no space for treated air to escape your premises, negatively affecting the system’s operational efficiency. The duct cleaning exercise can also help improve indoor air quality by making sure that leaks that can allow the infiltration of air pollutants remain sealed.
- Poorly Sealed Grills and Registers
If your HVAC service technician did a shoddy job installing the grills and registers in your home, you might need to schedule a professional air duct cleaning service. Loose grills and registers often leave spaces near duct connections, allowing treated air to escape before it reaches the rooms in your house. Consequently, your residential heating and cooling unit may be forced to work harder to make up for the lost air, contributing to an elevated rate of wear and tear that can negatively impact its functional efficiency.
The spaces left by loose grills and registers can also allow germs and other air pollutants to enter the system, reducing your home’s indoor air quality. Fortunately, a well-trained air duct cleaning technician can inspect these components and ensure they’re tightly fitted.
- Inadequate Insulation
Leaks are not the only way problematic air ducts can lose conditioned air before it reaches your home’s indoors. If the ducts are poorly insulated, a significant amount of warm or cold air may escape, making your home’s HVAC lose its operational efficiency.
That’s why you should consider having an air duct cleaning service in your residence, as it may help determine whether the ducts are properly insulated. If you schedule the service with an experienced HVAC professional, the technician can help upgrade your unit’s insulation properties accordingly.
Benefits of Cleaning the Air Ducts Regularly
The EPA claims that most of what is known today regarding the impact of air duct cleaning on indoor air quality is still preliminary, which is why there isn’t any definitive recommendation to have the ducts cleaned regularly.
Its researchers also suggest that an air duct cleaning service is yet to be proven effective in preventing health problems or creating them. However, they recommend that you have your system’s air ducts cleaned because it’s the right thing to do to maintain the unit’s efficiency. Besides that, you may gain some more benefits from having your air ducts cleaned by an experienced HVAC professional.
- Improved Air Quality
Dirt and dust can be annoying, but as predetermined, there’s no concrete proof that they pose any significant health risks. However, when these two combine with other air pollutants or allergens such as pet dander, mold spores, mildew, or pollen, adverse side effects quickly become inevitable.
Suppose this combination finds its way into your home’s heating and cooling infrastructure. In that case, it may elevate the risk of allergic reactions amongst your family members, especially if they have a previous history with allergies. Fortunately, an air duct cleaning professional near Richardson, TX, can clean your system’s air ducts to remove any air pollutant particles trapped therein.
- Gets Rid of Unpleasant Smell and Odors
There are various smells that you may enjoy within your residence, including the smell of freshly baked cookies or that of the new air freshener you’ve just purchased. However, others such as smelly pets and fumes from strong cleaning chemicals may not be too pleasant. With time, these unpleasant odors may combine, leaving your home with a stale odor.
The smell may be worse if you rarely open the windows to allow some fresh air indoors. As your residential HVAC unit strives to maintain favorable interior conditions, these odors may get trapped by dust particles that naturally accumulate in the ductwork. Luckily, an air duct cleaning service professional near Richardson, TX, can help clear out the ductwork, leaving your home smelling fresh and clean.
- Discourages Pest Infestation
Since your home’s heating and AC unit is often safely hidden away behind the walls and in the attic or basement, it’s quite challenging to understand what happens inside the ductwork. Sometimes pests may begin nesting there, leading to a full-blown infestation that may thrive without you knowing.
A comprehensive air duct cleaning exercise can help eradicate these nests. Additionally, clean ducts have a lower probability of attracting insects and other pests since there’s little to no protection against the excessive heat or cold produced by the HVAC system. In clean ducts, pests may also lack suitable spots to set up their nests.
- Air Duct Cleaning Services Make it Easier to Spot Other HVAC Problems
During an air duct cleaning exercise, your service professional may notice damages to your HVAC’s ductwork and help you resolve them before they develop into serious problems that can be costly to fix.
For instance, if you contact a heating and AC service contractor after suspecting that your unit may be leaking, the technician may have difficulty finding the leak if the ductwork is rigged with a thick layer of grime or dust. Past that, your air duct cleaning technician can help discern if there’s a buildup of unwanted materials such as lint that may cause a fire hazard.
Telltale Signs Your Home Needs an Air Duct Cleaning Service
Although most HVAC issues can’t be easily identified due to the discrete positioning of your home’s heating and air conditioning system, you can look out for any of the following telltale signs that your residence needs the attention of an air duct cleaning professional near Richardson, TX.
- Elevated Energy Bills
One of the sure ways to know when your home needs the attention of an experienced AC service technician is an inexplicably high energy utility bill. Unwanted debris in the HVAC unit may elevate its usage or cause other mechanical problems that can have a ripple effect on your household’s electric bill.
Besides that, clogs and leaks may reduce the efficiency of your residential HVAC system, causing it to cycle more often to keep your indoors comfortable. This, in turn, may cause the electric bill to rise exponentially. However, your air duct cleaning service technician can help restore the unit’s efficiency by inspecting and cleaning its air duct network.
- Respiratory Health Issues
Suppose you have family members that have pre-existing respiratory problems. In that case, you should probably schedule an air duct cleaning service if you notice an increase in inexplicable allergic reactions, respiratory infections, or asthma attacks. Such scenarios often mean that there could be a significant concentration of air pollutant particles within your HVAC’s air duct infrastructure.
As the system works to keep you and your loved ones comfortable, copious amounts of air pollutant particles may be blown into your home. As a result, wheezing, coughing, and sneezing may become more commonplace among your family members.
- Dirty Vents
The presence of dust and dirt near your unit’s vents is also a tell-tale sign that its ducts should be professionally cleaned since they could be significantly concentrated within the ductwork.
Failing to respond with urgency can increase the risk of experiencing respiratory infections. Although an air duct cleaning service may not yield immediate results healthwise, it may help prevent costly HVAC repairs or replacements down the road.
One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas; The Premier Air Duct Cleaning Company in Richardson, TX
While the above information may help you understand more about air duct cleaning services, it doesn’t mean that duct cleaning is a DIY stint. Therefore, feel free to contact the duct cleaning experts at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas. Since 1988, our team of trained and certified technicians has been serving the needs of Texans in HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance. Call us today.