best answer the question “Is air duct cleaning really necessary?”, you
might want to ask yourself “is carpet cleaning really necessary?” or “is
cleaning my refrigerator coils really necessary?”. It all depends on
whose air ducts we are talking about.
deciding if air duct cleaning is right for you, it might be helpful to
understand how air duct cleaning was started in the first place.
According to Tim Hebert, president of an air duct cleaning association
based in Washington D.C., his theory is that it all started in July
1976, in a hotel in downtown Philadelphia. The American Legion was
holding a statewide convention in the city, when suddenly the
legionnaires mysteriously began falling ill with pneumonia. More than
200 people got sick and 34 died.
The source of the pneumonia was a
strain of bacteria that was unrecognized at the time, and which was
later dubbed legionella pneumophilia. It had spread through the hotel’s
heating and cooling system, flowing into every room in the hotel through
the air conditioning.
According to Wikipedia; “L. pneumophila
was first recognized after a 1976 outbreak among a group of elderly men
attending an American Legion convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
(hence the name Legionaires’ disease). This outbreak affected over 200
individuals, with 34 fatalities.” Indoor Air Pollution or “Sick Building Syndrome”
credits the outbreak with spurring public interest in indoor air
pollution, an entirely new concept to a generation of Americans who had
grown accustomed to the joys of air-conditioned buildings in the summer
and cozy, air-tight interiors in the winter. What had seemed like
sensible energy-efficiency in the 1970s suddenly had a bad side. People
started talking about “sick buildings”.
Since the 1970’s a lot of
different theories have emerged, ranging from; clean your air ducts
annually at an affordable price of around $100, to clean it once every 7
years for an exhorborant amount oftentimes exceeding $1,000
Deciding on Air Duct Cleaning If
you are healthy, have no pets, and your home is nearly dust free,
perhaps an annual cleaning might be overkill, on the other hand, if you
suffer from allergies or other respiratory or health conditions, is once
every 7 years enough? You might want to consult with an allergist, but
you will ultimately need to determine what amount of dust dirt and
debris you are comfortable with.