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What do you like most about your home? Your first thought is probably something pretty like your front porch or kitchen island, right? That’s fair, but we say, dig deeper. Your island may look great, but does it really keep you warm at night? Your air ducts do, and we say they deserve some love! Without efficient ductwork, the temperature in your house would go insane, your furniture would be covered in a layer of dust, and you’d have some really awful indoor air quality.
So, how healthy are your ducts? If you’re not sure, take a quick look around for one or more of these five warning signs. If you notice any problems, it’s time to inspect your air ducts and make sure they don’t need to be professionally cleaned:
1. Debris blowing out of your registers. If you notice bits of cobwebs, dust or other “stuff” blowing out of your registers when the heating or cooling system kicks on, your ductwork may be clogged further back.
2. Unexpected increase in utility bills. A sudden increase in your energy bill is a pretty good sign that there’s some inefficiency in your heating and cooling system. If you’ve noticed a sudden increase to your bill, it’s time to break out the flashlight!
3. Excessive dust. If you’re cleaning your home only to have it become dusty again the next day (and you’re positive you don’t need to change your furnace filter), your ducts may be coated with dirt and dust. As air circulates through your ducts, it pushes the debris out into your home. The air then settles and dust collects on your belongings. Not good.
4. Rodent infestation. If you hear critters running around behind the walls or ceiling of your home, you may have a rodent problem. Mice are particularly fond of making their homes inside air duct systems, so if you notice other warning signs of mice, call a qualified professional to help you take care of the issue.
5. Clumps of pet hair. Pet owners are generally at a higher risk for dirty ducts because their pets, by nature, produce more hair and dander than pet-free households. Take a quick look at your registers. If you notice large buildups of dust and pet hair right inside the register, it may be time for a cleaning.
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