Get Those Ducts Cleaned Before Winter!

Pretty soon, you and your family are going to be spending most of your time indoors “cocooning” as the saying goes. The days are getting shorter and colder and the last thing you want to think about is, are my air ducts clean? You certainly don’t want them looking like the “before” picture on the left, when there will be no escaping the dirt and debris that will be blowing out your vents along with the warm air from your heating system.

The solution to the problem? Have your ducts cleaned, pronto!

Many homeowners forgo duct cleaning thinking that they couldn’t possibly have that much nasty buildup lurking in their system. Well, guess what? It’s there, and it can cause more trouble than you think.

Dirty air ducts can contribute to respiratory issues like asthma, in addition to spreading germs throughout your home. Have you ever wondered why one member of your family gets sick and then all of a sudden, you’re all sick? And, then you keep passing the same cold or flu back and forth between one another? The answer is, because all that gunk in your air ducts keeps circulating throughout your home causing those germs to linger in the air. The only solution is to invest in professional air duct cleaning several times a year to ensure that you, your family and your home stay healthy.

Professional air duct cleaners generally recommend a thorough cleaning at least twice a year: once in the spring, around the time you shut off your heating system, and before you turn on your air conditioning. You should repeat the procedure again in the fall, ideally right before you turn your heating system back on. Of course, if you or other members of your family suffer from allergies or respiratory ailments, duct cleaning should be performed more often in order to ensure that your family is breathing clean, healthy air at all times.

In some cases, duct cleaning is also necessary to remove critters and their nesting materials from your air ducts. Sometimes, squirrels, birds and other varmints will make themselves a nice home in your air ducts, leaving behind things like twigs, straw and other debris that can block your system, keeping it from operating efficiently. The animals can also get trapped and die in the duct work, and the resulting smell is something you do not want in your home. It is important to check your vents and ducts periodically to ensure that there are no unwanted tenants making a home in them. The same goes for clothes dryer vents – lint buildup is a fire hazard that could imperil your home.

Never neglect your air ducts; regular cleaning is the most inexpensive, convenient way to keep your heating and cooling systems operating at peak efficiency, and keep your family healthy year round.

Adam Blair is the owner of a professional duct cleaning company in Toronto, Ontario, and a blogger for many popular home improvement and maintenance Web sites.

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