When the weather has barely turned from winter to spring, it’s unlikely that you’re thinking about your AC at all. You’re just happy to see the forsythia blooming outside your window and to hear the first birds of the season sing their songs.
But once the spring rains have started, it’s likely that thoughts of spring cleaning will begin to creep into your consciousness.
Once you start cleaning, you’ll look at the usual suspects, of course: the floors, under the beds, the blinds and the bathroom mirrors.
We would put forward to you that if you haven’t thought about cleaning your air ducts, then maybe you should put those on your spring cleaning list, too.
Most people don’t think about them until there’s an issue with them. You don’t want that to be the case with you.
Why Your Air Ducts Should Be a Spring Cleaning Chore
Here are our top four reasons:
1. Your Home Becomes More Energy Efficient
Dirty air ducts increase the likelihood of air drag in your system. This, in turn, increases the cost of your energy bills each month. Air drag comes from clogs and obstructions in your air ducts.
Think of it a bit like this. Your air ducts are like your arteries. If your arteries get clogged, your heart and the rest of your system have to work harder to function.
Your HVAC works the same way. Cleaning out your air ducts is like cleaning out your veins. Fewer obstructions equal less drag on the veins and on the air ducts.
2. You’ll Prevent Mildew and Mold From Settling In
In some areas of the country, humidity runs rampant. In these geographic areas, it isn’t unusual to see mold and mildew form in the air ducts.
That said, this issue can happen anywhere moisture is prevalent. For example, your bathroom is a hotbed of humidity, and therefore, prone to producing mold and mildew that can seep into the air ducts.
Once the humidity gets into the air ducts, mold spores spread throughout the house. Aside from being just plain yucky, this issue becomes a hazard if something like black mold settles in. Your respiratory system and your health, in general, become compromised.
Cleaning your air ducts in the springtime allows you to stay on top of this issue. It’s also preventative, meaning that cleaning the ducts cleans out the spores, cutting down on the likelihood that this problem can develop in the first place.
3. Your HVAC System Will Have a Longer Life
Generally speaking, anytime you take care of something, whether it be your car or your air ducts, that thing will have a longer life. Cleaning your HVAC’s air ducts lengthens the life of your system. Clean air ducts mean less strain on the system overall.
You’ll save money in two ways when you do this. In the short term, you’ll save money on your energy bills because your system runs more efficiently when it’s clean. In the long term, you’ll save money because you won’t have to replace your HVAC system as often.
4. You’ll Breathe Easier
We’ve touched on this a bit, but it’s worth mentioning in more detail. Dirty air ducts equal a dirty home environment.
Your air ducts will already be a bit dirty due to the wear and tear they’ve endured during the winter months. Spring exacerbates this issue because plants start to bloom, and at least some of the pollen outside your door winds up inside your house in the air ducts.
A good spring cleaning gets rid of the pollen. It also cleans your HVAC system of pet dander, dust, mold, mildew and more.
Other Matters to Consider
If you’re going to take the time to clean your air ducts, then you may as well give the whole system a look. One place you can start is the HVAC’s filter.
If more than one season has passed since you last changed your HVAC filter, then it’s more than time to do it.
The Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA) suggests that homeowners change out their HVAC filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The timeframe on this is usually every 60 to 90 days.
A dirty filter turns into a breeding ground for all sorts of allergens and other unpleasantries for the respiratory system, so it shouldn’t go very long without a change.
Additionally, it’s not just the indoor components of the HVAC that you want to check. Check the outdoor unit as well. Ensure that there is no biological debris, like leaves, dead branches or grass built up around the unit.
The unit should have a clean perimeter around it, and the condenser coils should remain free of debris. You can wash those off with a squirt of the hose if they’ve gotten dirty.
Final Thoughts: Doing It Yourself
If you’re handy with home repairs, then you may have the knowledge you need to successfully clean your HVAC’s air ducts and change its filters.
Assuming that’s the case, you’ll want to run the AC once your cleaning spree is done. Ensure that it runs well and that there are no funny smells.
You also want to pay attention to its efficiency. If it seems like it’s running a bit sluggishly, there may be more work to do.
If you do not feel like you’re in a position to do this work yourself, then call up an HVAC professional such as Monster Vac to come to look at the unit.
Do this before the warm season gets underway. You don’t want to find out that your AC is malfunctioning when the weather tops 100 degrees.
Aside from being unbearably hot, it’ll be more challenging to get someone out to your house to fix the problem.
Most people forget about their AC unit until they need it, which means that it won’t be just your air ducts that are clogged up. Our calendars gets more clogged up the longer you wait to call.
This is yet another good reason why cleaning your air ducts should be on your spring cleaning chores list.