Woman shivering inside cold room wearing winter hat, long-sleeved shirt and winter vest

In most cases, the air ducts in the average house are highly reliable. But they are not maintenance-free and will sometimes become clogged or spring leaks. When that happens it can lead to all kinds of problems, and in the case of the dryer vent, it will significantly increase the risk of a house fire. So how do you know if you need air duct cleaning? Below we’ll go over some of the most common things to look for.

Signs That it’s Time for Air Duct Cleaning

Here are some of the most common signs to look for that indicate your air ducts are leaking, followed by some signs that you need dryer vent cleaning.

  1. Some rooms never heat up or cool down - Have you noticed that one of your rooms never seems to heat up in the winter, or cool down when the AC is on in the summer? This usually indicates the air is leaking out of the ducts before reaching the room in question. The first thing to do is to make sure that the vent is open in that room. If it is, then it should heat up or cool down at the same speed as other rooms in the house. If it does not, that’s a sign of trouble.
  2. Your energy bills have increased beyond any rise in the price of energy - Energy prices can be volatile, and so it is not surprising that heating and air conditioning costs fluctuate. But if energy prices are stable and your energy bills rise, or if energy prices rise 10% and your energy bills rise, say, 20% that should be a red flag that all is not well inside your air ducts. It means your system is working harder than normal to achieve the same level of warmth or coolness. And that is almost always because air is leaking from the ducts somewhere.
  3. You see more dust than usual in your home - Leaks in the air ducts can allow heated or cooled air to escape, but they can also allow dust from inside your walls, floors and ceilings to be pulled into the duct and distributed throughout the house. If you notice more dust than usual on your tables and countertops it may be a sign you need air duct cleaning. Keep in mind that all that dust is more than just a nuisance, it can also aggravate respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis.
  4. Your furnace or A/C can’t keep your home warm or cool - A single room that doesn’t heat up or cool down may indicate a leak in the air ducts leading into that room. But if the furnace or air conditioning system is having a hard time heating or cooling the entire house it may indicate a significant leak in the basement near the source. If that’s the case, you will likely see a spike in your energy costs too.
  5. Your HVAC system is breaking down all the time - If your HVAC system seems like it’s in constant need of repair it could be that leaky ducts are putting unnecessary strain on the system. Such systems are not designed to have to work overtime to compensate for leaky ducts. At some point, they break down and you are left scratching your head wondering what happened and shaking your head when you get the repair bill.

Signs It’s Time for Dryer Vent Cleaning

We continue this list with two more signs that your dryer vent is in need of cleaning.

  1. Your clothes never seem to dry completely - Lint accumulating in the dryer vent will prevent it from removing the damp air produced by the drying process. In most cases, this will mean your dryer has to work harder for longer to finish the drying process. If the clog in the dryer vent is severe, it may even prevent your clothes from ever getting fully dry. If you notice a change in dryer performance, don't blame the dryer. Instead, call Steve's Carpet Care to schedule professional dryer vent cleaning.
  2. Family members may begin to experience respiratory problems - A clogged or leaking dryer vent can cause hot moist air to escape into the home environment promoting the growth of mold and mildew. This can cause family members to develop respiratory problems that seem to come out of nowhere and can be very serious. If you notice a musty smell in your house, or loved ones are complaining of allergies or trouble breathing, a leaky dryer vent may be the culprit.

Additional Dangers of a Clogged Dryer Vent

  • Increased risk of a house fire - Each year clogged dryer vents cause thousands of house fires in the United States. Many of those fires result in injury and death. The humble dryer vent may seem like no big deal but if it is not properly cleaned it is a ticking time bomb.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning - Carbon monoxide is produced by your gas-powered dryer and removed via the dryer vent. If you haven’t had someone in to perform vent cleaning recently the vent could become clogged causing CO2 to back up into the house with deadly consequences.

Timely air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning will help both systems work more effectively, reduce energy bills and maintenance costs, and greatly reduce the chance of leaky ducts generating health problems or house fires. Contact the pros at Steve’s Carpet Care to learn more.

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