That’s One Dirty Duct
Oh, get your head out of the gutter! We’re just talking about air ducts. Specifically: how do you know if your heating and cooling system’s air ducts need to be cleaned or if they need to be replaced?
The good news is that duct cleaning is not a yearly chore. The even better news? It’s not something you need to do unless you really need to do it.
Here’s the thing, according to the EPA “duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts.”
Why? Well, because most of the dirt, hair, and debris that you’ll find in your ducts sticks to surfaces of the duct wall. Gross, but generally speaking, it’s not harmful because it just stays there. What doesn’t enter into your living space can’t hurt you. Nope, there’s no evidence that a light amount of household dust or other particulate matter in air ducts poses any risk to your health.
That’s us, the good news HVAC guys.
But wait, the key phrase here is “light amount of household dust or other particulate matter.” If your ducts haven’t been inspected since your home was built in 1927, then it’s worth calling in the Cumberland Cooling crew. And honestly, if you purchased a home built in 2019 and didn’t spring for an HVAC inspection, you may want to give us a call. We’ll take a look-see and let you know what we find.
You should have a good duct cleaning if…
MOLD! If you’ve spotted mold growth on registers, inside the ducts, or on other components of your heating and cooling system, get those air ducts cleaned. Granted, unless you’ve got Superman’s, X-ray vision, then you probably can’t see inside the ducts. If you’re worried about mold, give us a call. We’ll use our HVAC superpowers — and we’ll show you what we find. (Or don’t find, as the case may be!)
MICE! If your ducts are infested with vermin, well, that’s just disgusting. And you need to have them cleaned.
SUPER DUPER DIRTY! If your ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust, hair, gunk, and debris and you can see that particles are actively being released into your home — like little dust clouds emerging from your supply registers — every time your furnace or air conditioning kick in, it’s time for a Cumberland cleaning.
Your ducts (probably) need to be replaced if:
BAD DUCTWORK DESIGN! If your ductwork design is a total mess, not only is it inefficient, but it’s more susceptible to particulate build-up and fungal growth. Again, new construction, we’re looking at you.
MOLD! Yup. This one could go either way. If you happen to have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy, it cannot be effectively cleaned. Get that insulation off and replace it ASAP. Since mold is a nasty creature, you’ll want to have the underlying ductwork inspected as well. At this point, it’s worth stating for the record that if the conditions causing the mold growth are not corrected, no amount of duct cleaning or duct replacement will prevent the mold growth from recurring.
If you live in East Nashville or Near East Nashville (also known as Madison, TN), contact Cumberland Cooling at 615-576-0742 to learn more about our duct cleaning and duct replacement services. Estimates and opinions are always free.