After firing up your home's furnace for the season, you may have washed the vents and wiped out the upper part of your ductwork. However, since you cannot clean far down, you may wonder about the cleanliness of the ductwork in general. If so, look for the following signs that your home's ductwork is in need of cleaning.
1. Excess Dust Is Found on and Around the Vents
One sign that your home's ductwork could stand a good cleaning is when excess dust starts appearing on and around the vents. While it is normal to find some extra dust around the vents when you first start up the furnace after it has been dormant all summer, the excess dust should dissipate after a few days.
However, if you keep having to wipe dust off the vents and the furniture surrounding them, or if you have to sweep the floor around the openings because of the extra dust, the deepest parts of the ductwork are most likely coated with dirt and dust. Not only is this excessive amount of dust making the area around the vents dirty, but it is also blowing the dust, pollen, and other allergens around your home.
2. Airflow Varies from Room to Room
Another sign that your ductwork is very dirty and needs cleaning is when the airflow coming out of the vents seems to vary from room to room. You may notice that your master bedroom is toasty warm when the heater is running at the same time as the kitchen stays cooler than the rest of the house.
If this is the case, there are two possible issues causing the fluctuations in airflow and heat being delivered to each room. One possible cause is that the furnace itself may be having issues with the blower. This should be ruled out by having an HVAC professional inspect the unit.
If the furnace is found to be working as it should, the other possible cause is that the ductwork in some areas has become partially clogged up. In this case, the ducts should be cleaned to remove the dust, dirt, and debris blocking the airflow before the blockage gets any bigger.
If you notice the above signs, you may be tempted to try to clean the ducts yourself. However, not only would you run the risk of damaging them, but you will not be able to thoroughly clean them as well as a professional service. Instead, contact an HVAC contractor who offers duct cleaning services to discuss your options of having them do the job for you.