When air ducts are cleaned, dust and contaminants are removed using powerful vacuums, a negative pressure rotary dome or sometimes a whisk. This prevents these unwanted elements from polluting the air in the house.
In the winter, low temperatures mean that doors are only opened when really necessary – to get in or out of the house. Winter in Canada is long, so breathing becomes mechanical in the home. In other words, the air you breathe enters, circulates or is released through a system of ducts: air exchangers, HRVs, forced-air heating systems, bathroom fans, range hoods… Ask yourself: are they clean?
In forced-air heating systems, dust and debris accumulate most in the return ducts or « returns. In fact, this is the equipment you need for cleaning. If you have children or long-haired dogs or cats, you may need to do something more extensive.
Are there any water leaks in the pipes? Are you moving into a new or newly renovated home? Does the radiator airflow seem unusual? More thorough maintenance will be necessary. Call in the professionals.
If you need to clean your air exchanger ducts and HRVs (rigid or flexible), you will need dedicated equipment because the cavities in the walls and floors make the task impossible to accomplish with a domestic vacuum cleaner. Also, flexible ducts are fragile. Another common problem is that on flexible ducts, the pleated sheath is not long enough. So forget about cleaning – proceed with the replacement.
When? We cannot talk about a specific frequency, but if there is no extractor hood and smokers in the house, children, long-haired pets. Dirt will accumulate in your ducts at a rapid rate. The level of cleanliness that will be seen within the unit or on the air diffusers will be the parameter that will tell you if it is time to call professionals.
Dryer exhaust ducts and air extractors
In the bathroom, ductwork from fans and exhaust hoods with a flap that opens little or not at all, shows that the ductwork is probably clogged.
Also, get in the habit of disconnecting the dryer vent. And don’t forget to remove the lint build-up. You’ll have a dryer that works better and a lower risk of fire – a risk that accounts for more than 15,000 dryer fires per year in North America.
Exterior Air Plugs Cleaning
Duct vents should also be checked: be aware that short-breathed appliances will run out of steam right away, and with exhaust dampers that are half-open, the heating bill will be high. Remove any possible obstructions from the vents. It is not uncommon to find a bird sitting there, seeking refuge from the cold!
Just like living things, the house has airways. It is no different: ventilation or heating devices need to « breathe » How? With well-cleaned filters. Typically, the ideal frequency of cleaning or replacement of these parts is indicated on the manual of each unit.
Air exchanger and HRV filters on range hoods and dryers are pretty easy to remove. Then vacuum or wash them with water or mild soap. On the other hand, if your furnaces use forced air, you won’t have a problem with regular filter maintenance, and there won’t be any unhealthy particles anymore. And why not go a step further and dust the fan blades?