If you have a traditional HVAC system with a ventilation system that spans your building, then then you might have worried about dirty air ducts from time to time. However, you might not be sure exactly how dangerous some dirty ducts can be. Are they a serious health hazard or would you just be wasting your money by hiring a cleaning service? To help give you some guidance on what to do in your situation, here is a list of common dangers associated with dirty ducts:
- Dust - Your biggest concern is probably going to be whether or not dirty air ducts are dangerous to your health. The good news is that ducts with a bit of dirt and dust inside them aren't particularly dangerous to the average person. Even if you frequently use HVAC in your home, the air quality will not take a severe dip. You might experience some irritation of the nose if you are particularly sensitive to dust, but adding a dust-catching filter behind each vent cover can drastically reduce the amount of dust that can move through your vents.
- Rodents - On the other hand, if you hand some potentially infectious or toxic material in your air ducts, then it can be easily spread around when the ventilation system is turned on. For instance, if a diseased rodent died in your vents, then its body will be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. These can spread into your home if the corpse is near a vent cover, and the growth of bacteria can even be accelerated if you frequently use the heater, since that creates a suitable growth environment for many forms of bacteria.
- Hazardous Substances - If your home has certain dangerous substances (such as asbestos), then some might have gotten into your air ducts. Asbestos and similar substances are dangerous when inhaled and potentially damaging to the respiratory system, which means that they can do a lot of damage if they are spread throughout your living areas.
- Mold - Finally, you need to worry about the growth of mold in your air ducts. If you had a leak, a flood, water pooling, or any other situation where water could have possibly gotten into your air vents, you want to make sure that it hasn't facilitated the growth of mold. Many forms of mold can be toxic when inhaled, so you don't want those spores spreading throughout your home.
Ultimately, you might want to reconsider getting a duct cleaning if you are solely concerned about dust. However, if you think that there might be a serious health concern in your ducts, then a cleaning service can save your life and give you peace of mind.