What happens if air ducts are not cleaned?

Decreased airflow causing uneven heating or cooling. An oxidation effect on the heat exchanger, increasing the risk of fire. One of the main problems with leaving vents and air ducts untreated is mold. This is especially common with insulated ventilation grilles.

If water enters the vents or condensation is allowed to accumulate, moisture will remain. Over time, without proper cleaning and maintenance of air ducts, moisture will generate mold and mildew over time. In addition to affecting health, dirty air ducts can also cause problems with the heating and cooling unit. It's not uncommon for the unit to operate more frequently and for longer periods due to the additional strain associated with air moving through those dirty ducts. The increased amount of use will cause more moving parts to wear out faster.

As a result, you'll have to request repairs more often. Overall, the additional stress shortens the life of the heating and cooling unit. Even with quick repairs, the unit may not last as many years. From this perspective, choosing to have air ducts cleaned every two to three years can be considered a way to maintain the same unit for a longer period of time.

As long as forced air continues to come out through the vents, it doesn't seem to make sense to think about the duct system. The best way to ensure maximum airflow is to have ductwork professionally cleaned at least once a year. Once the ducts are clogged with those particles, the air will no longer be clean, meaning you and your family will inhale more contaminants. A simple way that is often overlooked is to clean the air ducts every time you see dirt on the walls around the vents.

To get an idea of the importance of cleaning ducts, it's worth knowing what type of contaminants might be hiding in those ducts right now. Until the ducts are cleaned, they remain in the system and are added to the contaminants that eventually reach the air in each of the rooms. Some of the lesser-known signs of health problems related to dirty air ducts include the onset of skin diseases. If allergies, asthma, or other medical conditions related to breathing are a problem for your family, you need to have your ducts cleaned by a professional.

Even if they are not present, but the air seems stale and family members start to sneeze, cough or have nasal congestion more often, it's worth checking the ducts. These are the risks you face when you don't keep your home's air ducts as clean as they should be. An increase in utility costs may indicate that the system has to work harder to force air through the ducts and out through the vents.

Ervín Ferencz
Ervín Ferencz

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