One of the most potentially dangerous areas of your home is the air ducts. While you will probably never be in them, there are a number of health hazards that can hide out and live there. While there is no solid proof that general cleaning of air ducts to get out normal household dust will prevent diseases, you should consider having it done if there is anyone in the home with allergies, or if your family seems to be getting ill more frequently. Here are a few of the not-so-normal things that your air ducts may be harboring that can cause people to get sick.
Air ducts can provide the ideal environment for mold spores to grow, especially when humidity is high. While some mold spores only pose a problem to those allergic to it, there are also some that affect everyone. Black mold can cause headaches, fatigue, a chronic cough, and problems with the respiratory system. If your family has the symptoms of a bad cold but can't seem to get rid of it, you should have your home checked for mold. You may need to have two different inspections, one for the house and everything in it and one for the air ducts and HVAC system.
Even if you have no problem with pet mice or rats, having wild ones running around in the duct work can put your family at risk of getting a Hantavirus infection. The excrement and urine from the rodents living in your air ducts can cause this very serious disease. If anyone is exhibiting the symptoms of the flu, and keeps getting it after it appears to be gone, it could be Hantavirus. The virus can be picked up by the air going through the ducts and pushed out into the house where everyone can inhale it.
Dust, dander and pet hair in the house will be pulled into the HVAC system through the return air vent. They will then be dispersed through the house when the air is pushed through the HVAC system. This will not affect those lucky enough to be allergy-free, but can be deadly to anyone with allergies.
If you notice dust particles shooting out of the air vents in your home, you cannot be sure it is not carrying some type of germ too. Contact a company that does professional air duct cleaning, such as Dick Kearsley Service Center. The technician will be able to let you know if there is something hiding out in there that can hurt you.