Why Cleaning Your Air Conditioner Ducts is Important

People usually understand why they should have a professional come out and work on their air conditioners, even if it’s just a preventative maintenance call. A/C units are intricate and complex, and skimping on maintenance can lead to big problems later – in the middle of the hottest night of the summer, for example.

But a lot of people overlook the need to have their air conditioning ductwork cleaned. Frankly, this makes no sense at all. The ducts are the passageways that carry the air your family breathes. Whatever is in those ducts will end up in your lungs – and if there’s dirt and grime in the ducts, it can make you sick. Why wouldn’t you want to ensure your home’s indoor air is as clean as possible?

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When should I get my ducts cleaned?

Most professionals agree that ducts should be thoroughly cleaned every two to seven years. Whether your ducts need a cleaning after two or seven depends on a number of factors:

  • Are you or your family members having trouble breathing, or is anyone in the household experiencing allergy problems that weren’t there until fairly recently?
  • Does the air coming out of the vents smell musty? Can you see particles of dust in it?
  • Is there visible mold in your vents?
  • Is there evidence that rodents or insects may be living in your vents?
  • Are your air return vents covered with dust and pet hair?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it’s probably time for a cleaning.

What to expect from your duct cleaners

Obviously, different companies will have different ways of doing things. But there is still a minimum baseline of service that you should expect from any professional duct cleaning service.

  • Conduct an asbestos inspection.
  • Open access ports or doors, in order to clean the entire system (and not just the parts that are easy to reach).
  • Use only HEPA vacuum equipment, or make sure the vacuum exhausts all particulate matter outside your home.
  • Take steps to protect your carpet, furniture and belongings from damage.
  • Ensuring the ductwork itself is protected and intact, to include sealing any gaps or holes the technicians may have had to make themselves.

If the company you hire isn’t doing at least this much, ask them why not. If you’re not satisfied with their answer, call someone else.

Bad cleaning jobs can be dangerous

Sometimes, a sloppy or ineffective cleaning is worse than doing nothing at all. Taking a slapdash approach to cleaning your air ducts can actually raise even more particles and dump them into the air. In extreme cases, a poor cleaning job can even result in serious damage to your HVAC system.

That’s why it’s important to make sure your air conditioning duct cleaners know what they’re doing. Make sure the company you choose has plenty of experience with this sort of work, as well as a long list of satisfied customers – a company like us, for example.

Should I Repair or Replace My Leaky AC?

A Drop in the “Budget”: Should I Repair or Replace My Leaky AC?
If you’re losing your cool over a leaky AC, have no fear: Not all drips indicate a need for a new unit. In some cases, you’re just one repair away from a stress-free solution.

Worried you already have a major meltdown on your hands, or it’s time for more than a tuneup? Check out these tips on what to do when you notice a leak in your AC system.
Know that AC Leaks are a Common Problem
Cool air is essential for our homes. For this reason, at the first sign of any AC issue, it’s natural to panic; however, leaks aren’t unusual, and they don’t always signal disaster. In fact, more than half of all house calls for AC maintenance start with a simple leak.

AC Repair ROI: When it comes to repairing versus replacing, we’ve found that the age of your current unit plays a major role in a repair’s return on investment (ROI). While it’s a good idea to replace your AC unit every 10 years, generally if your system is less than a decade old, and the fix is under $5,000, your best bet is the

Consider the Source
AC leaks spring for many reasons. The following issues commonly show up in the form of a leak:
Damage to the Overflow Pan – cracks and other blemishes on your AC’s overflow pan can keep this device from properly collecting normal condensation, which results in the appearance of a
An Overused Filter – a dirty filter can hinder an even air flow, which can eventually cause ice to form on and

from a unit’s evaporator coils.
A Congested Condensation Line – condensation lines can become backed up, resulting in a typical AC issue. This vital AC lifeline works with the overflow pan to combat residual condensation – if it becomes clogged, it can cause a mini

Don’t Wait for the Leak to Get Worse
The risk of damage to your AC unit or home depends on the problem, as well as how fast you act. Changing a clogged filter or patching an overflow pan may seem like an easy DIY solution, it isn’t always that simple. A professional is still your best bet for proper diagnosis and repair. A temporary fix can make way for worse problems, leading to costly future repairs or the untimely need for a new unit.

Frequently, homeowners wait to address an AC issue for anxiety over cost; however, an unchecked problem can quickly turn a leak to a torrent. Investing in regular maintenance with our company membership is a great way to avoid surprise repair expenses.

Want to learn more about the status of your AC? Contact us to schedule a service call and take advantage of our up-front pricing. Can’t wait? We do offer 24-hour emergency AC repair when you need it most.

What is an AC Tune-Up?

An air conditioner tune-up is similar to what you have to do for your car. A technician will inspect, clean, and adjust various components of your system.

Here is an overview of what is included in an AC tune-up:

  • Inspection of electrical components and moving parts — checking voltages, tightening connections, and lubricating parts when needed
  • Cleaning of your indoor and outdoor evaporator and condenser coils
  • A check of your thermostat and other controls for your AC unit
  • An adjustment of your refrigerant levels
  • An inspection of your condensate drain
  • An air filter change

These services should be done on a regular basis by an air conditioning company you can trust.

Why Are AC Tune-Ups Important?

Proper Operation

An AC tune-up keeps your system running efficiently and effectively throughout the year. This will keep you and your family cool and comfortable throughout the seasons and maintain it in the proper shape so it doesn’t have to work harder than it should — making your air conditioning system more susceptible to break down. (Who wants to have to make that emergency late night or weekend call?)

Longevity and Preventive Maintenance

It is also important because it helps to prolong the life of your air HVAC system — one of the most expensive systems in your home. Typically, if a system is well maintained, it can last up to fifteen years which is in great contrast to one that is neglected, which is only about 7 years. A great benefit of a regular AC tune-up is that the technician can discover small issues (like loose connections or dirty condenser coils) before they turn into big problems.

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It’s also about safety. The complicated components making up the system should be checked to make sure there are no safety hazards brewing. Electricity and moving metal parts are nothing to be messed with — but can be maintained safely with the proper knowledge and equipment.

Another important safety feature of AC tune-ups is the condensate drain inspection. If that gets backed up, it can promote an environment conducive to different types of mold that negatively affects indoor air quality. This can be especially dangerous for older people, children, and those who have asthma or other respiratory health issues. Florida’s notorious humidity already makes home air quality a challenge. Negligence of routine maintenance just isn’t worth the risk.

Indoor air quality can also be negatively affected by dirty filters (and ducts!). Pet hair, dust, debris, and allergens have the power to make people pretty darn miserable. Why be miserable in your own home?

Cost Savings

Getting a regular AC tune-up can save you a lot of money. If your air conditioner has to work harder than it is supposed to — it can create unnecessary spikes in your utility bills. A well-maintained air conditioning system can save you up to 15% each month on energy costs. That can add up to a whole lot of money over the lifetime of the system.

Also, preventative maintenance and catching small, needed repairs before they turn into major problems is another way to reduce costs. The AC tune-up cost is minimal compared to what you could be paying in high monthly bills and large repair (or replacement) jobs.

Western HVAC
214 E Pine Ave
Meridian, ID 83642