Reports about the ill effects of polluted air on human health have caused many homeowners to worry about the quality of the air that they breathe inside their homes. You may have noticed that you are suffering from respiratory problems that you've never had before or that you can smell strange odors throughout your house. Perhaps you haven't noticed any of the symptoms of poor air quality yet, but you want to take every step that you can to protect your family. Understanding the factors that affect indoor air quality and educating yourself about air quality improvement solutions is the first step towards creating a healthier, more comfortable home environment.
Understanding Your Home's Air Quality
Indoor air quality (IAQ) can have a big impact on your health. If the air that you breathe in your home is free of pollutants, you likely feel better when you're at home than when you're outside. However, you may feel uncomfortable or even ill if the air that you breathe in your home is not clean. A professional HVAC technician can help you measure IAQ and diagnose IAQ issues by looking at how many pollutants are present in the air that you breathe on a daily basis.
Is The Air Inside Your Home Making You Sick?
Many homeowners are unsure of whether or not IAQ problems are at the root of discomfort and illness. It's a good idea to have air quality testing conducted if you've noticed any of the following:
- Family members with allergies, asthma and COPD suffer from an increased number of respiratory attacks with no apparent medical cause.
- You can smell outdoor odors such as smog or car exhaust in your home even if your doors and windows are closed.
- Cooking odors tend to linger in your home for a long time.
- Some rooms or areas of your home are always much cooler or warmer than others.
Understanding Air Quality Problems
Air quality problems occur when a high percentage of pollutants are present in the air. If you've had IAQ testing conducted, your technician will be able to provide you with detailed information about the pollutants in your home. The most common pollutants include:
- Chemicals found in household cleaning products, carpets, draperies and upholstery.
- Particle pollutants such as cigarette smoke and smog.
- Dust, pollen and dander.
- Mold and mildew.
- Carbon monoxide and other noxious gases.
Choosing Air Duct Cleaning
Most individuals feel overwhelmed when they learn that their homes suffer from poor IAQ. However, you should know that you have many options when it comes to improving IAQ. You may wish to install air purifiers and dehumidifiers to improve the quality of the air that you breathe. You should also consider having duct cleaning completed to boost IAQ throughout your home.
What is Air Duct Cleaning?
Duct cleaning provides you with a way to ensure that the pathways through which treated air travels to your home are clear. Consider having your ducts cleaned every few years in order to prevent the buildup of pollutants and to boost the overall efficiency of your HVAC systems. If rodents or pests are present in your ductwork, you will need to have them taken care of by an exterminator before an HVAC technician can complete cleaning.
During duct cleaning, an HVAC technician carefully cleanses out your ductwork to remove dirt, bacteria, mold and other pollutants. Depending on the condition of your ducts and IAQ in your home, your technician may also spray a lightweight coating on the surfaces of your ducts. This coating is designed to repel dust, dirt, mildew and mold. Duct cleaning appointments generally take between two and five hours depending on the size of your home and your particular needs.
Does Duct Cleaning Work?
If your home suffers from poor IAQ, you likely find yourself debating the question is duct cleaning worth it? It may seem like duct cleaning couldn't possibly do much to improve the quality of the air inside your home. However, it's important to remember that ducts carry treated air from your AC or heating unit to the rest of your home. Virtually all of the treated air that you breathe in your home comes through the ducts. It's essential to have ducts cleaned so that treated air does not distribute bacteria, dust and mildew throughout your home.
Is Air Duct Cleaning Necessary?
Consumer advocacy groups answer the question is duct cleaning necessary? by recommending that homeowners have ductwork cleaning completed every three to five years. This type of cleaning is necessary to remove pollutants and to keep ducts in good running order. Having ducts cleaned is also one of the quickest, easiest ways to improve IAQ in your home. Remember that you should always work with HVAC professionals when having ductwork cleaning completed in your home.