The Homeowner’s Guide to Duct Cleaning: Why It Can’t Be Ignored

Advice For Homeowners, Air Quality, Safety

Star City services and repairs HVAC systems throughout the Lincoln, NE area, and we know the difference duct cleaning can make to your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. Find out why you can’t ignore duct cleaning here, and when to schedule it for best results.

Posted by Angela | September 29, 2023 | Reading Time:

Your ducts are responsible for circulating treated air around your home, so you’ll want to make sure they stay clean. Keeping your ducts in good shape helps ensure that the air you breathe is always as fresh as possible, and it also keeps your heating and cooling equipment efficient by allowing air to move easily.

Our team at Star City Heating & Cooling performs comprehensive duct cleaning throughout Lincoln, NE—so we’ve seen the difference it can make in your home. Let us show you why you can’t afford to ignore this critical part of your HVAC maintenance.

Woman in home with fresh and breathable air due to regular duct cleaning

The Benefits of Regular Duct Cleaning

Think of your air ducts as your home’s respiratory system. When it’s functioning properly, you breathe easy—but exposure to contaminants can cause damage if they’re allowed to build up inside.

When you regularly clean your air ducts, you can look forward to:

  • Better System Efficiency: Your furnace and AC won’t have to work as hard to move air throughout your home because there will be less material obstructing airflow in the ducts.
  • Fresher Air Inside: Duct cleaning prevents the buildup of dust and other allergens, which can improve your air quality and lower the risks of experiencing respiratory illnesses.
  • Longer HVAC Life: By making your home comfort systems more efficient, duct cleaning can reduce wear and tear on your heating and cooling equipment, preventing emergency breakdowns and allowing you to get more use from these investments.

Dirty air duct filled with debris

How Your Ducts Get Dirty

When it comes to the substances that actually need to be cleaned out of your ducts, there are a few common culprits. These include:

  • Dust: Regular household dust clogs ducts over time if you don’t clean them frequently enough.
  • Construction Debris: Renovations and construction work can introduce unwanted particles into the system.
  • Insect and Rodent Infestations: Small pests can enter ducts, leaving behind droppings and other detritus.
  • Pet Dander: Cats, dogs, and other shedding animals in your home leave behind hair that can make its way into your ductwork.
  • Smoke: Smoking tobacco products and cannabis can produce residue that eventually builds up in your ductwork. Smoke from cooking can eventually contaminate your ducts as well.

HVAC technician cleaning air ducts in home

How Duct Cleaning Works

There are several different ways to clean ducts, but all of these should always be undertaken by professionals with the right tools and proper experience. These include:

  • Brush Cleaning: Scrubbing the inside of your ducts with mechanical brushes to remove dirt and debris.
  • Vacuum Cleaning: Using high-powered vacuums to suck out accumulated dust and contaminants.
  • Chemical Cleaning: Applying specific non-toxic chemicals to clean and sanitize the ducts.

These methods often require your ductwork to be accessed at several points, which means taking sections apart and reattaching them afterwards. It’s best to let professionals handle this work so that you can avoid leaving leaks in your ductwork that could reduce your HVAC system’s efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions about Duct Cleaning

How Often Should Air Ducts Be Cleaned?

Typically every 3-5 years, depending on factors like pets in the home, smoking, recent renovations, or health concerns like allergies.

How Can I Maintain My Air Ducts Between Professional Cleanings?

  • Regular Filter Replacement: Change or clean your furnace filters once per month (depending on whether they are disposable or reusable).
  • Visual Inspections: Look for visible dust and debris, and clean the parts you can reach without help.
  • Seal Leaks: Check along the visible portions of your ducts periodically to make sure there are no obvious leaks. If you notice a leak, seal it temporarily with electrical tape and then call us to provide a more permanent solution.

How Can I Tell If My Air Ducts Need Cleaning?

Your ducts might be dirty and need cleaning if you notice any of the following:

  • Increased Dust: Noticing more dust around the home, especially near vents.
  • Unpleasant Odors: Musty or stale smells coming from the duct system.
  • Respiratory Issues: Increased allergies or respiratory problems within the household.

How Should I Prepare for Air Duct Cleaning?

  • Clear Access: Ensure that all vents and registers are accessible. Move furniture and other obstacles out of the way ahead of time so we can get to work and finish the job as quickly as possible.
  • Inform the Contractor: Let us know about any specific concerns or issues you have. If we know what to look for, there’s a better chance we can save you time!
  • Schedule Conveniently: Consider children, pets, and other people in your home when scheduling your service. It may be best to book your duct cleaning when the house is as empty as possible so that distractions are minimized.

What Should I Expect During and After Air Duct Cleaning?

During your service call, our contractors will seal off the vents, use specialized equipment to clean the ducts, and inspect the entire system. We’ll also protect your flooring and furniture by placing covers down while working.

After we’re done, we’ll make sure to leave the area cleaner than we found it. You can expect cleaner air, improved efficiency, and a summary report from your technician outlining the work we performed.

Can I Clean My Air Ducts Myself?

We don’t recommend accessing the inside of your ductwork by yourself. While you can clean the surface of your ducts and the areas around your vents, you should always call professionals for more invasive cleaning.

How Long Does Air Duct Cleaning Take?

Depending on the size of the home and the condition of the ducts, most jobs take anywhere from 3 to 8 hours. If we think your cleaning will take longer, we’ll be sure to let you know ahead of time so that you can plan accordingly.

Clean Ducts Keep Your System Healthy

Duct cleaning isn’t an optional service; it’s a vital part of maintaining a healthy and efficient home environment. Understanding the process, recognizing when service is needed, and working with qualified professionals all help ensure that your air ducts are properly cared for.

Our team at Star City Heating & Cooling is here to help you with top-notch HVAC services, including professional air duct cleaning. Don’t ignore this essential aspect of home maintenance; contact us today to schedule your service.

 

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