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Bartels Heating & Cooling Blog

Duct Cleaning Question: Why Do the Ducts Get Dirty in the First Place?

You have probably heard that the ductwork in your home requires regular cleaning—usually once every three or four years—in order for the heater and air conditioner to work at their most efficient, and to prevent the indoor air quality from plunging. Regular professional duct cleaning is crucial for maintaining health, comfort, and energy-efficiency in a home.

However, people often wonder how a ventilation system can reach a level of dirtiness where it becomes necessary for trained experts with special equipment to come to a home to clean it. It’s easy to look over a clean house and think that it’s impossible the ducts could have enough contamination in them to create problems.

But no matter how clean a home appears, dust and dirt and other pollutants will find a way into the ventilation system until they reach a level that makes it necessary to call professionals to remove them. Bartels Heating & Cooling is available to handle the job of duct cleaning in Fairfield, OH when you need it.

Why Ducts Develop Contamination

To understand how your ducts become dirty, you need to first understand how the ventilation system operates. There are two types of ductwork in a home’s ventilation system: the return ducts and the supply ducts. The return ducts draw air in from the rooms in a home, where the blower sends the air through the heating/cooling system. The supply ducts then distribute the conditioned air to the registers around the home and into the rooms. The air is eventually drawn back into the return ducts.

For the most part, this is a closed loop. Modern homes have heavy air sealing on them to prevent heat loss and gain. But this means scant fresh air enters the house to clear away dust, dirt, pollen, dander, and other debris. The contamination in a home enters the return vents along with the air, and then circulates in the closed loop through the ventilation system and the home. Over the space of a single year, the average six-room home will circulate more than 40 lbs. of dust through its ventilation system.

This amount of contamination will start to catch along the sides of the duct walls, beginning a process of accumulation that increases as more dust, dirt, lint, etc. gathers. It only takes about a year for a layer of dust to coat the insides of ducts, and another one or two for this buildup to start creating serious airflow issues for the HVAC system. At this point, cleaning is necessary.

Professionals must handle duct cleaning because it takes special equipment and training to access all of the ventilation system and change the pressure inside it in order to agitate the contamination from the ductwork walls. The process only takes a few hours, and it will restore the ducts to like-new condition, resulting in energy savings and a healthier indoor environment.

Since 1973, Bartels Heating & Cooling has delivered quality duct cleaning to Fairfield, OH and the rest of Southwest Ohio. Give us a call to schedule your duct cleaning with us today.

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