Have Dirty Ducts? 7 Major Signs Your Air Ducts Need Cleaning

Published March 23rd, 2020 by Earth Friendly Air Duct Cleaning

Poor air quality in a home can result in serious health problems for the whole family. Still, it can be challenging to determine exactly what part of the house is to blame. When residents of a home begin experiencing severe allergy symptoms or lethargy, dirty ducts may be to blame.

Unclean air ducts may also worsen air quality by pushing contaminants and allergens out from the duct system and into the home. By recognizing the symptoms of a dirty air duct system, you can take action sooner. Your health, home, and coinhabitants are sure to thank you for cleaning air ducts that have become dangerously grimy.

What Are Air Ducts?

Air ducts are passages that line the inside of your home that allows fresh and warm air to circulate throughout the dwelling. Air ducts also work in tandem with heating and cooling systems to help remove toxins and contaminants from your home's air. These unwanted components are caught in filters and removed manually at least once every three months.

Because air ducts are often out-of-sight, they can become filthy and moldy without too much warning. When air vents begin pushing dust and dirt outward into the home, you know that you have a severe air duct issue. At this point, hiring a professional cleaning service may be necessary.

How Do Air Ducts Get Dirty?

Air ducts naturally get dirty over time. They filter air into and out of the home consistently, so it's common for dirt and dust to build up inside of them. Humid environments can facilitate mold growth in an air duct system, especially if the air conditioning has been shut off for an extended period and the home's air has been allowed to warm.

Keeping air vents and air filters clean can help reduce the time it takes for air ducts to become dangerous dirty. 

When to Clean Air Ducts

Air duct cleaning should only occur when absolutely necessary. Most air ducts can self-clean and maintain themselves for several years without needing any professional cleaning. However, when residents begin to experience any of the symptoms listed below, it's time to call a quality air duct cleaning company.

7 Signs and Symptoms of Dirty Ducts

Below are some of the most common signs of dirty air ducts. Many of these symptoms can be avoided with regular vent and ductwork maintenance.

1. Family-Wide Health Problems

When dirty ducts begin taking over a household, tenants can start experiencing health issues. Some of the most common health issues related to filthy air ducts include:

  • Asthma
  • Severe allergies
  • Respiratory infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Lowered immunity
  • Dry or itchy skin
  • Lethargy
  • Stress

The more time that an individual is exposed to airborne toxins and contaminants, the more likely they are to develop any one of these conditions. Of course, the presence of mold is only bound to worsen these symptoms and conditions.

2. You Can See Mold Growth

If you remove your vent plate for regular cleaning and see mold spores growing along the inside of your ducts, it may be time to contact a professional service. Residents can attempt to reduce mold growth by keeping their homes at moderate temperatures and avoiding in-home humidity and excess moisture.

Excess mold can cause serious health problems, so it's crucial to treat mold as seriously as you would treat fire, flood, and other types of immediate life-threatening emergencies.

3. There Strange Scratching Sounds

If you hear strange scratching or shuffling sounds coming from your vents, there's a good chance that critters have set up home in your ductwork. Roaches and rats can quickly and easily spread disease, so it's important to contact both a duct cleaner and a pest control service when dealing with this situation.

4. Vents Produce Dirt, Dust, and Debris

Try turning your air conditioning system off for a few minutes, and then turn it back on. Does smoke, dirt, or dust rise from your air vents? If it does, you need professional help to prevent serious internal damage.

Smoke, in particular, is a sign of immediate danger as a result of a fault AC system or clogged air ducts. 

5. You've Never Changed Your Air Filter

If you've never changed the air filter in your home, there's a good chance that you may already have significant air duct problems. Changing the air filter is crucial to maintaining excellent internal ductwork conditions. A typical homeowner should expect to change their filter at least once a month.

Of course, residents that smoke indoors or live in dusty, sandy areas may want to increase this number to twice a month. The quality of air filter you choose can also inform your maintenance schedule, as higher-quality models tend to cost slightly more but function for several weeks or months.

6. Dust-Covered Air Conditioning Coil

Check your air conditioning coil. Is it covered in dust? If the answer is yes, then your AC unit isn't working at full capacity, which could be costing you more than you deserve to spend on utilities.

Dirt or dust-covered air conditioning coils can also pose significant problems for air ducts, and cause them to become filthier more quickly.

7. Excessively High Energy Bills

When a heating or cooling system struggles to reach the desired temperature, it's often because of dirt, debris, or fault components. The result is an absurdly high electricity bill and poor temperature control management. Individuals who live in intensely warm or cold areas are most likely to suffer the financial cost of poorly functioning air ducts and AC units.

Enjoy Cleaner Air and Better Health

Dirty ducts can cause significant health problems, be home for unwanted vermin, worsen your home's air quality, and raise utility bills. Fighting back is as simple as hiring a reputable air duct cleaning technician.

Don't wait to reach out for diagnosis and price estimates. The longer you wait, the more time your ducts have to worsen and degrade. Also, a filthy ductwork system could be gradually harming residents, so seeking help sooner than later can improve health and focus instantaneously. 

Discover the answers to any additional air duct cleaning questions you may have today!

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