It is essential to commit to a maintenance program that minimizes duct contamination, whether or not you choose to have your air ducts cleaned. Here are some relatively easy steps you can take to protect your ducts from both dirt and water contamination.
To prevent dirt contamination:
- Use the most efficient air filter recommended by the manufacturer of your heating and cooling system.
- Change the filter on a regular basis; follow manufacturers recommendations.
- Ensure that you do not have any missing filter, and make sure there are no gaps around the filter holder that dirty air could bypass.
- When you have a service technician check your heating and cooling system, make sure you ask the technician to clean the drain pan and cooling coils.
- If you are undertaking a home renovation project, make sure all supply and return registers are sealed off, and do not operate your HVAC system until all of the dust has been cleaned.
- Vacuum your home regularly, using a high efficiency vacuum cleaner or the most efficient filter bags that will work with your vacuum.
- If your homes heating system has in-duct humidification equipment, make sure you follow the manufacturers recommendations concerning use of the humidifier.
To prevent water contamination:
- Make sure you quickly and correctly repair any water damage or leaks.
- Pay special attention to your cooling coils. These are designed to remove water from the air and can be a significant source of moisture contamination that can eventually result in mold growth. Make sure that the condensate pan is draining properly, and check insulation located near the cooling coils for any signs of wet spots.
- Make sure all of your ducts are properly insulated and sealed in non-air-conditioned areas such as crawl spaces and attics. This will help keep moisture from entering the HVAC system and keep it performing as it should.
- If you decide to replace your air conditioning system, make sure it is the correct size for your needs and that all the ducts are sealed at the joints. If the system is too large, it will frequently turn on and off, and do an inadequate job of removing moisture.