It’s always a good to have preventive maintenance program for your air ducts—whether or not you decide to have the air ducts in your home cleaned. It not only helps prevent contamination—it provides great peace of mind knowing that your indoor air quality is the best it can be.
8 Ways to Prevent Dirt From Entering Your HVAC System:
- Use the highest efficiency air filter recommended by the manufacturer of your heating and cooling system.
- Change filters regularly.
- If your filters become clogged, change them more frequently.
- Be sure you do not have any missing filters and that air cannot bypass filters through gaps around the filter holder.
- When having your heating and cooling system maintained or checked for other reasons, be sure to ask the service provider to clean cooling coils and drain pans.
- During construction or renovation work that produces dust in your home, seal off supply and return registers and do not operate the heating and cooling system until after cleaning up the dust.
- Remove dust and vacuum your home regularly. (Use a high efficiency vacuum (HEPA) cleaner or the highest efficiency filter bags your vacuum cleaner can take. Vacuuming can increase the amount of dust in the air during and after vacuuming as well as in your ducts).
- If your heating system includes in-duct humidification equipment, be sure to operate and maintain the humidifier strictly as recommended by the manufacturer.
Preventing Moisture is Important, Too.
Moisture in ducts can promote biological growths such as mold that are unhealthy to breathe. So, it is very important to make sure there is no moisture in your air ducts by carefully controlling the environment.
Moisture can enter the duct system through leaks—or if the system has been improperly installed or serviced. Research suggests that condensation on or near cooling coils of air conditioners is a major factor in moisture contamination of the system. So, condensation or high relative humidity is an important indicator of the potential for mold growth on any type of duct.
3 Smart Tips for Controlling Moisture:
- Promptly and properly repair any leaks or water damage.
- Pay attention to cooling coils which remove water from the air—they can be a major source of moisture contamination of the system that can lead to mold growth. Make sure the condensate pan drains properly. The presence of substantial standing water and/or debris indicates a problem requiring immediate attention. Check any insulation near cooling coils for wet spots.
- Make sure ducts are properly sealed and insulated in all non-air-conditioned spaces (e.g., attics and crawl spaces). This will help to prevent moisture due to condensation from entering the system and is important to make the system work as intended. To prevent water condensation, the heating and cooling system must be properly insulated.