In the last several years, indoor air quality has become one of the major concerns for Americans as they stay mostly indoors (nearly 90 percent of the time), owing to their harsh climatic conditions. Recent researches have clearly indicated that the air circulating within homes and other buildings are more seriously polluted than the outdoor air even in the most sophisticated and industrialized cities. These pollutants in the air can cause serious health problems like asthma, allergies, nasal congestion, headaches, respiratory ailments, etc. Due to this reason, EPA has rated poor indoor air quality among the top five environmental risks.
Role of Air Ducts in Indoor Air Pollution
Dirty air ducts have been identified as one of the major sources of indoor pollution. HVAC systems installed in your premises keep circulating the harmful pollutants into the air that you are breathing in. This process, over a period of time, results in the accumulation of toxic particles in the interior of the ventilation system. As a result, whenever the humidity and temperature changes within the air ducts, it forms a breeding ground for fungus, mold spores and mildew.
The effects of indoor air pollutants can range from being too slow to immediate effect after the exposure. In the cases where it may take years for these health problems to surface, it would be like a slow poisoning to human health. The likelihood of reactions to these air pollutants depends on many factors like pre-existing medical conditions, age, individual sensitivity, etc. Therefore, it is prudent to improve the indoor air quality in your premises, even if the symptoms are not currently visible.
Cleaning of air ducts plays a major role in reducing residential contaminants and also prevents the breeding of any new pollutants in your premises. Following are a few reasons for maintaining good air duct hygiene:
The most effective way to improve the air quality of your home is to reduce the emissions of pollutants or eliminate completely the individual sources of pollution, if possible. Following are some of the ways to maintain the air ducts which cause maximum indoor pollution:
Professional equipment is preferred for cleaning the ducts as it is flexible and has a long reach so that it cleans the entire ductwork running throughout the home. This equipment has special brushes that expand and rotate to remove the dirt, even from the duct walls. The powerful suction also pulls out the dirt so that it is not re-introduced into the airstream.
Apart from the cleaning services, HVAC contractor can be hired to visit regularly for inspecting the overall condition of the system and identifying any issues like disconnected sessions, leaks, etc. The higher the efficiency of your HVAC system, the lower is the energy bill in the long run.
Good duct maintenance is certainly beneficial in restricting the airborne pollutants, but any additional measure like air purification system will ensure much cleaner air in the home. The air purification system removes the harmful matter from circulation.
A significant improvement in air quality and air flow has been witnessed by many people after having their HVAC components and air ducts cleaned. This not only improves the human health, but also reduces energy bills to a large extent. Therefore, the NADCA recommends cleaning your HVAC system every three to five years for maximizing its life.