In the U.S., we spend about 90% of our lives indoors. That means the average person spends about 21.6 hours inside every day.

If you don’t have easy access to the outdoors, you could spend all your time indoors. 

The trouble is, indoor air can carry up to 5 times as much pollution as the fresh air from outside. Indoor pollutants can include things like pet dander, cigarette smoke, mold, lead, and asbestos. 

Luckily, cleaning your air ducts can make a big difference. Read on to learn the signs you need air duct cleaning in Houston, TX so you can breathe a sigh of relief. 

1. You See Dust Coming From Your Air Vents

If you turn on your heat or air conditioning and you see a puff of dust or smoke come out of the vent, that’s a sure sign your air ducts are dirty. When things are working properly, you shouldn’t see or smell anything coming from the vent.

If you’d like to check your system, switch your heat or AC off. Wait a few minutes and turn it back on. Do you see any dust particles or smell something smokey coming from your vents? 

If you see dust, you should schedule a professional cleaning soon. If you see or smell smoke, try not to use your system before a technician can come look at it. You could have a clogged air duct or a mechanical issue with your HVAC unit. 

2. Your Energy Bills Are Going Up

It’s normal for your energy costs to fluctuate from month to month. But, if there haven’t been any major weather changes and your bill has gotten much more expensive, it could be an issue with your HVAC system. 

First, check your utility bill for any new fees or service charges. Then, ask yourself if you’ve used a lot more energy in the past month. For example, a new hot tub could boost your monthly energy bill by as much as $50.

Once you’ve ruled those things out, you could have an issue with your air ducts. If your ducts are clogged with dust, your system will have to work harder to heat or cool your home. If you’ve noticed a change in airflow in a particular room, you could even have a blockage in your ductwork.

3. Your House Is Always Dusty 

Dust is inevitable in an indoor environment. Every few weeks or once a month, you might need to pull out your microfiber cloth or feather duster to keep your home looking fresh. 

But, if it seems like you’re constantly battling dust bunnies when your cleaning schedule hasn’t changed, your duct work could be the culprit.

Hot and cold air travels from your furnace or air conditioner, through the ductwork, and out of the vents in your home. The more dust that builds up inside the ducts, the more dust that will come out of your vents. It will settle on hard surfaces and make your house dustier. 

4. You’ve Just Renovated Your House

Renovation projects are exciting, but they’re also bad for indoor air quality. Whether you’re renovating the kitchen, taking down a wall, or getting a new tile floor, expect some dust. 

The trouble really starts when that dust from construction makes its way into your air ducts. You’ll keep breathing in those cement or paint particles until you get your ducts cleaned. 

Luckily, you and your construction crew can prevent some of this dust in the first place. Depending on the renovation, you can put covers over your vents. You can also rent an air scrubber and ask the crew to install plastic sheeting around the renovation area of your home. 

5. Your Vent Grilles Look Dusty

Your vent grilles control the direction of airflow in your home. They also cover up the large vent holes in your floor or ceiling. You can also use your vent grilles to spot problems with your air ducts.

If you notice a lot of dust on your vent grilles, there’s a good chance it’s coming from inside the duct. Walk around your house to check your other vents. Do they look just as dusty?

If you’re noticing dusty vent grilles throughout your home, you could have a widespread issue with your ducts. Contact an HVAC service company for maintenance as soon as you can.  

6. Your Family Is Having More Health Problems 

Indoor air quality issues can lead to allergy systems, asthma flare ups, itchy skin, and respiratory infections. If it seems like you or your family members have new or worsening allergy symptoms this year, think about your air ducts. 

Between allergies, cold, and flu season, you might notice more coughing and runny noses than usual. But, if you’re noticing ongoing symptoms, you might want to look at your air ducts.

If dirty air ducts were to blame, your symptoms might improve in just a few weeks. 

7. You Notice a Musty Smell Throughout Your Home

If you’re noticing a widespread musty odor throughout your home, it could be coming from your air ducts. If your AC system can’t keep humidity in check, it can lead to mold growth.

Mold and mildew growth can also cause respiratory issues, just like dust can. Plus, if you don’t address it soon, it can keep growing and spread throughout your ductwork. 

To check for mold yourself, remove the grille cover and get a flashlight. If you see signs of mold, reach out to a technician who specializes in indoor air quality and mold removal. 

Hire a Pro to Handle Your Air Duct Cleaning in Houston, TX

Dirty air ducts can make your house harder to clean, raise your energy bills, and even cause health problems. Since we spend so much time indoors, it’s critical to think about the air we’re breathing. If you’ve noticed any of the above warning signs, it might be time for air duct cleaning. 

But, air duct cleaning is more than dusting the inside of your air vents. It requires special air duct cleaning tools and expert knowledge of HVAC systems. That’s why it’s best to leave it to the pros.  

If you’re looking for air duct cleaning in Houston, TX we can help. At P&M Air Conditioning and Heating, we offer indoor air quality solutions to make your home safer and cleaner. Contact us today to schedule a repair or get a quote.