When to clean?

When to clean your furnace and ducts? It is a question often asked by many home owners to our technicians. Our senior furnace cleaning technicians recommend a cleaning every 2 years, especially if there are children or pets living in the house. However there can be other signs that might indicate a furnace and duct cleaning is needed right away.

What are these indicators?

Ask yourself one of the following questions:

  • Have you noticed little wisps of dust puffing out from an air vent when you turn on your home’s heating ventilation and air conditioning system?
  • Have you seen dust or pet hair trapped in a vent?
  • Is there dust coating the grill on the return air registers?
  • Are you cleaning your home from dust too often?

If the answer is yes to any of these, it can be clear signs that your home’s furnace and duct system are due for a through cleaning. Also but to a lesser extent these can also be signs of dirty duct work:

  • Excessive coughing and irritation
  • Recurring respiratory illnesses
  • Seasonal allergies happening off-season

What is happening inside your home?

Inside your HVAC system, fine dust collects on air duct surfaces, vents, motors, and coils.  These flakes of dead skin, hair, and pet dander catch onto the dust, and before too long this process creates a dense, mat-like environment where bacteria, mold, dust mites, and allergens can thrive. Air filters remove most of these from the air stream, but are not guarantees and do always cover for all parts of the HVAC system.

Dust and mites might not be the only pollutants hiding in your duct work. Our technicians have found old beer bottles, roaches, rodents and even lost house pets! ( hamsters, cats, birds ). These larger pollutants often decompose very slowly and can pose serious health issues to the house inhabitants.

Indicators for dirty furnace and ducts:

  1. Open one of your vent covers and look inside. Check if the inside  contains any dirt, debris, or matted dust.
  2. Examine the return air registers for dust buildup, particularly if there are thick and fuzzy coatings of dust.
  3. Pull out your air filter. If the air filter is clogged with dust, then air flow is being choked off. This lets more dust settle and build up in the return ducts and elsewhere.
  4. Open the furnace compartment. Examine the blower fan and motor for signs of dust as well as the furnace controls. The more dust you see, the bigger the problem you have.
  5. Look at the air conditioning coil. (You may need to remove a panel.) If the coil is dusty or has dust clinging to the housing walls, then the air filter hasn’t been working properly and this also in turns means other parts of the duct system are dirty.