Over time, as your heating and air conditioning systems move air throughout your home, dust and other detritus can build up in your air ducts. This buildup can restrict air flow and make your furnace or air conditioner less effective at heating or cooling your home, resulting in higher energy bills in the long run while at the same time making your house less comfortable. Understanding the signs that your air ducts are becoming clogged can help you have them cleaned out before they become a serious issue.
Dust Buildup in Vents
Take the cover off of the outflow vents and peer inside. You may need a flashlight to see inside of your air ducts. If you can see a buildup of dirt, dust, or any other debris, it is extremely likely that there is further buildup deeper within your ducts as well. For inflow vents, check to see if there is a buildup of dust, usually in a fuzzy coating, on the vent. If there is, your air ducts may need to be cleaned.
If you have noticed an increase in the noise of your air conditioner or furnace, you most likely have a blockage somewhere inside your ductwork. The unit is straining more, and working harder, to push air throughout your home, but is unable to do so. If having your ductwork cleaned out does not decrease the noise, you'll want a specialist to come in and look at your unit to ensure that there is not another problem that is causing the increase in operation noise.
Reduced Air Flow
If there is a reduced flow of hot or cold air when your air conditioner or furnace turns on, this is a sign that there is a blockage within your air ducts. Check individual outflow vents for air flow – a blockage may only effect a single duct, though cleaning the entire system is a good idea for long term maintenance to prevent other blockages from occurring.
Dirty Air Filter
Check the air filters for both your furnace and air conditioner. If they have become heavily clogged with dust and other debris, it's a good idea to have your ducts cleaned out as well. Even though the filter was able to trap a great deal of dust, the reduced air flow throughout your ductwork means that dust can settle within the ducts. Clean out the filter and replace it, and then contact a HVAC specialist like Allzone Air Conditioning & Heating Corp to have your ductwork cleaned out.