Do You Really Need Air Duct Cleaning?
You’ve seen the commercials for air duct cleaning in the Bay Area. “Studies show that air duct cleaning improves your health…” According to The Washington Post, “the evidence does not support (those) claims. … In fact, the little independent research performed on duct cleaning indicates that the process stirs up so much dust that it creates a bigger problem than it solves.” If the air quality in your home isn’t working for you, maybe duct cleaning can help, maybe it won’t. Here’s what to know.
Why Duct Cleaning Isn’t the Cure-All You May Think
The air ducts in your HVAC system have hard surfaces. The dust that gets into your ventilation system adheres to the sides of the ducts and doesn’t enter the home. While you may see a slight improvement in air quality in the first few days after a duct cleaning, the research actually shows that after a week or so, the air quality returns to the same as it was before the cleaning. In addition, there are no studies that conclusively show that duct cleaning helps your HVAC system be more efficient. Cleaning the ducts won’t help if you don’t find the underlying cause for dirt and dust in the vent.
What Can You Do About Dust Coming Out of Your Vents?
If you are seeing a lot of dust at the vents, the more likely culprit is a dirty air filter. The air filter is designed to keep dust from accumulating in the vents. When it gets dirty, it can’t do an effective job. Instead of contacting a Bay Area air duct cleaning service, change your filter more often and see if that helps. You should vacuum the vents if they’re getting dirty. If you do have a ventilation issue, you probably won’t visibly see it. You’ll need a professional who can bring in equipment to find the problem.
When Should You Have Your Ducts Cleaned?
According to the EPA, you may need to clean your vents if mold is growing on the hard surfaces or if you have vermin (mice or rats) living in your ducts. But you’ll want a professional who can handle that type of job.