Our old friend Bill over in Rancho Cordova, CA recently found out that he has some pretty dirty air ducts, and now he wants to know why. Bill writes:
“Hey there, Bell Brothers team. It’s your old friend Bill here, and I’m sorry to say, I think that I have a bit of a dirty question for you all to answer. See, I’ve gone and neglected getting the air ducts in my house cleaned. The last time I had anything tidied up in that area was…well…now that I try to recollect, I don’t think I’ve ever had them cleaned, and I’ve lived in my house more than 12 years! So, let me start by apologizing for my mess.
That said, I’ve been noticing that there seems to be a good deal of dirt and dust coming out of my ducts. So, putting my obvious negligence aside, is there any other reason for this? What I want to know is, why are my air ducts so dirty? And, while I’ve got your attention, could I also trouble you and ask what—if anything—I can do about my dirty air ducts? I always like reading your answers to other folks’ questions, and I thank you kindly in advance for also taking some time out to answer mine.” – Bill in Rancho Cordova, CA
First of all, Bill, it seems like you know what you’ve done wrong, so I won’t wag a finger at you. Second of all, gross (and I do mean gross) negligence aside, your question about why your air ducts are so dirty is a good one because there can actually be some other reasons for this issue than just neglect to have them cleaned. And I don’t think you’re alone. As a heating professional, I actually hear it all the time, which is why it’s my pleasure to answer your question now today.
Common Causes Why Your Air Ducts May Be So Dirty
The answer to why your air ducts may be so dirty is because they pull in air from both inside and outside of your home, air that may carry with it dust and debris. If you’re not having your ducts regularly cleaned, well, that dirt and debris tends to pile up. While this isn’t the only answer for why your air ducts are so dirty, it is the most common one. Other causes, though, include not having your filters changed regularly, leaky ductwork, poorly-sealed ducts, and having HVAC ducts that need to be replaced.
The answer to why your air ducts may be so dirty is because they pull in air from both inside and outside of your home, air that may carry with it dust and debris.
Since a filter is designed to keep gunk from getting into your home’s air, that cause is easy enough to understand. If it’s clogged or dirty, it just can’t do its job well. If it’s a leak, or your ducts need to be replaced, that’s a little more complex, though. Finally, part of the answer to why your air ducts are so dirty is that our region is a dusty one, heavy with allergens, so there’s simply more gunk to filter out than might be the case in other cities.
What You Can Do About Dirty Air Ducts
So, yes, dirty ducts do happen. That’s a fact. With that in mind, though, the question turns from, “Why are my air ducts so dirty?” to “What can I do to keep my air ducts clean?”
Ensure that you have a filter that fits your HVAC system. That’s step one.
First and foremost, I think you need to understand your filter keeps out dander and other dirt. Ensure that you have a filter that fits your HVAC system. That’s step one. Step two is making sure you change it regularly. I know life can get busy, so that’s why I also want to note that the best HVAC repair companies can not only tell you what kind of filter is best for keeping your ducts clean, but can also put you on a regular schedule to get your filter replaced.
Having your ductwork regularly cleaned, unlike poor Bill from our question, is also important. An experienced HVAC company can help you with that, too. And the good news is, during that cleaning they can also check for leaks in your ducts, or let you know whether they should be replaced soon. You know how you go to the dentist to make sure your teeth are clean every six months? Well, having a tech clean and inspect your ducts is basically the HVAC equivalent of that, and it can be equally as painful if you skip your regular cleanings.
How to Keep Dirty Ducts Clean
There are some simple things you can do right now today to keep those dirty ducts clean.
- If you have open vents in extra dusty areas of your home, just go ahead and close them.
- You can also change your own filter if you know the size and have the time.
- Finally, keeping the exterior of your house clean is also a good idea in case your HVAC system takes air from out there as well.
As I noted above, though, the best option is to call an experienced HVAC maintenance and repair company. Experts will not only be able to change your filter and clean your ducts, but they’ll also be able to let you know if you have any leaks or if your ducts need to be replaced. Basically, they can give you invaluable piece of mind and a good cleaning. What could be better than all of that?
Experts will not only be able to change your filter and clean your ducts, but they’ll also be able to let you know if you have any leaks or if your ducts need to be replaced.
Bill should, obviously, do a better job of getting his ducts cleaned, but he’s far from the only one in Northern California who struggles with this. Our area is actually quite dusty and high on allergens, so dirty ducts is a fairly common problem. Having a trained HVAC company come regularly to take care of the filter schedule and give the ducts a good cleaning is a great way to keep things clean.
At Bell Brothers, we’re more than happy to be your go-to HVAC company for helping you annually clean your dirty vents, and we can even help you schedule these cleanings well in advance so you don’t have to take time away from your busy schedule. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation.
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