A central air conditioner is typically thought of as including only the outdoor condensing unit and indoor air handler but the duct system that runs throughout your home is also a vital part of the system. The blower fan in the air handler blows ambient air over cooled coils and then pushes that air out into the ducts. If the ducts aren't working properly, the cooled air won't reach your home properly.
An air-conditioning repair service can help with duct cleaning. So what is HVAC duct cleaning? Why does your air conditioner need it, and what malfunctions in the ducts can thwart your system?
Your central air conditioner contains air filters meant to trap any dirt, dust, and other small particulates in the ambient air swirling through the system. If those filters are changed often enough, or if the filters aren't of a high enough quality, that dirt and dust can end up circulating through the duct system that goes through your entire home. The dirt can clog up the ducts and send that debris out into your home.
Dirt can also enter the ducts from inside your home if you have floor or baseboard vents and don't clean around them often enough. Dirt entering the vent in one area of the house can travel through the ducts to the rest of the home.
A duct cleaning is an air-conditioning repair service that involves a technician cleaning out the ducts to make sure none of that dirt is swirling through your home.
Potential Malfunction: Incorrect or Clogged Air Filters Can Counteract Clean Ducts
An air-conditioning technician performing a duct cleaning should make sure that your system has the right kind of home air filters and that those filters have been changed recently. But if you don't keep up with the air-filter maintenance, the dirtying filters will counteract that duct-cleaning service.
Consult your owner's manual to know what type of filter your unit uses and how often the filter needs changed. Some air filters can be cleaned and returned to the unit while others require disposal and the installation of a new filter.
Potential Malfunction: Leaking Ducts Add More Dust and Cost You in Efficiency
During the course of the duct cleaning, your service tech will check for indications of the ducts having leaks. Duct leaks can allow more dirt and debris into the ducts while also letting the precious cooled air leak out into the walls or ceilings. If you didn't have the duct cleaning, you likely wouldn't know the ducts were leaking.
Duct leaks can cause your air conditioner to seem to lose efficiency. This means that you would need to run your air conditioner for far longer periods of time than normal to achieve the same temperature, and that can drive up your electricity bill.