Clean air ducts mean lower electric bills, improved HVAC system performance and an overall healthier living environment. The best way to keep your system clean and performing correctly is to have it professionally serviced regularly, as well as commit to a good preventive maintenance program.
Here are some simple things you can do to help prevent dirt and other contaminants from entering your system:
MAINTAIN YOUR FILTERS
Use the highest efficiency air filter recommended by the manufacturer of your heating and cooling system. Be sure you do not have any missing filters and that air cannot bypass filters through gaps around the filter holder.
COVER YOUR VENTS DURING RENOVATIONS
During construction or renovation work that produces dust in your home, seal off supply and return registers and do not operate the heating and cooling system until after cleaning up the dust.
USE HIGH-EFFICIENCY VACUUM TO REMOVE DUST
Remove dust and vacuum your home regularly. (Use a high efficiency vacuum (HEPA) cleaner or the highest efficiency filter bags your vacuum cleaner can take. Vacuuming can increase the amount of dust in the air during and after vacuuming as well as in your ducts).
Moisture should not be present in ducts. Controlling moisture is the most effective way to prevent biological growth in air ducts. Promptly and properly repair any leaks or water damage. Pay particular attention to cooling coils, which are designed to remove water from the air and can be a major source of moisture contamination of the system that can lead to mold growth.
MAKE SURE YOUR SYSTEM IS SEALED AND INSULATED PROPERLY
Make sure ducts are properly sealed and insulated in all non-air-conditioned spaces (e.g., attics and crawl spaces). This will help to prevent moisture due to condensation from entering the system and is important to make the system work as intended. To prevent water condensation, the heating and cooling system must be properly insulated. If you are replacing your air conditioning system, make sure that the unit is the proper size for your needs and that all ducts are sealed at the joints.