Every breath of air we breathe is precious.
However, that precious breath may be putting you and your family at greater risk than you think! Recent studies performed by the EPA have shown that indoor air pollution is ranked in the top five of environmental risks to public health. These studies also indicate that the levels of indoor air pollutants are potentially 100 times higher than those found outdoors.
If you have ever seen the particles of dust floating in a sunbeam, you have some idea of how much particulate is in the air around you. Think about your children crawling and playing on carpeting that acts as a great collector of dust mites and other contaminants that can adversely affect their health. And, your heating and air conditioning system is collecting even more of these dangerous particles including – mold, fungi, and bacteria in the duct-work which can make things even worse for the elderly, asthmatics, and people with allergies or lung diseases. All important factors of why your air duct cleaning is so critical.
Why should air ducts be cleaned?
Studies have shown that indoor air can be 2 to 5 times MORE polluted than outside air. Most disposable filters remove about 10% of these pollutants allowing 90% to enter the Heating and Cooling air system, even during the construction of a new home. The pollutants contain dust, pollen, mold spores, Dust mites, Bacteria, animal dander and much more. These materials collect in the furnace, air conditioner and duct surfaces, just as they do on the furniture and floor surfaces. The furniture and floor are cleaned regularly but the duct surfaces are hidden from view and can only be reached by specialized duct cleaning equipment. These pollutants can migrate out into the room again, or become a food source for mold and bacteria, which can thrive in this dark comfortable environment from high humidity or moisture from the air conditioner or humidifiers. Biological growth can release mold spores or toxins into the air system. These contaminants can also cause allergic reactions in some sensitive people and young children.
How can mold grow in a duct system and what problems can it cause?
Mold spores require a stable temperature, a food source and moisture to live and reproduce. Dust and dirt that go through the filter are a good food source. The furnace/air conditioner is designed to maintain a comfortable temperature, and moisture is available from humid conditions in the environment, the humidifier in the furnace or the cooling coils in an air conditioner. Live molds can release spores that will trigger allergic or asthmatic reactions, sometimes severe, in about 10% of the population. Mold both living and dead can produce toxins that may cause short term allergic reactions. Long term exposures to low levels of some mold toxins can result in permanent chemical sensitivity to common compounds in the environment.
What are the sources of air duct contamination?
All inside air was once outside air, so all of the dust, chemicals, pollen, insects and mold spores in the outside air can be pulled into the air system. People shed millions of tiny dead skin cells every hour. Cooking smoke, household insect sprays, personal care products are also a source of pollutants. Many construction materials, carpets, wood products and plastics give off pollutants as well. During construction or remodeling activities, many types of dust are produced and find their way into the duct work. If the duct components were stored outside prior to construction, they may have collected dust, rain water and even mold before they were installed in a system.
Which parts of the air system should be cleaned?
There are 3 major parts to an air system:
1. The supply and return grills;
2. The interior surfaces of the supply and return vents; and
3. The furnace/air conditioner air handler.
All 3 components must be cleaned. If only one or two of the components are cleaned, the contaminates from the 3rd component will rapidly contaminate the ones that were cleaned.
How often should I have my air ducts cleaned?
This really depends on how many people and pets live in your home. We each have billions of skin cells, and of those billions, between 30,000 and 40,000 of them fall off every hour. Over a 24-hour period, you lose almost a million skin cells! Pet fur and dander accumulation is almost as bad. Then there is the dust mite and mold spur counts…with this, Carpet Dry-Tech recommends cleaning all your air ducts every 1-3 years. Now once air system is thoroughly cleaned, it should remain clean for 2 to 4 years if properly cleaned and maintained (this includes changing your system filters every 30-90 days). A standard disposable filter only stops about 10% of the airborne contaminates, allowing 90% of the dust in the room to flow back into the air system. To maintain protection against biological growth, an EPA neutracide should be applied every 6 to 12 months by a qualified Duct Cleaning Professional.
If your Air ducts have not been cleaned within the last 2 – 4 years, Contact Us or call Carpet Dry-Tech @ 678.368.5991 for a free estimate today! You have absolutely nothing to lose…just cleaner and healthier inside air to gain!