System efficiency, extended furnace and air conditioning life, allergy alleviation, prevention of serious health issues and fire protection are among the many benefits to maintaining clean HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems in your home or business. Simply taking a look behind the return air grills in your HVAC system could provide all the evidence you need that your system is in need of cleaning.
Reduced cost in operating, maintenance and replacement for both your HVAC system and other equipment such as computers is one major benefit to regular, thorough air duct cleaning. The EPA found that a build-up of just .042 inches of dirt on a heating or cooling coil can result in a 21% decrease in operating efficiency. Industry surveys such as Wisconsin Public Service put the additional energy costs of a dirty condenser coil at an average $250 per year. Dust buildup in an HVAC system can reduce airflow up to 40%, placing additional strain on your system, which may result in faster wear and premature equipment failure. Other, unrelated equipment such as computers and other sensitive electronics may also suffer additional wear from dust buildup caused by a dirty HVAC system.
Indoor air pollution levels often average 10 to 100 times higher than outdoor concentrations, according to studies by the EPA, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and others. The Department of Consumer Affairs says that children are more likely than adults to be affected by polluted indoor air. They breathe faster, inhale more air per unit of body weight and are closer to the ground where pollutant concentrations are higher. Additionally, The American College of Allergists says that 50% of all illnesses are either caused or aggravated by polluted indoor air. The elderly, asthmatics, and people with breathing problems, allergies, and lung diseases are likely to be more sensitive to pollutants.
Potentially serious health problems associated with bad indoor air can range from slight discomfort, such as a sore throat and eye or nose irritation to chronic illnesses such as bronchitis and sinusitis. Worse cases have also been recorded. The Legionnaire’s disease outbreak in 1976 that killed 29 people in Philadelphia was caused by bacteria that originated in the hotel’s air conditioning system (American Lung Association). In 1988, another 7 people lost their lives in the Los Angeles area from the same disease (Modesto Bee, 9/22/88). Having your HVAC system cleaned can improve or even eliminate contaminated indoor air.