When it comes to spring and summer, many people blame the outdoors for their allergy symptoms. But consider this: most Americans spend 90 percent of their time indoors in workplaces and residences where the windows are rarely, if ever, opened.

So why are people still sniffling and sneezing indoors? Well, that’s because indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Luckily, air duct cleaning can help combat some of these pollutants.

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Breathing Clean is an initiative developed by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), an organization that is dedicated to providing homeowners with information, education, and tools about air duct cleaning. The Breathing Clean initiative suggests if you have any of the following scenarios happening in your household, you may want to consider getting your air ducts cleaned.

5 Important Reasons to Get Your Air Ducts Cleaned

1. You have a family member who suffers from asthma or allergies.

Your heating and cooling system is the lungs of your home. The system takes air in and pushes air out. Just by simply living in your home, you generate many contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust, and airborne chemicals. Some people are more vulnerable to these types of contaminants; for example, those who suffer from asthma, allergies, and other respiratory problems.

2. You have pets.

Over time pet hair and dander can build up in your air ducts, leading to less-than-ideal indoor air quality. Once pet hair and dander collects in your ducts, it will be pushed back into your home through the air circulation. People with respiratory problems, asthma, or allergies can become sick and find it hard to breathe from excess pet dander in the vents.

3. Your air vents are emitting dust.

orange glove holding dirty air ventIf you’re noticing dirt and debris around your vents, there’s a good chance that your ducts have developed a buildup of contaminants. High levels of dirt and debris circulating through your system can aggravate allergies and other respiratory problems.

4. You have young children or older family members living in your home.

Air pollution poses the highest risk to children and seniors. Children breathe 16–30 breaths per minute, making them more susceptible than adults to airborne contaminants. Another reason why children are more susceptible to the health effects of air pollution is because their immune system and organs are still developing.

Seniors, on the other hand, are vulnerable to air pollution because they are less able to compensate for the effects of air pollution due to age. Air pollution can aggravate heart disease, stroke, lung disease, and asthma, among other conditions.

5. Your home recently underwent a remodeling project.

white kitchen cabinets in various stages of installationMany home remodeling projects create dust and debris. One thing you need to keep in mind is that dust goes where the air flows. So, when your home improvement project is complete, the dust and dirt will continue to circulate throughout your home via the air ducts, where they can readily be breathed in by your family.

For those with asthma and allergies, renovation dust can be extremely dangerous. Depending on the age of your home, renovation could stir up many allergens and toxins that have been settled for many years, including mold, dust mites, and asbestos, among others.

The Bottom Line

Regular air duct cleaning can benefit you and your family’s health as well as improve the performance of your HVAC system, leading to better efficiency and more money in your pocket.

While there are plenty of DIY projects you can tackle around the house, keep in mind that air duct cleaning should not be one of them. You can find a certified air duct cleaner in your area by using the NADCA Find a Professional feature.