Can You Clean Your Own Air Ducts?
On the surface, your air system can look perfectly fine inside of your home. All you see are the vents and the two units that make up your central air system. However, lurking underneath the surface of what is visible, there can be a deep and ugly secret hiding out in your air ducts. Air ducts can become contaminated with everything from dust and dander to mold spores.
If the ducts are not cleaned on occasion, you and your household members could be breathing in a real mess and not even know it. Can you just clean these ducts on your own? Grab the vacuum or a broom and get to work? Here are a few reasons why DIY air duct cleaning is not such a good idea.
You could cause damage to your ducts.
Ducts look like pretty solid things, but in actuality, they are made from some materials that are not all that resilient, like insulation-wrapped cardboard and plastic. Of course, the older your ducts are, the more flimsy and prone to damage they can be. Therefore, all it takes is a wrong twist of a broom or an accidental jab with a vacuum hose with a little too much force, and you can have a punctured duct that will have to be repaired or replaced.
There may be stuff in there you don't want to mess with.
Before a professional cleans the air ducts in your home, they will assess the insides of them thoroughly and may even do air quality tests to determine if there are contaminants inside that require special handling. Disturbing mold spores can actually set off a chain reaction that can cause the spores to spread further out into the home, and the same can be said for allergens. If you try cleaning on your own without taking special precautions, you could get sick or make the air quality in your home worse than it already is.
It's hard to clean air ducts without the proper tools.
When a professional shows up at your house for air duct cleaning, you will be a bit surprised to see the equipment they bring along. High-pressure hoses, commercial-duty vacuum systems, filtration devices for air-quality control, hundreds of feet of hoses—all of this is stuff you probably don't have around the house. Buying everything you need to clean the ducts is not logical, so it is much better to entrust the task to someone already equipped.