It’s winter, yet again, and if you’re like most homeowners, you are batting down the hatches as the cold settles in. Even though you live in Florida, where it’s warm and balmy much of the year, it still gets chilly at night, and that means that you’ll be running your furnace. No doubt, your air ducts have been getting a workout thanks to your air conditioner running all summer. But as the seasons change, now’s the time to consider annual preventive maintenance for your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system. Another consideration? Cleaning your air ducts.
What, you might wonder, are the signs that you should look for when assessing whether you should have your air ducts professionally cleaned? Here are a few tips:
- Check for visible mold growth inside your ducts, where you can access them, or on other elements of your air-conditioning or heating components. Additionally, if you notice a musty smell, or if you or your loved ones are experiencing an exacerbation of respiratory issues or asthma-like symptoms, such as wheezing, or even coughing more than usual, you could have a mold problem. Persistent dizziness and fatigue is another symptom. If you have insulated air ducts, and they contain mold, you should replace them, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Inspect whether your ducts are clogged with debris or dirt. Additionally, look for animal droppings, which could indicate an infestation of vermin or insects. It makes sense that if a home has been lived in long enough, the air ducts will get dirty, or outside dwellers may move in. Your ductwork doesn’t need to be cleaned routinely, but if you start sneezing, coughing or wheezing, or if you notice a dirty or dusty smell, it might be time.
- Determine whether your ducts are leaking your costly conditioned air or if they have poor insulation. Your HVAC contractor can pinpoint and seal leaks, and also let you know whether your ducts need cleaning. Your HVAC contractor has the specialized tools and training to access those portions of your air ducts that are behind walls or your ceiling.
Having a professional occasionally check your ducts is a good idea, because he or she can determine whether they need cleaning or any repairs. We’re happy to help, so for more expert advice on air ducts and other home-maintenance issues, contact the experts at Rinaldi’s Air Conditioning. We’ve served homeowners in the Orlando area since 1969.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air ducts and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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