Out of sight, out of mind. Unfortunately, that’s how many homeowners in Sarasota, Florida, think when it comes to taking care of their property, including their ductwork. When you forget to inspect and clean your ducts regularly, though, it can lead to numerous consequences that can impact your health and safety. With that said, here are six signs that you should schedule a professional HVAC service technician to clean your ducts to avoid the associated risks.

Dusty and Dirty Supply Vents

The easiest way to determine if your ducts are filled with dust and dirt is to check all of the supply vents around your home. If dust and dirt have accumulated on them, it’s likely time to invest in duct cleaning. For a closer inspection, remove one of the supply vents and check how much dust and dirt have accumulated inside of it. The more dust and dirt you find, the greater your need to clean your ducts immediately to prevent symptoms like respiratory illness.

Excess Dust Throughout the Home

If excess dust has accumulated on your home’s supply vents, the next place it’ll linger is inside your home. As dust and dirt creep closer into your living spaces, the chance of suffering from a respiratory illness increases. If you find that your home is dustier and dirtier than usual after regular cleaning, it’s likely that you need to clean your ductwork.

Frequently Clogged Air Filter

The purpose of your HVAC system’s filter is to trap and remove harmful pollutants from the air that circulates inside your home. When that filter becomes clogged, it loses that ability, and you lose your first line of defense against those particles. You should check your HVAC system’s air filter every month, and you should change it at least every three months. If you notice your air filter is becoming dustier and dirtier faster than usual, your ducts are probably filthy.

Signs of a Rodent Infestation

Rodents like mice and rats love to find dirty hiding spaces to nest in, and that includes your ducts. If you notice these signs of a rodent infestation in your ductwork, you should contact an HVAC company and pest control immediately.

  • Unusual sounds coming from inside the ducts
  • Nesting materials and droppings found in or around the ducts
  • Holes chewed through the ductwork that create entry and exit points
  • foul odors that pours into your home when the system runs

Presence of Mold Growth in the Ducts

Rodents aren’t the only living organism hoping to infest your home’s ducts. When your ducts become filthy, they become a breeding ground for mold growth, especially when you factor in the high humidity in Sarasota, Florida. Poor ventilation contributes to this growth, too. Here are the most common signs of mold growth in your HVAC system.

  • Visible signs of mold* around supply vents, drip pans and the air filter
  • Strong smell of mold and mildew in your home
  • Household occupants cough and sneeze more frequently than usual
  • Household occupants experience symptoms like headaches, rashes and other bodily irritations

*Mold appears black and shows up in blotches that are dampened downward.

HVAC System Doesn’t Operate Efficiently

Dirty ducts don’t only affect your indoor air quality; they also impact your HVAC system’s overall performance. With dirty ducts, your HVAC system will have to cycle more frequently to push more air through it, which strains the unit and decreases its lifespan. If you notice higher than usual utility bills, it could mean your ducts are begging for a cleaning.

For information about how to improve your home’s indoor air quality, or if you’d like to schedule duct cleaning this summer by a service technician certified by NATE, read on to learn about the three ways to maintain healthy IAQ throughout the year or contact Custom Air & Plumbing at (941) 444-5387. Our team of experienced service technicians looks forward to helping you breathe easier at home while also lowering your overall HVAC costs.