Think about the last time you had to do a little dusting around the house. As you wiped and swept, the dust settled on your furniture, floors, and electronics, you may have noticed a tickle in your nose, and you may have even sneezed a few times. Dust in your home has the potential to cause allergies and other respiratory problems, and with that in mind, you may be concerned about your air ducts continually blowing dust into and around the house. Let’s look at the benefits of air duct cleaning, and the impact an air duct cleaning could have on the health of your family.

woman blowing noseSources of dust

There are a number of ways that dust particles can accumulate around your home: they can enter the home through open doors and windows, they can be created through indoor activities like cooking or smoking, and even your family and pets’ movement around the house produces dust. Dust can also accumulate in your air ducts and enter living spaces around the house when you turn on your furnace or air conditioner. The more people and pets you have in your home, the faster that dust will accumulate within your air ducts.

Inconclusive science

Is there a direct link between clean air ducts and better health? Well, not exactly. Duct cleaning has never been proven to prevent respiratory problems. Scientific studies have never demonstrated conclusively that dust levels in homes are higher when air ducts are dirty. That’s because much of the dirt within an air duct adheres to the duct’s surfaces, meaning it likely will not enter living spaces.

So if that’s the case, there’s no point in cleaning your air ducts right? Wrong!

The benefits of air duct cleaning

There are times when cleaning your air ducts can help keep the air you breath in your home safe. Here are some examples:

After a home renovation:

If your house has undergone some remodeling – especially if you had asbestos or lead paint removed, or if the work generated a significant amount of dust – your ductwork could use a cleaning. If ducts were not sealed shut during renovations, dust and debris may have become lodged in the system.

Presence of mold:

Visible mold growth inside your ducts is a sure sign that they need to be cleaned. If inhaled, mold spores can cause a number of ailments, including cough, runny nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes. If you’re exposed to mold for an extended period of time, more serious respiratory illnesses can develop.

Animal or insect infestation:

If there is evidence of insects, rodents, or other small animals nesting in your ducts, you’ll need to have the intruders removed and your duct system cleaned to ensure none of their excrement has been left behind.

If someone in your home suffers from an unexplained allergy, and you’ve already taken other actions to decontaminate your house, you may consider having your air ducts cleaned to see if something in your ventilation system was to blame. As noted above, there is no definitive link between duct cleaning and the prevention of illness, but having your air ducts cleaned could help you and your family breathe easier.

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