What Is an Air Duct Inspection? and is it worth it?

It’s the beginning of spring, and the first two weeks have plagued your home with a not-so-subtle smell of mildew. You find yourself cleaning more frequently as dust and dog hair settles into places you never knew possible. Your children start sneezing and you even begin to buy allergy medicine when you’ve never had allergies before. When your HVAC unit suddenly begins to rattle whenever it turns on, you know it’s time to ask for help. A few phone calls later, you begin the process of having an air duct inspection.

According to HomeAdvisor, a new HVAC system could cost you between three and ten thousand dollars. Yep, you read that right! During this tedious process, there will be a legion of workers inside of your home removing old ductwork, rewiring thermostats, and installing new equipment, all over the course of several days. It’s even more heart-wrenching to learn that most HVAC replacements could have been prevented with maintenance. For something so preventable, why does the industry ring in over fourteen billion a year in sales?

Why are Routine Inspections important?

Air ducts play one of the most important functions in having smooth, efficient, and clean air throughout your home. This is why hiring an Air Duct Inspector, (and a good one at that), is paramount to the lifetime of your HVAC! You will not hesitate to schedule an appointment after learning the benefits of inspections and regular cleaning. The top reasons for having preventative air duct inspections lie in health benefits, cost-saving features, and conserving energy.

For starters, an Air Duct Inspector will generally:

  • Open access ports and junctions to ensure thorough inspection.
  • Check for hazardous materials.
  • Point out broken or malfunctioning pieces.
  • Properly clean out air ducts with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum, as needed.
  • Educate the homeowner on the importance of air duct inspections and how costly they can be to replace.
  • Make sure that no animals have taken up a home in your ductwork.
  • Ensure air ducts are properly sealed to prevent excessive loss of heating or cooling.

Your Health Matters!

As a technician goes through your ductwork, they might come across materials such as asbestos, mold, and animal secretions. Even something as miniscule as animal fur can clog your filters and create an unhealthy air quality inside your home. When you have a country with over one hundred million people suffering from asthma or allergy-related conditions, every breath of fresh air counts. Having your air ducts inspected will prevent the overgrowth of bacteria that can get trapped within the filters. There have been direct correlations between health factors and the triggering of autoimmune diseases from a lack of clean airflow in your home. At this point, you might be asking how long you should go between inspections, right? The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends you have an air duct inspection at least once a year, coupled with a proper cleaning when deemed necessary. More frequent inspections will allow you to catch a problem quickly and know exactly when you need a cleaning- which is always before it’s too late!

Saving you Time and Money

We all know what it feels like to be too late. It usually comes around the time all your bills are due, and your car needs four new tires. If only there was one way to be prepared! But there is! Frequent air duct inspections allow technicians to properly identify any broken or malfunctioning parts. Inspections ultimately extend the lifetime of your HVAC, not including the added educational benefits for homeowners. Many air duct inspectors will gladly explain the process and what they are looking for to you. If you remember from above, we noted that the air duct industry brings in on average fourteen billion in sales every year. The US Department of Energy tells us that homeowners can cut their energy bill by twenty to thirty percent by doing proper maintenance alone. In the age of technology, diagnosing an issue and replacing a part is as easy as clicking order online. The difference between the average person and an air duct cleaning company is that the company will know what parts are needed and who to call. It can be easy to go through the internet and browse for do-it-yourself solutions, but you can also run into losing money on incorrect parts or potentially breaking something important within your ductwork. Because of this, spending the money upfront on an inspection will save you countless dollars in the long run.

Lowering Energy Consumption Levels

In its entirety, our world has reached record-high numbers in energy consumption over recent years. Fortunately, we have also seen a rise in Environmentalism and the concept of protection and prevention. While it also feels good to save money with a well-functioning HVAC, the environment around will receive a multitude of benefits. A good portion of your heating and cooling gets lost within the air duct system, especially when they are clogged and dirty, so hiring the right company to take care of your ductwork can assist in lowering energy levels. High energy levels within your household create pressure changes in your airflow which will directly impact both your comfort and energy costs. You might even notice that some parts of your house feel colder and other areas warmer at the same time. Noticing this change should immediately alert you to have your air ducts inspected! During an air duct inspection, you can expect the technician to have pressure monitoring devices that will assist them in determining a potential blockage.

In its entirety, having a properly functioning HVAC system will depend on the frequency of air duct inspections. As discussed above, the NADCA recommends an inspection at least once a year, along with cleanings every few years or as needed. An air duct inspection will be performed by a licensed business with technicians who establish an ongoing relationship for inspections. They will educate you on problems to look out for and be able to quickly identify any malfunctions or broken parts. Air duct inspections will bring you peace of mind knowing that you won’t have a ten-thousand-dollar replacement bill in the future. More importantly, air duct technicians will continue to monitor your air ducts for any clogging or buildup of debris. If you want to save money, have clean, healthy air to breathe, and lower world energy costs, getting routine air duct inspections is the obvious choice!

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