While cleaning your home’s air ducts is a matter of personal choice, Air Duct Cleaners in Midland Ontario recommend having your ducting system cleaned on a regular basis. There are several things as a home owner you can do yourself and preventive maintenance plays an important role in preventing contaminated ducts.
There are various ways to keep dirt from entering your air duct system such as:
Use Air Filters
The air filters in your heating and cooling system are there for a reason. They help maintain the cleanliness of your ducts by preventing dust, dirt, bugs, birds, and other debris from entering them.
This protects your home’s air supply, but it also prevents contaminants from being circulated throughout your house. Make sure that you choose the manufacturer’s recommended air filter, and that there is one in place for each air vent.
Change Filters Regularly
If you neglect your filters, the system won’t be able to properly filter your air. If that happens, dirt and dust can circulate throughout your home and contaminate indoor surfaces and furnishings. Keep an eye on how often the manufacturer recommends changing the filters in your HVAC or central heating system. As a rule of thumb, if more than one filter is present, you should change them all at the same time.
Don’t Create Gaps Around Filters
If there are gaps around your filters or if it slips out of place, the filter won’t be able to do its job. Dirt and dust can get through if this happens, which means it will circulate throughout your home and contaminate your interior spaces.
Sealing off Gaps Around the Heating and Cooling System
If you have gaps in your doors or windows, try weather stripping them. If there are any gaps in your home’s exterior, make sure to seal them with caulk. Additionally, when installing central heating or air conditioning systems, make sure that all ducts are sealed properly.
Clean Cooling Coils and Drain Pans
Your system’s cooling coils should be checked regularly to ensure that they are clean. Dust and dirt can restrict airflow, which will prevent your system from working properly. Ensure that the drain pan beneath the coils isn’t clogged with dirt or other debris because this could cause water damage elsewhere in your home. If you aren’t sure how to check for or clean debris from your coils or drain pan, contact a professional HVAC service company.
Vacuum Your Home Regularly
The best way to clean your ducts is to prevent dirt and dust from entering them. Vacuuming regularly will do just that, but you should be mindful of the type of vacuum you use. A regular household vacuum may leave tiny particles behind, which will eventually build up in your ducts. To prevent this, invest in a HEPA-certified vacuum cleaner. These vacuums are more powerful and able to capture smaller particles, which will eliminate the risk of contaminants being left behind after vacuuming.
Preventing Wet Ducts
Water can enter your ducts more easily than you might think. This can occur as a result of persistent puddling during the winter months, which leads to ice formation and drainage issues. Other factors that might lead to wet ducts include leaky pipes, chimneys, air conditioners, condensate pans, and sump pump failures. Wet ducts can lead to:
- Mold and mildew growth
- Rusting of metal parts, including the coils and fans
- A musty smell throughout your home
- Algae growth on surfaces inside and outside your home
- Reduced heating and cooling efficiency
If you spot water in your ducts or suspect there is a leak, do these things:
Repair Water Damage ASAP
If you notice water damage, take steps to dry the area immediately. Dry all surfaces with a dehumidifier or fan and be sure to check hidden spaces, like inside your ductwork. This might require that you hire professional help if the extent of the damage is more severe than you expected.
Check Cooling Coils and Drain Pans
Make sure your cooling coils and drain pan aren’t dirty. If they’re full of dirt and debris, the water has nowhere to go but into your ducts, where it will cause damage or encourage mold growth. Clean out your system components with a professional service company, or do it yourself if you know what you’re doing.
Inspect Insulation Near Cooling Coils for Wet Areas
If you find wet insulation in your home’s interior, it’s a sign that water is leaking in and getting trapped inside the walls. With enough leakage, this will cause severe damage to not only your HVAC system but also the structure of your home.
Keep Air Ducts Properly Sealed
Even if you don’t have gaps in your home’s exterior, there could still be air leaks around wires and other components. To prevent this problem, make sure that all components are properly sealed and insulated.
Use the Right Size for Your Air Conditioning System
Installing an HVAC system that’s too large for your home will cause it to run constantly and can contribute to wet ducts. An oversized system will also water down the coolant, which doesn’t help. When choosing an air conditioning system, make sure that your AC can manage condensation effectively.