When was the last time you had your air ducts cleaned? If you are like most people, you’ve never had them cleaned. Because they are out of sight, they are also often out of mind, and many people just assume that they function perfectly well, no matter how often you use your HVAC system or how often they have been cleaned.
The truth is, however, that in just a few years, layers of dust and other particles carried by the air can start to line and then clog up your ducts. And not only will the air be carrying all of these particles back out into your rooms, they also make it much more difficult for your HVAC system to function properly.
If you want cleaner ducts, so you do not have to pay for as frequent air duct cleanings, here’s what you can do to keep your ducts clean forever (or at least as long as possible):
- Use MERV 8 filters
- Install Air scrubbers or UV light
- Make sure ducts are sealed
Secret #1 USE MERV 8 Air Filters
All air filters are given a rating, using the Minimum Efficiency Rating Value. This is a standard used across the entire industry that allows consumers to see how effective and efficient the filters are at capturing and holding on to dust. In general, the higher the rating, the better the filter is, with a rating scale from one, being the least efficient, and twenty, being the most efficient. These numbers should tell you which air filters you should be buying for your systems.
Why do filters help keep your ducts clean? Your ducts are used to push air from your air conditioner or furnace, into the rooms of your home. If you did not have a filter in these systems, all of the dust and pollen in your air (and outside of your home), would simply be sucked into the system, cooled or heated, and then pushed back into your rooms. Some of that dust and pollen would stick the sides of your ducts, creating build up that only catches more particles and eventually clogs your ducts.
When you have an efficient air filter, however, the system will trap much of those particles long before they ever get to your ducts, which keeps those ducts clean. They also ensure that the air that you breathe in your home or office is much cleaner and fresher. A great filter will prevent pollutants, pollen, dust, and other irritating particles from being cycled back into your rooms.
A filter with a MERV 8 is considered to be one of the better filters. It is usually sufficient for keeping most ducts clean in most HVAC systems. Keep in mind that while higher ratings are more efficient, more efficient filters can adversely affect the performance of your HVAC system.
Secret #2 buy a air scrubber
There are lots of different systems that claim to purify the air in your HVAC system. While purifying the air in the system will definitely help to keep your ducts clean, you actually have to use a system that cleans the air and doesn’t just claim to clean the air. This is where a UV light Air Scrubber comes in. It should be mentioned that while you do already have a filter in the system, most filters are not capable of capturing and holding on to germs, which can be just as bad in your ducts as dust is.
An Air Scrubber, on the other hand, is ideal for cleaning those germs out of the air, so that your ducts stay cleaner. Having bacteria in the air is a huge problem. There are plenty of airborne illnesses that can travel to person to person, even if those two people never touch the same doorknob or hard surface in the home. The germs are released into the air and then they are circulated by the HVAC system, passing freely through the filter. An Air Scrubber uses UV light to kill both airborne and surface germs, for a much healthier HVAC system.
Just like dust, germs can build up and fester in your ducts. While you might not be able to see them, the germs living there will be redistributed throughout the rooms of your commercial building or home, if there is no system in place to kill them. Using a UV light solution is one of the best ways to kill them and keep your ducts clean.
secret #3 Make sure your ducts have a good seal
If your ducts do not have a good seal, just as much air will leak into them as air leaks out of them. When ducts have an inadequate seal, the biggest concern is that the cooled or heated air will leak into the walls of a building, without ever reaching the rooms. This makes it much more expensive to heat or cool a location, but it also allows dust and other particles, especially from insulation, get into the ducts. Over time, particles will start to build up along the walls of the ducts and then they will become completely clogged.
Congratulations! You are on your way to a healthier home!