Chances are you don’t give much thought to your home’s air ducts or what may be behind the vent covers. However, dirty air ducts may be negatively affecting your health.
According to the American Lung Association, elements within our home and workplaces have been increasingly recognized as threats to our respiratory health.
The most common pollutants are radon, combustion products, biologicals (molds, pet dander and pollen), volatile organic compounds, lead dust and asbestos. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems act as a collection source for contaminants.
Recirculating the problem
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies have found that indoor air may be two to five times—and occasionally more than 100 times—more polluted than outdoor air.
Indoor air irritants, such as dander, dust and chemicals, are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated an average of five to seven times a day. Over time, this recirculation causes a build-up of pollutants in ductwork. Regular maintenance of HVAC equipment is essential for the adequate delivery and quality of building air.
Maintaining your HVAC system
What steps can you take to help maintain your HVAC system throughout the year? Consider these four basic steps:
- To help maintain clean air ducts, change air filters based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Vacuum regularly to help reduce pet dander and airborne dirt and debris. Consider getting your carpets and hard-surface floors professionally cleaned.
- Have your HVAC ductwork inspected. According to the standards provided by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), you should have ducts inspected every two years.
- Keep the air ducts clean. Most homes require air duct cleaning every three to five years, or more often if you live near a dirt road.
Use springtime and the onset of allergy season as a reminder to check for dirty supply and return vent covers. Notice dark lines on the walls by vents or a rapid accumulation of dust shortly after cleaning your house? These are both signs that air ducts need to be cleaned.
For more information about air duct cleaning and maintaining a healthy home, call ServiceMaster Clean in a Wink at (316) 925-7943.
*Sources: American Lung Association, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency