Every time you empty a sweeper, imagine that same amount of dirt can be found in your home’s ductwork.

This accumulated dirt clogs the heating system, lowering heating efficiency and requiring more energy and money to heat your home.

More importantly, this accumulated dirt is rebroadcast throughout your home, which is a concern to all of us at Breathe Pennsylvania. We all have different thresholds to different allergens, and if they’re present in higher concentrations, our sensitivities most likely will react to them.

Not surprisingly, there is no standard recommend by the Environmental Protection Agency regarding how often ducts should be cleaned. Some professional duct cleaning companies encourage cleaning every year. Such is probably not necessary, but I am sure there are exceptions based upon system design, age, environmental dirt, number and age of occupants just to name a few.

Duct cleaning doesn’t have to be done professionally. In fact, it can be a fairly easy DIY project, though you probably won’t be able to get to every inch of the duct work. Professional companies may have an advantage here with telescoping tools that enable them to reach every bend.

In addition to cleaning your ducts, change air filters regularly. It might take some time for you to figure out how often filters should be switched out. If you change your filter every six months and the filter is falling apart,  it should be changed it more often. If you live alone in a small home and the filter is fairly clean, then it can be changed less often. Keeping a list next to the furnace can help you develop a routine.

Additionally, dirt will build up around returns. These should be checked every time you vacuum near them, and cleaned when necessary.

Giving your system a little sweep can potentially improve your air quality, and that is a start to good breathing.