If you own a home in the Tampa, FL area that relies on a forced air HVAC system, you should already know how important your home’s ductwork is. It plays the vital role of transporting conditioned air to all the parts of your home that need it and returning air to your HVAC. If your ductwork isn’t insulated properly, it can reduce your HVAC’s efficiency. The same thing can happen if your ductwork develops air leaks. As a result, most homeowners make reasonable efforts to keep their ductwork in good repair. However, that effort seldom extends to regular ductwork cleanings. Here’s everything you need to know about duct cleaning.

What Is Duct Cleaning?

If you’ve ever used a forced-air HVAC system for a long time, you’ve probably noticed that a significant amount of dust and dirt ends up on and around the system’s vents and return air grilles over time. Cleaning that up is as simple as periodically wiping the vents and grilles down. For particularly heavy buildup, you may need to remove the vents and grilles and rinse them in a sink. However, that will only get rid of the dirt you can see.

The same substances will cling to the inner surfaces of your home’s ductwork. In small quantities, that’s no big deal. Over time, though, excessive buildup inside your ductwork can affect your HVAC efficiency by adding resistance to airflow. In some cases, the dirt may even get dislodged and begin recirculating in your home’s air. Worse still, this is a problem you cannot see and cannot fix on your own.

That’s where duct cleaning comes in. To clean your home’s ducts, an HVAC company like Comfort All-Stars uses a high-powered vacuum and specially designed brushes to clean the inner walls of your home’s ductwork and remove any foreign substances found inside. It also entails a complete and thorough cleaning of your HVAC itself, including its blower fans, coils, and other major components. The goal is to return this part of your HVAC system to like-new cleanliness.

Is Duct Cleaning Worth It?

The reality is that your home’s ductwork is built to last many years and to be resilient against a variety of age-related deterioration, including the buildup of dust and dirt. There’s little hard evidence about the necessity of annual duct cleanings. However, that doesn’t mean that periodically cleaning your home’s ducts isn’t a good idea.

Just as you wouldn’t let your home go for months without dusting or vacuuming, you shouldn’t let your ductwork go for many years without a cleaning. That’s why you’ll find so many experts that recommend a three-year interval for duct cleanings. In the real world, however, there are a variety of factors that determine how often you’ll need to clean your home’s ducts.

Reasons You Would Need Duct Cleaning

In general, you’ll know that your home needs duct cleaning if you begin seeing excessive buildup of dust and dirt on your vents and grilles, as well as your HVAC air filter. Unless there’s something in your home that you know is contributing to your dust problem, those signs all but certainly point to dirty ductwork. There are, however, other situations that call for immediate duct cleaning.

You’ve Just Moved In

If you just bought your home, you may have no way to know how long it’s been since its ducts had a cleaning. You also have no way of knowing exactly what kinds of dirt and grime currently lurk in the home’s ductwork. For example, if the home’s previous owner had lots of pets, the ductwork could be harboring pet hair and dander that will end up contaminating your home. Getting a duct cleaning in that situation is a simple matter of good hygiene.

Signs of Pests or Infestations

In most cases, your home should keep out bugs and rodents. However, it isn’t unusual for homeowners to have to deal with pest and rodent infestations occasionally. If your home has a pest problem, unless it’s slight, you should follow up your pest control efforts with a duct cleaning appointment. That’s because pests and rodents love hiding in a home’s ductwork. It’s dark and safe and gives them access to the entire home. Unfortunately, pests and rodents leave all kinds of detritus inside your ductwork in their wake. A duct cleaning in the aftermath of an infestation helps remove all of that.

You Discover Mold

In humid environments like the one here in Tampa, it isn’t unusual for homes to have occasional issues with mold. The good news is that only certain kinds of household mold have toxic side effects. However, you should never let any mold growth in your home go untreated. So, if you notice mold in and around your home’s vents and grilles or inside your HVAC system itself, you will want a duct cleaning as part of your remediation efforts. Otherwise, mold spores trapped in your ductwork can lead to further mold growth around your home.

Unexplained Allergies or Illness

Finally, if you or anyone in your home begins suffering an unexplained persistent allergy or illness, you may want your home’s ducts cleaned. If you’ve already cleaned every surface, carpet, and crevice in your home and still can’t find the source of the problem, it may be hiding in your home’s ductwork. A thorough duct cleaning, if nothing else, will eliminate the ductwork as a potential source of illness or allergy. If the problem is within the ducts, a cleaning should help whoever’s suffering in your home make a speedy recovery.

You’ve Recently Completed Renovations

During extensive home renovations, a lot of dust and other particles may contaminate the air. In fact, your technicians may be wearing masks on their face to protect themselves. Although they may be safe, many of those air-borne pollutants may pass through your HVAC air filter and into your ducts. Consider cleaning them once the renovation ends.

Your Home Has Persistent Odd Odors

Finally, if your home has any unusual smells that you can’t seem to get rid of, you may want to have your ductwork cleaned. The reason is simple. The source of the smell could be something trapped in your ductwork, which spreads every time you turn on your HVAC. A thorough duct cleaning will eliminate the source of that odor so you can breathe easily inside your home with no more foul odors to contend with.

Your Local Duct Cleaning Experts

The bottom line is that it’s a good idea to consider routine duct cleaning every few years for your Tampa home. Plus, you should have it done if any of the aforementioned circumstances apply. When the time comes for a duct cleaning, you can count on Comfort All-Stars to help. We’re a full-service HVAC company that offers installation, repair, and maintenance services, as well as indoor air quality and ductwork cleaning and repair. We also offer comprehensive electrical services. With over 30 years of industry experience and a long list of glowing customer reviews, you won’t find a better HVAC company in Tampa than Comfort All-Stars. So, when your Tampa home needs duct cleaning, call the experts at Comfort All-Stars right away!

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