Some homeowners have discovered a stale or foul smell in their homes despite a good home cleaning routine. In these cases the air ducts could be responsible. Particles of dust, dirt and other debris can accumulate in the vents which when combined with even the smallest amount of moisture can provide a breeding ground for mildew, mold or bacteria. Even if you have attempted ventilation cleaning yourself, it is possible that there is a crevice or corner of the ducts which has been missed, allowing this accumulation to build up.
A full clean with specialist tools can reach even tight crevices and corners to safely remove any debris. It may be possible for you to clean a number of vents yourself but safety equipment should be worn and taken care of to protect you from any contaminants within the ducts.
What’s the Danger?
If you have noticed a musty smell, then it is possible that mold spores are present in your vents. This can significantly affect the indoor air quality home residents or visitors are breathing. Mold spores can be extremely bad for your health and there may also be other potential allergens present which can compromise breathing for those with existing conditions such as asthma.
Can I Minimize the Risk?
Regular vacuuming can be very beneficial to reduce the rate of debris build up and the clogging of vents. You should ensure that your vacuum bag is regularly emptied and that the vacuum has a built in filter. You should also wipe down all surfaces to remove dust or debris which would otherwise end up pulled into the vents.
You can also minimize the risk by conducting regular HVAC maintenance including air filter replacement. This should be done as per the manufacturer recommendations of your specific system, but if you notice filters becoming clogged, then change them more frequently. Always use the recommended filters to ensure a proper fit which will not allow air to escape around the filter.