Your furnace is the command center of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Its condition and cleanliness directly affect your indoor air quality and home comfort. Regular furnace cleaning and maintenance will ensure optimal performance. (Have any questions about the process? Visit our furnace cleaning service page for details.)
Aside from routine furnace cleaning, here are some circumstances that should prompt you to schedule one.
1. New Occupancy.
When newly taking up residence in a house, what better way to make it your own than to remove from its innards any contaminants (dust, dander, debris, etc.) left behind by its former occupants.Unless you can be certain that a furnace cleaning was performed once the property was vacated, this is a no-brainer in terms of the ideal situation to warrant one.
Debris resulting from construction activity—especially Sheetrock or drywall dust—is notorious for its ability to cling to HVAC components and stubbornly work its way into the tiniest of crevices, choking air flow and decreasing efficiency. The fine, chalk-like dust disseminates ominously (cue deadly horror-movie fog), settling in as a soft white powder over everything it once hovered above. Do yourself and your home a favor by factoring a furnace and air duct cleaning into your remodeling budget.
How many times have those of us with pets plucked coarse strands of their hair out of our food or off our tongues, or dabbed them from our eyes? Pet hair and dander tend to be ubiquitous, and if you have pets, you know that their fluffy cuteness gets everywhere. Your HVAC system is not spared. When furnace components become clogged with debris, including pet hair and dander, the unit has to work harder to achieve the desired ambient temperature, squandering energy and money.
4. Dirty Air Ducts.
All of the components of your HVAC system are connected and work harmoniously together to keep your home comfortable and climate-controlled. Because none of them work independently of the others, when one component is dirty, likely the others are too. So if your air ducts are dirty, your furnace could probably use a cleaning as well. Many companies perform furnace cleanings as part of an air duct cleaning, and some do so only with higher-level services. If you’re spending the money to clean your air ducts, best to fork over the bucks to have your furnace cleaned as well.
5. The Mere Passage of Time . . .
Let’s face it—there’s lots of stuff floating around our homes—everyday household dust, pollen, dander, and other irritants—and all that unpleasantness has to settle somewhere. Just like the tiny specks and floaties would pile up if you never dusted your home, so will they accumulate in your furnace if it is not cleaned. Help your furnace to do the job it was meant to do by keeping it clean, and it will reward you with greater productivity and job satisfaction. Okay—improved efficiency and cleaner indoor air.
Wanna dig deeper? Download our free tipsheet:
5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Furnace Cleaning Company.
Dryer vent cleaning is a crucial part of clothes dryer maintenance. Neglecting to do so invites myriad causes for concern. The process is in most cases straightforward and relatively inexpensive, especially when considered against not doing so.
Have any questions about the process itself? Visit our dryer vent cleaning service page.
1. To Prevent Fires. This is of course the number one reason to have your dryer vent cleaned annually. Dryer lint is one of the most combustible materials in your home. When present in large quantities, as in a clogged dryer vent, it can easily ignite, causing a fire that can spread to the rest of your home. According to the US Fire Administration (USFA), 2900 dryer fires are reported yearly. They cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.* A dryer vent cleaning for most homes costs between $100 and $200—a huge return on investment when set against the potential consequences!
2. To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. When connected to gas dryers, the dryer venting provides escape to the outdoors not only for lint and moisture but also for dangerous carbon monoxide. A clog anywhere in the system can result in dangerous gases building up and leaking back into your home. Keep in mind that blockages can result not only from lint buildup but also from birds, who often build nests in the vent if a cover is absent, sometimes even between the flaps of the outside vent. Installation of a dryer vent cover can prevent this, once the dryer vent has been thoroughly cleaned.
3. To Improve Energy Efficiency. When your dryer vent is clogged, the machine has to work much harder over a longer period of time to fully dry a load of laundry. This results not only in wasted energy (and thus wasted money) but also increases the wear on the machine and can eventually contribute to the burning out of the heating element. A properly cleaned dryer vent allows for the easy exit of moisture and gases, improves the efficiency of your dryer’s operation, and extends the life of the machine itself.
4. To Save Time. A dryer with a clogged vent can take several cycles to completely dry your laundry. When this happens, many people make the mistake of assuming that the machine is in disrepair. It is not unheard of for customers to completely replace their dryer only to find they have the same problem, which of course was not in the dryer at all. A clean and clear dryer venting system will help to ensure your clothes are drying in the appropriate amount of time, and reduce wear on your clothing from the excessive heat that results from a clogged dryer vent.
5. To Check for Disconnects. During the process of cleaning the dryer vent, any disconnect in the venting would be detected by an attentive technician, when he checks for proper air flow. The lack of proper air flow after a cleaning would signal that there is a disconnect somewhere in the ducting system. Another frequent observation from technicians during a dryer vent cleaning is the use of common duct tape on the dryer ducts, for which it is not intended, as when common duct tape heats it deteriorates and shreds. When the technician observes this he will typically recommend replacement with heat-resistant foil tape.
Wanna dig deeper? Download our free tipsheet: 5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Dryer Vent Cleaning Company.