Moving homes, renovating, or having the opportunity to build your dream home from the ground up is always exciting. The memories you created in your first home which you’re taking with you to the new place, decorating rooms and areas based on your 100 Pinterest boards feels like a dream come true, and if this is where you are at in life then savor the moment.
However, if you are on the other end of this story then this article is for you.
So, you have been in your house for a few years now, the sofa is molded to each person’s shape from not being allowed to sit in another spot, the furniture and décor look ‘lived in’, and as you walk in the door it smells like home.
What you don’t see
You do your best to stay on top of the cleaning procedures nagging the hubby and kids to participate as much as possible, but do you ever stop to think about the areas and places we don’t necessarily see daily? Think about the guttering system surrounding the house, the burner and pipework in the basement that keeps the heart of the house running, and most importantly the ventilation system and ducting.
We assume that the airways, the piping, and the HVAC systems are working effectively and efficiently, but have you ever taken a look inside to see if there is a need for a clean?
Sure, there are filters in place and the air is essentially circulated to prevent it from becoming stale and stagnant, but do we need to do more? And by more I mean have a professional company come in and do what they know best.
If you feel like this hasn’t been looked at or considered since moving into the house then it might be time to add it to the maintenance schedule and ink in a regular cleanup and assessment appointment.
How to know if you need to have your ducts cleaned? Well, a few signs and ‘symptoms’ you could begin to make note of will help to indicate if there is a problem and whether to call in the industry experts. Let’s take a quick look at what some of those points are if any of them look or sound familiar, be ready to begin your research on who to call – more on that later.
4 Signs it’s time to have your ducts cleaned or looked at
- Mold. This is first because, in my opinion, it is the worst of the criteria, not only is mold ugly to look at but it can be dangerous to your health. Breathing in the spores can cause significant lung damage and have severe consequences if not treated and eliminated, not to mention the effects on family members with allergies.
What we need to remember is that the cooling and heating system creates condensation, and even more so if you live in a country with high humidity, this is an oasis for mold growth and it can spread quickly through the home. Have an engineer come to the house to not only check the ducts and if there is growth forming, but to measure the moisture content in the air of the house which we aren’t even aware of most of the time.
If you aren’t sure of what mold should look like or when it is has progressed too far to be safe take a look here pinterest.co.uk and if you have any similarities, phone a duct cleaning or a mold removal company immediately.
- Dust. An element of the home that seems never-ending am I right? You have just about put your cloth and spray away when a shimmer of dust seems to have settled, if this is the case you may have dust build up in the filters and ductwork. Take the filters off your ventilation system and give them a good clean, if they are old and have seen better days it would probably be best to replace them.
Having plenty of plants around the home, especially what is known as the snake plant which is highly valued for its filtration and purification properties, is a great way to bring in added oxygen to the space, greenery is the easiest way to cozy up a home.
You could opt for a humidifier or an air purifier to circulate the air, and with the advancements, in essential oils and scents, you could add a few drops of lavender or sandalwood to the water and have your home smelling fresher too.
- Insects or rodents. This is not something we tend to think about or even want to consider but it does and has happened on many an occasion, rodents find their ways into the air vents and ducts and leave behind dropping or eggs which spawn and spread before anyone is the wiser. Not to mention the bacteria they carry on them and leave a trail of wherever they go.
- Costs. If you are the one paying the bills at month end then you will be well aware that when a statement arrives that is alarmingly high compared to the previous few months that something is not right. It could be that air is not able to flow freely through the filters making the air conditioner and furnace work that much harder.
You may have set the temperature to be at a constant and to remain comfortable meaning that the cooling and heating systems, if the ducts are dirty or have possible debris in them, are made to work overtime and increase equipment pressures. The last thing you want to be dealing with on top of hiring a duct cleaning company is an HVAC system repair or replacement.
The right fit
Brace yourself when you begin your research and hiring process, endless companies and brands are claiming to be the next best thing since sliced bread, and if you’re not careful you could get caught up the flashy advertising and neon signage. Not doing your homework, in most cases, ends up with people having to pay a second company to come in and fix or clean the ducts that the first firm promised to do but just took the paycheck.
You want a business that has over a decade’s worth of experience, this way you know they will have seen and dealt with it all and will offer the best advice on possible solutions.
Companies such as Ductwise that understand the importance of a job done well and who pride themselves in quality workmanship show us only a few features to consider when finding the right people to come into your home to complete the job. They need to be qualified, certified to carry out the tasks and have updated and recent certifications.
Sure they say they are trained and have completed a course, but like with all things, there are refresher courses, new technology, and equipment to be well-versed in, especially if this is their company, and it will give the customer the confidence in their abilities.
Take a browse at their company website, read the customer comments and reviews page to see the type of service you are likely to receive and if people have been happy with the service. Ensure on seeing their liability insurance cover in case an engineer is injured while on the job, this not only protects them but you, and not having to pay out a lump sum because you forgot to ask will save a lot of financial stress at the end of the job.
Prevention is better than cure
There are a few things you can do to help slow down the deterioration or dust build-up in the duct system, this doesn’t go to say that you will never have dust again (here’s hoping), but it will be less frequent and not nearly as much as if you did nothing. With the proper maintenance and care practices in place, you will be breathing easier and taking in fresher, cleaner air in no time.
You could try to reduce the moisture in the air with purifiers and humidifiers as mentioned, use a whole-house vacuum system to reach every nook and cranny when cleaning, and wipe down your home weekly. See some more tips on the process in this link, and although it may be easier said than done for busy people with kids and a job, something is better than nothing.
Then make a note on the calendar to do a deep clean of the whole house inside and out on the last weekend of the month, get family friends involved to help, it may mean firing up the BBQ for a well-earned early dinner but it is worth it.
As a parent we have the responsibility to take care of our children the very best way we can, you may think the routine cleaning and check-up of the ducts is a waste of money, but if it keeps them allergy-free and out of the doctor’s room I am all for it.