Have you ever considered that indoor air might be more polluted than outdoor air? It will probably come as a surprise to most of us to learn that recent studies point in that direction.
The World Health Organization has even named household air pollution as one of the world’s greatest environmental health risks.
According to the Canadian Lung Association, on average, Canadians spend 90 percent of their time indoors, hence the importance of indoor air quality. Indoor air quality is linked to the health and comfort of building occupants.
By having a sound understanding of the impact indoor air quality has on your health, you will be able to take actions to reduce the risks it poses to you and your family.
Some effects of poor indoor air quality are felt immediately; these are short-term effects and include irritation of the eyes, nose and throat; headaches; dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually easily treatable.
Other health effects manifest themselves in the long run and may develop into respiratory diseases and even heart diseases. People with medical conditions like asthma may experience worsening symptoms in a polluted indoor environment than somewhere else.
Only by eliminating the source of the contamination can we completely eliminate adverse health effects.
From these facts, it can be safely concluded that the indoor air quality of your home deserves a regular check-up, and this is precisely what air duct cleaning is all about.
Air ducts permit air to flow into your house, so one way to improve indoor air quality is to keep clean all heating and cooling system components in the building to maintain high standards of indoor air quality.
The service includes the cleaning of the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.
All these parts, if not properly maintained, may accumulate dust, pollen and other contaminants that might have an impact on your overall well-being.
So, how exactly can air duct cleaning help you to restore and/or maintain your comfort when indoors?
1. Improved air quality
Household cleaners, mold, tobacco, pet dander, grease from food preparation and other tiny particles all come together in air ducts. Surprisingly, you can also often find fiberglass in air ducts too.
Fiberglass is wrapped around air ducts and used as a thermal barrier or as insulation in walls. When ducts are damaged or deteriorating, particles of fiberglass can be introduced into the air you breathe. Inhaling these particles can damage your lungs and cause skin, eye and throat irritation in you and in your pets.
Similarly, traces of water can be left in the ducts of your air conditioning system. This remainder of water has the potential to harvest mold and bacteria that might cause respiratory issues such as asthma, allergies or coughing.
The bottom line: the cleaner your duct system, the better the quality of the air you breathe. Just consider that indoor air is recirculated on average 5 to 7 times each day through the duct system.
Fresh air improves your body’s oxygenation, the functioning of your organs and your immune system, so ultimately, you are keeping yourself healthy by cleaning your air ducts regularly.
2. Decreased health risks
All the particles mentioned above can create adverse reactions in even the healthiest of people.
By cleaning your HVAC system regularly, you can reduce health risks associated with dust, mold, pollen and other air contaminants. If you have a friend or family member who suffers from breathing-related issues, cleaning the air ducts is essential to decrease symptoms and improve overall quality of life.
3. Increased productivity
Have you ever heard about Sick Building Syndrome? SBS is a medical condition linked to spending time in a building with poor environmental conditions.
People start to exhibit symptoms such as headaches; eye, nose and throat irritation; fatigue; dizziness, and nausea while in the building without any apparent reason. Once they leave the building, symptoms tend to improve and even disappear.
As far back as 1984, a World Health Organization Committee report suggested that up to 30% of new and remodeled buildings worldwide could be the subject of excessive complaints related to poor indoor air quality in the future.
Since SBS is, by nature, difficult to diagnose, you may visit your doctor many times before receiving a proper diagnosis. The hassle and time required to make all these trips as well as the concentration problems associated with Sick Building Syndrome have undeniable consequences in your productivity.
4. Improved energy efficiency
When the ducts of your heating, ventilating and air conditioning are clogged with dust and other debris, the system consumes more energy in order to work properly. Clean ducts will ensure optimal efficiency of your system.
Based on estimates from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, homeowners could save upwards of 20% on their energy bill simply by having their air ducts cleaned regularly.
Not only you will save money, but you will also help the environment by consuming exactly the amount of energy that is needed to keep optimal indoor air quality. No more, no less.
5. Increased life span of your HVAC system
The concentration of dust and debris in ducts makes it harder for air to flow properly. As a result, the HVAC system will overwork, leading to decreased efficiency and increased costs, as more energy will be needed by the system to work.
Besides, a dirty ventilation system can lead to clogged air conditioner coils, contaminated blower wheels, and other issues that might result in costly repairs.
6. Less odours and a cleaner home
On average, up to 40 pounds of dust are created annually in a standard house, and some of it often remains inside the air ducts.
Household cleaning products, mold, tobacco, pet fur, and other pollutants all accumulate in air ducts, creating a peculiar odour that travels through the furnace or air conditioner and ends up in the air you breathe.
For a fresher smelling house, air duct cleaning is extremely effective. The removal of dirt that piles up in ducts reduces household dust and allows you to clean and maintain your home more easily.
In addition, air duct cleaning often reveals other issues such as mouse or bat infestations, allowing you to remediate them before they become a serious problem or damage your home’s structure.
7. More control over your life
Our everyday lives are surrounded by risks and are shaped by the decisions we make. Some risks are unavoidable, but others we can control.
Your indoor air quality is precisely one of those things you can control with regular duct cleaning. By doing so, you are putting your health and the health of your loved ones first and creating the foundation for a long, healthy and happy life.