Have you ever accidently swallowed a bug? I was mountain biking last weekend and sucked in a bug. I struggled to breathe going uphill while coughing and gagging, and it got me thinking about other things I hate inhaling.
Did you know the average home collects 40 pounds of dust each year? 40 pounds! That’s like… a sack of dog food! About 25% of this dust is flakes of dead skin from bodies and pets. The rest is a mix of dust, soot, pollens and other particles from outdoors, with some household chemicals to help the mix.
Every time a door opens and shuts a little comes in. Kids bring it in on their clothes, pets shake it all over, and some of us scratch ourselves once in a while.
It’s these particulates that land on flat surfaces, form hair balls under the couch, and recirculate through your air ducts. Every cough, sneeze, or sore throat has contributed to the pile, and everyone who has ever lived in the home has donated. Yet, some ducts have not been cleaned in decades!
- Keep the home closed up as long as possible each day, and especially when it’s windy.
- Get the air ducts cleaned. Your typical air filter does not stop much of the dirt from getting in the ducts. Each time the system cycles on a little bit of residue is picked up and recirculated through the home. Clean ducts = Cleaner air.
How Is It Done?
This depends on the size of the system, the size of the ducts, and the material the ducts are made out of. Overall, a push/pull system where a powerful vacuum is put at one end of the system and debris is swept toward it using compressed air whips does the most complete job.
What’s it cost?
Every home is a little different. It’s best to let a professional look at your home first, see if repairs are needed, check the condition of the ducts, and then give you a price.
You should know in advance what the company is promising to do.
Many duct cleaning companies use low teaser prices, such as “9 supplies for $299” to get into your home, as bait, and then switch to a higher price once they are in. Ask what the price includes – it should include cleaning all the supplies and returns, the heat exchangers, blowers, drain area, register louvers, and coils.
Treatments should address specific problems such as smoke or other odors or the application of an antibacterial if there are rodent feces, problems you already know you have in most cases.