Here’s How Air Duct Cleaning Can Help Lower Your Heating Bills this Winter
Who doesn’t love a warm, toasty home when it’s cold outside? There’s almost nothing more enjoyable than peering through a window at a snow-covered lawn from the comfort of a warm kitchen or living room. But as colder weather sets in and furnaces start to kick on, there’s an unfortunate price to pay (literally) for keeping inside temperatures cozy. Short of snuggling under a fuzzy blanket with a cup of hot chocolate, we’ve got to rely on a thermostat to keep our home’s temperature just the way we like it.
One of the biggest sources of energy consumption in your home is the HVAC system, and heating a home can be expensive – especially in colder climates. But there are ways to lower those monthly utility bills. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, families can cut their energy bill by as much as 20% to 30% simply by doing proper equipment maintenance, and air duct cleaning is a great way to save money on energy bills!
Your heating and cooling system is the lungs of your home, circulating air through a series of air duct pathways throughout the home. Believe it or not, as your family goes through the seasons, all of those everyday activities you do both inside and outside of your home can contaminate the indoor air with unseen pollutants like dust, dander, pollen, mold, chemicals, and more. Over time, as that air recirculates over and over, contaminants continuously build-up in the ductwork and other system components. Dirty HVAC systems – especially dirty coils – use up to 30% more energy to heat or cool the home! Even dirty air filters block airflow through the system, making it harder and harder for your HVAC system to heat or cool your home to a desired temperature.
All that hard work for your HVAC system results in higher energy bills.
A clean HVAC system is more efficient and doesn’t use as much energy to maintain a comfortable temperature, ultimately saving you money on monthly utility costs. Replacing filters and servicing your furnace and air conditioning unit regularly can go a long way toward maintaining clean air ducts. However, filters can’t catch everything. Taking the extra step of having your home’s air ducts properly cleaned helps your HVAC system run more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical components. Plus, clean systems typically have a longer lifespan and operate more effectively than dirty systems, also leading to lower utility bills.
Wondering how professional air duct cleaning works? The most effective method of cleaning a HVAC system is through source removal — the process of removing built-up dirt and debris. This requires a professional contractor to place the system under negative pressure using a specialized, powerful vacuum. While the vacuum draws air through the system, brushes, air whips, and compressed air nozzles are inserted into the air ducts to remove any debris that might be stuck to interior surfaces. The debris can then travel through the air ducts and into the vacuum, which removes it from the system and the home. The result? Cleaner, fresher indoor air and a more efficient HVAC system, which leads to reduced energy costs.
Plus, maintaining your HVAC system doesn’t just help you cut back on your energy costs. It also helps avoid expensive repairs and replacements in the future. The harder your system works to circulate air throughout your home, the more likely it will break down from overuse.
While we all love a good DIY project, cleaning your air ducts isn’t something you should ever attempt on your own. It’s a complex process that requires advanced knowledge of HVAC systems, as well as specialized tools. It’s best to leave it to the pros! Make sure you choose a qualified contractor to ensure the job is done right – one who is certified for the task.
Perhaps our most important word of advice… avoid advertisements for “$99 whole house specials” and other sales gimmicks. It’s important to know the signs of a scam, and as a homeowner, you can take steps to ensure you don’t fall prey to dishonest tactics. CLICK HERE to learn how to spot common home improvement schemes.
NADCA also has a handy Homeowner’s Guide to Air Duct Cleaning with helpful tips for finding reputable contractors.
When you’re ready to tackle those air ducts, NADCA makes it really simple for homeowners to find an air duct cleaning professional. All it takes is a zip code to search our online directory to find a NADCA member in your area. NADCA members have technicians on staff with advanced training and certification in HVAC system cleaning.