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Should I Have My Ducts Cleaned Due to Wildfire Smoke?


What a summer we had! Wildfires in more places than ever, burning out of control for long stretches of time, caused smoke to spread all across the country. Weather forecasts included air quality warnings, and people were told to stay inside to avoid breathing the smoke.

But things have gotten better now, right? Well, yes, but all that smoke still had an impact that could be sticking around. Particles that settle out of wildfire smoke can build up inside your air ducts and continue to circulate in your home. What can you do? Get your ducts cleaned!

What Wildfire Smoke Contains

While there are a complex variety of gasses in wildfire smoke, there are also particles being carried along in those gasses. These particles aren’t just soil or dust, but also contain metals, organic chemicals, acids such as nitrates and sulfates, and allergens such as pollen and mold spores.

The size of the particles makes a difference, too. Larger particles are irritating and can bother your eyes, nose, and respiratory system. But the smaller particles can deeply invade your lungs and even get into your bloodstream. According to the EPA, the biggest threat wildfire smoke poses is these small particles, which can cause bronchitis and dramatically worsen underlying conditions.

How Smoke Particles Behave in Your Ducts

When the gasses from wildfire smoke disperse, the particles settle out. You’ve been able to sweep and mop your floors and wipe down your countertops and tables, cleaning away those particles. But you can’t reach inside the ducts to clean up the particles that are inside.

Each time your air conditioner or heating system turns on, air blows through those ducts. The particles are stirred up, and some of them will make their way out your vents, mingling with the fresh air you expect—and deserve—to be breathing.

Any kind of buildup within your air ducts also increases the likelihood that other things will develop. It provides a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, which can in turn cause other health issues, not to mention unpleasant smells.

Why Professional Cleaning Is Necessary

Of course, you could open up your vents and stick something like a small broom in there and wave it around. But this would create more problems than it would solve. It’s important to rely on professionals for air duct cleaning.

First, stirring up those particles would force you to breathe more of them as you tried to clean them up. Qualified duct cleaners are trained in safety protocols to reduce the risk of spreading particles or causing harm to themselves or the residents of the home.

Second, ductwork can easily be damaged, and damaged ductwork not only decreases the effectiveness and efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, it creates other health risks, potentially allowing contaminants such as insulation fibers and pest messes to be forced through your vents. It takes specialty tools and training to clean ducts without risking damage.

If you need air duct cleaning in Jefferson County, AL, you can rely on our team of qualified professionals.

“Your experience is what matters most!” Contact Douglas Cooling & Heating today for help with all your heating and cooling needs.

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