When it comes to home maintenance, air duct cleaning is an essential service that can help improve indoor air quality and reduce energy costs. But are there any health risks associated with using a duct cleaning service? The short answer is no. Duct cleaning has never been proven to actually prevent health problems. Nor do studies conclusively prove that the particles in the air ducts enter the living space.
It's important to note that dirty air ducts are just one of many possible sources of particulate matter that are present in homes. Pollutants that enter the home from both outdoor and indoor activities, such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, or just moving, can cause greater exposure to pollutants than dirty air ducts. In addition, there is no evidence that a small amount of household dust or other particles in air ducts poses any health risk. While residential duct cleaning benefits everyone who lives in the home, it's especially important for people with compromised immune systems or respiratory problems.
For example, poor air quality can have a devastating effect on a person with asthma. It also poses problems for people with COPD, emphysema, and other similar illnesses. Even people with seasonal allergies suffer from living in an environment with poor air quality. As long as cleaning is done properly, there is no evidence to suggest that such cleaning is harmful. The EPA does not recommend that air ducts be cleaned routinely, but only when necessary. If you or someone in your family has asthma or allergies, you may be considering cleaning your home's heating and cooling ducts.
But even if you don't have special health problems, duct cleaning may be attractive to you from an intuitive point of view. Poor air quality can make it difficult to breathe. Coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath may be symptoms you experience if there are vermin or rotting mold in the ventilation grilles. The American Lung Association warns that poor indoor air quality can contribute to the spread of bacteria, infections, and even lung diseases in extreme cases. Because air conditioning units cool your home, precipitation often occurs.
This is fine if your air conditioning unit is working properly, but if it underperforms, ventilation grilles can become a breeding ground for mushrooms and fungi. Do you often wake up with a sore throat? Your air conditioning system could be contributing to itching and irritation. Some chemicals for cleaning air ducts may contain toxic ingredients that can cause serious health problems if ingested or absorbed through the skin. If children or pets come into contact with these chemicals, they may experience vomiting, seizures, and other symptoms of poisoning. If you decide to clean your heating and cooling system, it's important to make sure that the service provider agrees to clean all components of the system and is qualified to do so. In fact, the little independent research done on duct cleaning indicates that the process removes so much dust that it creates a bigger problem than it solves.
Typically, a service provider will use specialized tools to dislodge dirt and other debris from the ducts and then vacuum them with a high-powered vacuum. While clean, efficient vents won't recirculate this through your home, air conditioning or heating units loaded with excess dust could recirculate pollen and other debris. Chemicals are used to disinfect air ducts, remove harmful pathogens and allergens from the air, and improve overall indoor air quality. This is because much of the dirt that can accumulate inside the air ducts adheres to the surfaces of the ducts and does not necessarily enter the living space. Disinfectants are used to kill bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that can thrive in air ducts.
It's important to note that improper use of these chemicals can be harmful to human health, and it's best to let professionals clean the air ducts. Overall, there are numerous health benefits associated with using a professional duct cleaning service as long as it is done properly. Cleaning your home's heating and cooling system can help improve indoor air quality and reduce energy costs while also protecting your family from potential allergens or pathogens.