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CleanAir Solutions Blog

What the Yuck? Find Out What Is Hiding Inside Your Air Ducts!

child holding nose because of smell

Everyone loves those science shows with titles like “The Secret Lives of….” They take you behind the scenes and show you footage of animals, plants and even bacteria!

But all of that seems very far away from your clean, neat and comfortable city abode. Or does it?

Have you had a peek inside your air duct system lately? Air ducts can be pretty mysterious places. They can also be pretty scary, especially when they haven’t been cleaned in a decade… or ever.

In fact, most air duct systems in homes and businesses across Canada have remained relatively untouched since the day they were initially installed, 10 or 20 or 30-plus years ago. It has been only in the last five years that information about how air duct toxicity can impact human health has even become widely available to the general consumer.

In this post, we introduce you to some of the most potent toxins that could be hiding inside your air ducts. And we tell you what to do to get rid of them for good!

Meet Your Duct Neighbors: You Can’t See Them, But They Can See You!

If you were a small insect or animal looking for a safe place to hide from predators or the elements, where would you go first?

As you were crawling along the gutters or across the roof shingles or up the side of a structure, you might suddenly see a crack or crevice and crawl inside it. Then, lo and behold, you might find yourself inside a DUCT!

This duct would probably seem a lot like Shangri-la to you—a warm, moist, dark and lovely spot where you could rest, sleep, even breed and raise your young in relative safety!

But insects and small rodents are just a few of the visitors that tend to make themselves at home inside existing ductwork systems. There are other toxins that are far more potent that may also be making themselves at home inside your ducts!

  • Dirt and debris

  • Dust and dust mites

  • Pollen

  • Pet dander

  • Human hair and skin flakes

  • Mildew and mould colonies and spores

  • Bacteria

  • Discarded beetle shells and dead insects

  • Rodent droppings and old nesting sites

  • Combustion gases, including carbon monoxide

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

  • Bits of degraded insulation or sealant

  • Wood dust or construction debris

  • Wood smoke and tobacco residue

In the several years since Shipton’s Heating and Cooling launched its sister business, Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we have completed hundreds of professional air duct cleaning service jobs.

Some of the things we have found lurking inside the air duct systems of homes and businesses are really harmless yet quite mind-boggling (science fiction novels, jewelry, action figures?). But mostly, what we find is actually potentially very harmful to the health of our clients and their visitors, such as the toxins in the list above here.

When we find these types of duct visitors, we always recommend proceeding with an air duct cleaning service!

What to Expect During a Professional Air Duct Cleaning Service

There is no doubt a professional air duct cleaning service is an intangible investment at first. In other words, it isn’t the type of thing you can show off at your next happy hour. No one really wants to watch a video tour of your air ducts before and after cleaning.

Yet you will be able to feel the impact right away when you breathe. Many clients say their indoor air at home or work actually smells cleaner after the air duct cleaning!

The first thing we do when we’re talking with a client about scheduling a professional indoor air duct cleaning is an initial inspection of their duct system. During the inspection, we insert a tiny camera inside the air ducts to see what there is.

Urgent warning signs we look for include these types of issues:

  • Insects crawling in and out of the air registers or exhaust vents

  • Visible mildew or mould growth

  • Obvious damp surfaces or wet patches

  • Visual obstruction, such as from built-up dust or debris

  • Insect shells, dead insects or rodent droppings

Our client is always present for this inspection and can see what we’re seeing on the remote camera’s video screen. We don’t always recommend scheduling an air duct cleaning service right then and there, but if we see any of these warning signs, we encourage the client to proceed as soon as possible!

The average indoor air duct cleaning service takes less than one day. For business clients, we often schedule this service on a weekend so as not to disrupt regular business operations.

We like to think we make the air duct cleaning process look easy, but actually it is a very sophisticated process that shouldn’t be entrusted to an amateur. Every air vent and register must be thoroughly cleaned. The contents of the ductwork must be sucked out into a vacuum-sealed disposal unit for transport away from your space.

We take every precaution to ensure all toxic matter is safely and completely removed from your duct system with no opportunity to escape and re-contaminate your space.

When we depart that day, you are left with a clean, sanitized and deodorized air duct system that you can trust with your family’s health.

Best of all, once you have your air duct system professionally cleaned, as long as you don’t have any major home renovations on the horizon, you won’t have to think about your cleaning air ducts for another 5 or so years!

Get in Touch

We are here to answer all of your questions about air duct cleaning, indoor air quality and your family’s health! Contact us online or give us a call at 905-544-2470 to find out more!

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