Most heating and air conditioning systems in the US use ductwork to distribute the heated or cooled air throughout the home. This has been the standard for half a century because it works well! But no system works flawlessly all the time without upkeep, and one type of upkeep that can make a big difference is duct cleaning.
Do your ducts need to be cleaned? Since you can’t see inside them, how can you tell? One consideration that affects how dirty your ducts get is whether you have pets. How do pets affect your ducts? We’ll tell you all about it.
What Pets Add to Your Air
If you have pets with fur, you’re probably very aware of the fur they leave behind. And it’s true that pet hair can accumulate a lot around the house, which means it’s also accumulating in your ductwork. But while pet hair can be a bother, it’s not actually an allergen.
The thing that people are allergic to is what comes with all that pet hair, and can even come from pets who don’t have fur: dander. Dander is dead skin cells and it contains proteins which can cause anything from mild irritation of the eyes and respiratory system to serious allergic reactions.
How Pet Hair and Dander Affect Your HVAC System
Firstly, having accumulated fibers and particles of any kind continually circulating through your HVAC system causes functionality problems. It can coat HVAC components like dusty sweaters, leading to overheating parts and short-cycling systems. It can work its way between moving parts and contribute to friction and wear and tear. It can even clog your vents and prevent airflow.
Secondly, this particular type of accumulation carries its own particular risks. Obviously, constantly redistributed allergens are not good for your health. Beyond that, dander is an organic material. Dust mites love to eat it, and dust mite feces is another serious allergen. And bacteria grow easily in organic material, causing bad smells and other health risks.
How Ductwork Is Cleaned
There are many types of ductwork. They differ in the materials they’re made of, the diameter, the configuration, and whether they’re flexible or not. This means that a DIY attempt at cleaning inside your ductwork runs the serious risk of doing damage to your ducts.
Damaged ducts waste energy by allowing your heated or conditioned air to escape in places—like your attic—that you never meant to heat or cool. This drives your utility bills up, sometimes by as much as 30%. And tears or holes can also pull air in from those places, adding attic dust or even insulation fibers to your dirty duct problem.
It’s important to only have duct cleaning done by a trained professional. They know exactly what tools are best for each type of duct, and how to use those tools safely. Some companies only do duct cleaning and don’t have A/C licensing, but at JD’s, because we have that qualification, we also provide something called fogging, which kills all microorganisms in the ducts, like viruses, bacteria, and mold.
When to Have Your Ducts Cleaned
If your air filters get clogged quickly, if you can see pet hair and dust inside your vents, or if you notice smells, unusual HVAC sounds, or poor airflow, you should have duct cleaning in Lubbock, TX. And if it’s been quite a while since your ducts were last cleaned, or you’ve never had them cleaned, it would be a good idea to have that done, especially in a home with pets.
JD’s Prompt Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning serves the Lubbock area. Contact us for all your duct cleaning needs.