The recommendation of EPA and National Air Duct Cleaning Association is that you have to clean the duct after 2 or 5 years. However, the frequency may vary, depending on the factors like size, capacity, fuel type, utilization hours per day, location of the furnace, air flow within the location, flue pipe capacity and size, and other factors.
How often should you have your air ducts cleaned?
You have to get your air ducts inspected by a professional, at least once in 3 to 4 months. He will be able to advice you about the frequency of professional Furnace cleaning Calgary . Generally speaking, there are specific parameters which determine the frequency. Let us consider some of the most important factors now.
Furnace capacity depends on the number of applications for which you use it. You may use it for water heating, radiant heating, forced air heating, etc. The numbers of units within your home (from the kitchen to bathroom’ living room, and bedroom, etc.) determine the total volume of output per hour. The volume may increase during winter for heating. The volume of cooling may increase during the summer. Hence, the amount of carbon emission will also vary for the furnaces. Therefore, the depositions within the ducts could be dense and hard. In such cases, you may have to get the ducts cleaned once in one year or even six months.
If you are using natural gas or propane, the volume of effluents may be relatively low. Fuels like liquid petroleum may emit more quantity of carbon. Hence, the deposits will also be higher. You have to consider the combustion chamber size and location, air exchange rate, air flow from the furnace into the air duct, and the emission rate per hour.
Calculations related to the air-free carbon monoxide, mixed-air carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide volume in the flue (parts per million), and other factors can increase the volume of pollutants and the debris within the ducts. In such cases, the frequency of cleaning within a year may increase to every four or five months in a year.
The flue vents within the furnace can block due to poor air exchange with the duct. Such blocks can also generate more volume of carbon emissions, which ultimately lead to the extra deposition of gasses and toxic elements within the ducts. The blocks can occur anywhere in the vent from the outlet, fan location, or mid location. The factors, in turn, depend on the furnace working mode. Some of the furnaces may work in continuous mode. The others may work on cyclic mode.
The blockage points between the flue vent and the duct could be higher when the furnace output is generated continuously. It could be lesser when the output frequency is lower. So, you have to consider the design factor also.
Regular inspection by a professional duct cleaning expert could be the recommended method to determine how frequently you need to clean the ducts in your home.
How do I know if I need my air ducts cleaned?
You have to analyze the symptoms of air duct problems frequently to know if it needs cleaning. The first visible symptom is the change in air-smell in your home. It could start anywhere from the bathroom to kitchen, living room, or bedroom. The dust particles emission from the furnace could be micron-size. Hence, they may not be visible. But you can make out the pungent and repulsive odor in the air.
Look into the duct from either-end and search for symptoms of mold or mildew. If you observe any tiny traces also, the duct may require cleaning. You may also feel the dampness within the duct’s interior surfaces which is unusual.
There could be a sudden increase in your energy bills. Initially, you may think it could be due to other fuel sources like the gas supplies to the kitchen. But you may soon discover it is due to the furnace inefficiency. Your first task will be to ensure thorough checking of the duct before the main parts of the furnace.
The heating capacity of the furnace may start decreasing. For example, the shower water may be less hot. The radiant heating system may seem to be less efficient than before. Your immediate reaction could be to check the furnace. Before that, you can check the ducts for deposits of contaminants and carbon compounds.
The endpoints of ducts in your home can have an excess of dust deposits. They are visible from within your home interiors. It is the stage when the deposits have crossed the threshold level.
The first symptom could be respiratory allergies of your family members. It could be a constant sensation of irritation and nausea. It may progress to breathlessness conditions, especially during the night hours.
The second symptom could be the abrupt symptoms of respiratory or skin allergies among your family members. Sometimes you can observe the changes within a few weeks. Somebody in your family may suffer from unusual cough, respiratory canal blocks, mucus fluid deposits, etc.
The third symptom could be the emission of fumes within the house interiors. If your home has an open duct network, the possibility of early detection is more. If your home has a hidden network, it could be much more stringent. The symptoms become evident when you ignore the first two symptoms in the initial stages.
The fourth symptom could be the lungs and respiratory canal disorder. Elderly, sick, pregnant and the children can develop these symptoms much faster than the others.
It is essential for you to keep a track on the physical and health symptoms to determine when the ducts need cleaning. It is better that you take the required cleaning action before the physical symptoms can lead to health symptoms. You may plan for DIY methods for cleaning the ducts. However, it could be technically and financially feasible to take the services of a professional duct cleaner. You can also ensure hygiene and family health.