Ugh, there’s another one! You’ve coughed again, for what seems like the hundredth time today. It’s not usually like this, and you’re convinced something’s up. Is it allergies, something in the air your body isn’t used to dealing with, or something more? After exhausting all your other options, it might be time to consider having your ducts cleaned. Before making a decision one way or the other, you’ll need to decide if having a professional come out to your home and perform a thorough duct-cleaning service is worth it.

To make that decision, though, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind. We at Acree Plumbing, Air & Electric have a few guidelines to follow when deciding whether or not it’s worth getting your air ducts cleaned. If it is, give us a call: we offer comprehensive duct-cleaning services and can handle the entire process without you lifting a finger!

When Duct Cleaning Isn’t Useful

Contrary to popular belief, you *don’t* need to have your ducts cleaned if the only concern you have is that your home is slightly dirty. According to the EPA, there are a few misconceptions about duct-cleaning that need to be cleared up.

  • Duct cleaning doesn’t prevent health problems. A significant portion of dust particles in air ducts don’t actually exit the vent; they prefer to hang on to the harder surfaces instead of filtering out into the open. Logically, if your air vents are coated in layers of dust, you’d assume that indicates a buildup of dust in the air ducts as well – that’s not the case, however. Vents just accumulate dust over time and dirty ones shouldn’t be seen as worrisome.
  • Having dust in your ducts doesn’t increase particle levels, nor does it pose a risk. It’s absolutely normal to have (lightly) dirty ducts. The particles from cooking and smoking can cause far more harm than dirt hanging out in your ducts.

When It Is

So, you probably shouldn’t consider having your ducts cleaned if they’re simply dirty. Dust is a normal occurrence in air ducts — given that their job is to funnel air into your home — and having it congregate up there isn’t going to make a huge difference in the air quality you’re experiencing. However, if you notice some other, more pronounced inhabitants in your air ducts, then it’s probably a good idea to have them cleaned.

  • Visible mold growth: Humidity and moisture are something we have to deal with every day here in Tampa, and if moisture accumulates in hard air ducts, it can be a breeding ground for mold. The presence of mold can lead to harmful effects to your health, so it needs to be remedied as soon as possible. However, there exists the possibility that the moldy substance could simply be something that strongly resembles mold; sending a sample of it to a laboratory for confirmation could save you money and keep you from mis-diagnosing the problem. If mold is present, be sure to correct the environmental factors that led to its growth in the first place, otherwise it’ll just return later and you’ll have to repeat the removal process again from the beginning.
  • Vermin or significant clogging of debris: If either (or both!) of these conditions are present, you’ll definitely need to have your ducts cleaned. They’re both things that exist outside of the normal wear-and-tear of airflow, and they can permanently affect how your ducts function.

Really, the decision to have your ducts cleaned boils down to whether you feel there’s something specifically outside the realm of regular function going on in your air duct system. Otherwise, you’re probably better off leaving them alone. However, if it’s been awhile since they’ve been cleaned, ordering a full duct-cleaning service isn’t going to harm your system or be detrimental – and if it gives you peace of mind, then go for it!

If you do decide to have your ducts cleaned, give the professionals at Acree Plumbing, Air & Electric a call at (813) 524-6313 and schedule a consultation with one of our air quality experts about your air conditioning duct-cleaning options today!