Interesting Air Duct Cleaning Facts
People want to know the facts about Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and if air duct cleaning will do much to improve the quality of the air we breath. The facts stated below should help you understand that while air vent cleaning is not a "cure-all" it is an important step in improving IAQ. Duct cleaners across the USA agree that cleaning air ducts helps to significantly reduce the source the source of contaminants and various pollutants which may trigger adverse health reactions.
Heating and air conditioning ducts which are dark, damp and rich in "nutrients" provide an excellent breeding ground for mold, fungi and dust mites. These allergens can spread rapidly since the air ducts are used to heat and cool the house. Poor ventilation allowing fresh outside air indoors and dirty filters are also major contributors to unhealthy contaminates in the home. Mold and fungi can cause "discomfort", infections and commonly trigger allergic reactions.
While it is true that air duct cleaning alone does not cure health conditions like Asthma, allergies and other respiratory related conditions, vent cleaning does however, play an important role in prevention and treatment. By cleaning your HVAC system you will remove allergens like dust and mold from the duct work as well as residue from cigarette smoke. While the EPA does not have any recommendations for how often your air ducts should be cleaned, your furnace manufacturer does. Most furnace manufacturers recommend having your furnace cleaned and inspected annually, which begs the question; If my furnace should be cleaned every year, what about my air ducts?
If your furnace needs to be cleaned annually, why not get your air ducts cleaned at the same time?
Here are some interesting facts to consider:
INDOOR AIR QUALITY FACTS
- indoor air pollution is ranked among the top 5 environmental dangers to the public. (EPA)
- Studies have shown that two out of three indoor air quality problems involve the HVAC/Air Duct System.
- Children and the elderly are especially affected by polluted indoor air. (Department of Consumer Affairs)
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in indoor air can be 2 to 5 times greater than in outdoor air. (EPA)
- 20% of all illnesses are either caused by, or aggravated by, polluted indoor air. (American College of Allergists)
- The levels of some hazardous pollutants in indoor air has been found to be up to 70 times greater than in outdoor air.
- Most people spend 60% to 90% of their time indoors. (American Lung Association & EPA)
- The average 6-room house collects 40 pounds of dust each year. (Discover Magazine)
FACTS ABOUT ALLERGIES
- More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies.
- One out of six people who suffer from allergies do so because of the direct relationship to fungi and bacteria in air duct systems. (Total Health and Better Health Magazines)
- 10-12 million Americans suffer from Asthma. (American College of Allergists)
- Over 7.6 million children 5-17 years) and over 12.7 million young adults (18-44 years) suffer from asthma. (National Center for Health Statistics)
- 86% increase in asthma cases between 1980 to 1996. (Chicago Tribune 9/26/04)
- About 5,000 people die from asthma related issues. (Chicago Tribune 9/26/04)
FACTS ABOUT DUST MITES
- Each person can shed up to 700,000 skin scales per day creating an abundant food source for dust mites.
- About 40,000 dust mites can "thrive" in only one ounce of dust
- Approximately 10 to 15 percent of the population suffers from an allergy related to dust mites.
HEATING AND COOLING FACTS
- Airflow problems can reduce your system's efficiency by up to 15 percent. (energystar.gov)
- A buildup of .042 inches of dirt on a heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease in efficiency of 21%. (EPA)
- Most commercially available fiberglass furnace filters are less than 7% efficient. (ASHRAE)
- Dirty coils reduce the system's ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment. (energystar.gov)
- Too much or too little refrigerant will make your system less efficient increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment. (energystar.gov)
- 9 out of 10 system failures are caused by dirt and dust.(LCES - Louisiana Cooperative Extensions Service)
- In 1998, clothes dryers were associated with 15,600 fires, which resulted in 20 deaths and 370 injuries. (Consumer Product Safety Commission)
CLOTHES DRYER SAFETY
- A full load of wet clothes placed in a dryer contains about one half gallon of water. As water is removed, lint is created from the clothes. (UL - Underwriters Laboratories)
- The number of clothes dryer fires has dropped by 35% from the 24,000 fires that occurred annually, on average, in the late 1970s.
- Lack of maintenance is a contributing factor of clothes dryer fires. People aren't cleaning lint traps as often as they should nor are they checking and cleaning vent systems on a periodic basis. (UL)
- For more information we suggest reading "Dryer Vent Cleaning FAQ".
- The U.S. Fire Administration's most recent study reports residential clothes dryer fires were associated with 12,700 fires nationally, resulting in 15 deaths and 300 injuries annually.
- 42% of all home-heating fires are caused by problems with fireplaces and chimneys. (NFPA)