HVAC Duct Cleaning Tips to Keep Dust out of Ductwork
The air conditioner and heating components of your HVAC system garner most of the attention, but the air ducts also play an important part in the process. A fairly typical AC blower moves 1,000 cubic feet/minute in order to provide fresh cool air to every room in the house. Circulation provides the “comfort factor” you appreciate so much.
As the air moves, it picks up small, sometimes microscopic, particles and moves them throughout the house as well. Once the air stops moving, gravity pulls the particles down to surfaces below—we commonly call these particles dust.
That is the dust you can see, but there is dust you cannot see. As the air conditioning cycle ends, particles fall onto surfaces below, including the surfaces inside the ductwork. Since they are hard to reach, dust accumulates until it is cleaned. Here are some HVAC Duct Cleaning methods you can use to minimize dust in your ductwork.
- Clean the dust you can see. To keep dust out of the ducts, dust and vacuum the house regularly. How often? At least weekly, but if a family member suffers from severe allergies or asthma, more frequent cleaning is advisable. Commonly available cleaning products and dry mops use static electricity to attract and trap dust for disposal. Vacuum cleaners remove dust from carpets and furniture; look for a vacuum cleaner with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter or HEPA filter for best results.
- Change the air filter often. Keeping dust out of the ducts by changing the AC air filter often, at least quarterly. The air filter removes most particles before they enter the ducts.
- The filter traps particles on the return side, as air is drawn into the air conditioner to be cooled. Removing the dust here prevents it from dropping into the supply side ducts leading to the various rooms of the house.
- If you have pets, check your air filter frequently. Pet hair and dander may require a more frequent filter change.
- A dirty filter restricts airflow, consuming 5 to 15% more energy to cool the house. The blower may pull air through gaps around the filter, bypassing filtration.
Look for the MERV rating on your filter—the higher the MERV rating, the more particles removed. A HEPA filter will remove 99.9% of air bourn particles when installed properly.
- Keep ducts dry. If moisture accumulates inside the ducts, it will attract and trap dust, providing the ideal conditions for the rapid growth of mold and other contaminants. If your home has humidity problems, monitor, and repair the problems to keep a mold infestation from taking hold in the ducts.
- Make sure water drains well in kitchens, bathrooms, and basements/crawlspaces.
- Make sure condensation from the AC drains properly.
- Use exhaust fans in your bathrooms and kitchen to remove moisture from the air.
- If your HVAC system has an in-duct humidifier, make sure it operates and is well maintained.
- Use your senses to determine whether cleaning ducts are needed.
- Do you notice a musty smell coming from the registers? Check more than one, including those in bathrooms and kitchen.
- Can you see accumulated dust at the registers? It is safe to say, the entire network will look very much like the area you can see.
- Remodeling or home additions may result in a significant accumulation of construction dust, both in the house and in the ductwork.
If you have determined you need HVAC Duct Cleaning, call the professionals at AirPro Houston for an inspection and HVAC Duct Cleaning.
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