Air duct cleaning has, in recent years, become a bit of a controversy. Some people believe that a dirty air duct can pose risks to health and even death. While others believe that it is a common scare tactic scam to get people to pay more money in fear for their safety. There is no definite answer because there have been no conclusive studies on the issue. However, there are some definite guidelines as to when you should clean your air duct that professionals have confirmed.
There are many myths about air duct cleaning that have been circulated on the internet. One myth is that a collection of dust in your duct will cause serious health problems. While this myth could be true to an extent, it is highly unlikely that your house will even last as long as it would take for dust to build up to a dangerous level. It is also a myth that the air ducts will circulate the dust at all. Most of the time, dust will cling to the duct and never leave it except in small collections that are perfectly normal. More pollutants will enter your home when you open your door than through your air ducts. However, there is some serious health risks involved with other substances getting in your air ducts.
Although it is rare, on occasion a dangerous substance may find its way into your air duct. Mold is one such substance that should be removed from your duct if is found. There are several ways to test your air duct for mold. One way is to get a clear piece of house tape and apply it to the suspected mold. You can then send in the piece of tape to a local laboratory (a college would work), and for about $50 get your sample tested. If the results come back positive, then you must get your air ducts cleaned by professionals. In the case that water has gotten into an air duct, it is best that you have it checked for mold because mold grows best in damp areas.
Other cases involving vermin, such as rats and/or termites, should also be looked into. Although, it is not especially dangerous to the indoor air quality, vermin can reproduce in air vents and cause break down. Once the air duct has been punctured, there could be a drop in indoor air quality due to the lack of circulation. Once vermin have gotten into the air duct, it is necessary that you have them removed by professionals.
Myths surrounding air ducts are numerous. What is true is that little besides mold and vermin can harm your indoor air quality. It is vital that you have your ducts checked annually, and checked immediately if you suspect anything. To ensure the safety of your health, get information from real professionals; not from internet myths.