baby near air vent

Many home and commercial property owners are clueless about the importance of maintaining a clean ventilation system—most importantly, the air ducts and vents leading to the living or work environment.

Let’s take a look at some compelling health findings that support the importance of a clean, efficient HVAC and duct system (references included):

Compelling Health Risks

Children are much more likely than adults to be affected by polluted air for many reasons.

  • Children are much more likely than adults to be affected by polluted air for many reasons. They breathe faster, inhale more air per unit of body weight, and are closer to the ground where concentrations are higher. (Department of Consumer Affairs)
  • Twenty percent (one out of every six) people suffer from allergies as a direct result of the fungi and bacteria in air duct systems. (Total Health and Better Health Magazine)
  • Colds, flu, and asthma attacks of children under 10 were among the top five reasons for emergency room visits in 2008. (Wolters-Kluwer Health)
  • Elderly people, asthma sufferers, and people with allergies, lung disease and other respiratory problems are much more sensitive to pollutants. (Department of Consumer Affairs)
  • The majority of fiberglass filters are only 7% effective stopping dirt, dust, pollen, etc.
  • One millimeter of dirt on a heating or cooling coil can decrease it’s efficiency up to 21%. (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Ninety percent of heating and cooling system failures are caused by dust and dirt. (Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service)

According to the ASHRAE

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  • The majority of people spend 60% – 90% of their time indoors (American Lung Association)
  • The average six room house collects 40 pounds of dust each year (Discover Magazine)
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ranks poor indoor air quality in the top 5 environmental risks to public health (EPA)
  • Air pollution contributes to lung disease, which claims close to 361,000 lives in America every year and is the third-leading cause of death in the United States. (American Lung Association)

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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You should consider having the air ducts in your home cleaned if…

  • There is substantial visible mold growth present in hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system.
  • Ducts are infested with vermin (e.g., rodents or insects)
  • Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are actually released into the home from your supply registers.

External Resource Links

Below are some external resources to further educate yourself on the importance of air duct cleaning.

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