When autumn comes around, homeowners around the country begin working on getting the home ready for winter. This can include cleaning out the gutters to prevent ice jams, putting up storm windows, patching up areas where cold air comes into the house and more. One of the most important parts of a home, especially in northern climates, during the winter is the furnace. Many homeowners will look at getting the furnace inspected every few years, but it is surprising how many don’t get ducts cleaned.

According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), if your ducts look dirty, they probably are pretty dirty and they need to be inspected and cleaned.

The question is, what are the benefits of duct cleaning?

Improved Air Quality

The biggest benefit of duct cleaning, without a doubt is air quality. You wouldn’t stand in a parking garage with cars running all around you. You recognize that it is unhealthy to do that. Why then, do homeowners sit in their homes while dust is blown into the air around them, impacting their breathing.

In a six room home, as much as 40 pounds of dust can be created every year just through everyday living, according to NADCA.

You should think of your furnace system, as well as your air conditioning system if you have one, as the lungs of your home. The system takes in air, then breathes that air out. If there is a great amount of dust and hair in your home, that is being churned about, and it can be unhealthy.

All of that dust, the pollutants in our air that includes chemicals from cleaning and dander from animals, is pulled through the system and put back out into the home. It can do this as much as five to seven times a day. As time goes on, more and more of the contaminants in the air build up in your duct system.

This doesn’t mean your air is unhealthy and dangerous for you, but it can cause problems for people with autoimmune disorders, allergies (especially to dust and dander) and respiratory health conditions (asthma would be the big one).

Energy Savings

The other big benefit from duct cleaning is energy savings. Think of a hose, when it is clear of any clog, air and water passes through it with no problem. However, throw in some debri, rocks and sticks, and not only does water get clogged in there, but air will have to push harder to make it through. According to the US Department of Energy, ducts that are not cleaned every year are wasting 25 to 40 per cent of the energy in your home.

A heating system must work harder to get air through the ducts, which costs you more money and puts more stress on the heating system. That then causes you to have to replace the heating system years too soon. Clean ducts ensure the system does not have to work harder to keep the home or business at the proper temperature.

Duct cleaning is not extremely expensive, but it can save you in health and money, and it is well worth it to have it done on a yearly basis.