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How did that get in there? Photo of a man with glasses making a disgusted face

Have you ever had a funky smell invade your home and you can’t seem to find the source? Or maybe all of a sudden you’re sneezing a lot but you’ve never had allergies before? Or perhaps everyone in your house just keeps getting sick and no one can find out why it’s happening so frequently?

Hopefully, none of these things happen to you or your family. But if they do, consider taking a look at the air you’re breathing in your home. It could actually be the culprit.

In a typical home in this part of the country, windows and doors are shut for at least half the year. This makes your home what we call a “contained system”. All that means is that whatever is in your air is just re-circulating all of the time. Most of the time, that’s fine and doesn’t really affect anything.

However, contaminants can and do get into your home and into your HVAC system. Depending on the contaminant and the amount in which it’s present (or builds up over time), it can start to become noticeable and even pose significant health risks for you and your family over time.

Many times contaminants come in from outside. This can happen when you do have doors or windows opened, but that’s not always necessary. Something as simple as a door being opened so that someone can come into your home from the outside can invite contaminants in that were hitchhiking on their shoes or clothing or they can blow in through the door in the form of dust. This is the most common way that dirt, bugs, mold, pollen, carbon, and exhaust fumes enter a home or building. But that’s not the only worry. You may also have a water leak somewhere in your home – in the pipes or even a roof leak for example. These can lead to mold growing in your home, especially if you aren’t aware of the leak right away. And then there’s dust. Most of the contaminants in an average home come from dust. Dust is made up mostly of discarded skin cells but also contains hair, fuzz from kleenex and toilet paper, pet dander, and even dust mites.

Gross, right? All of these materials can circulate around your home for months or even years. Yes, even if you clean fairly regularly. So how do you get them out?

For one, make sure that you do clean regularly, which should preferably include dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and disinfecting bathrooms and kitchens at least weekly. You can also set up a regular schedule to change out your furnace filters. Most homes need these changed 3-6 months depending upon the type of filter. Clean, regularly changed filters help to catch a lot of these contaminants and prevent them from recirculating in your ductwork. If you have pets, get them groomed regularly as well so that they don’t shed quite as much hair and dander. Also make sure that you are checking pipes, window seals, and roofs at least a few times a year so that if you ever have a leak, you catch it early before it leads to a mold problem.

Lastly, have your ductwork cleaned. All of the suggestions listed above are great, but if you have years of built-up contaminants and debris inside of your ductwork then those precautions are only going to take you so far. Having your ductwork cleaned by a reputable company that uses high-powered equipment and a good, safe sanitizer is going to eliminate those contaminants and help keep your home healthy for years to come.

And the best part? If you want, we’ll show you what we get out of your ductwork when we’re done. It will leave you saying “How did THAT get in there?!”.

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