The short answer is, they could be, if they’re too dirty!
Chances are, you don’t actually think about the condition of your home’s ductwork very often. After all, the ductwork in most homes is hidden from sight, traveling through spaces between walls and through the attic. Exposed ducts might look fine in commercial buildings with high ceilings, but that’s not the appearance for a cozy and pleasant home.
Residential air ducts need some consideration though. These ducts can suffer damage that can lead to poor heating and cooling performance that result in high utility bills. But physical damage isn’t the only way they can suffer—or rather, cause you to suffer. Dirty ducts are a problem too.
“How Do My Ducts Get So Dirty?”
Essentially, your ductwork gets dirty the same way the surfaces of your home get dirty. Dust and other airborne particles circulate around your living space during the year, and most of them pass through your ventilation system multiple times.
A six-room home can circulate up to 40 lbs. of dust annually! This dust, dander, lint, and more settle on the inner duct walls and begin to build up. And the more build up is on the walls of the ducts, the faster it will increase as more particles get trapped.
The Benefits of Professional Duct Cleaning
You don’t want your ductwork to be too clogged up with dirt and debris the same way you don’t want the air filter in your HVAC system to become too clogged up either. Simply put, your HVAC system can’t operate as effectively and efficiently as it’s meant to when it has large obstructions. Here’s a breakdown of some of the main benefits of professional duct cleaning:
- Improved Energy Efficiency: The debris inside your ductwork puts friction on airflow. This forces the blower of your HVAC system to work harder and drain more energy as a result. If you’ve noticed your utility bills rising, the source may be clogged ductwork.
- HVAC System Protection: All this dust and other particles in the ventilation system can mean it getting inside the HVAC cabinet. This may damage motors and cause the condenser coil to freeze over, among other problems.
- Cleaner, Fresher Home in General: Having your ducts cleaned eliminates a huge buildup of dust and other debris that you don’t want wafted around your home. Not only does cleaning the ducts help your home stay clean, but it removes irritating contaminants from your indoor air.
Duct cleaning isn’t something you typically need done every year, but if you’ve never had it done then now is as good a time as any to make a call to our pros! Generally speaking, we recommend duct cleaning every 3 to 4 years. This doesn’t mean you should get a vacuum with a long hose and try to stick it through your vent registers—you could actually end up damaging your ductwork this way. Complete duct cleaning is a job for professionals who use powerful cleaning equipment to access the entire ventilation network.