It’s well documented that an unclean and unmaintained duct system can lead to worse health outcomes for building occupants. In short, yes, dirty ducts can in fact make you fall ill more frequently, affecting both your productivity and your day-to-day lifestyle. This means regular duct cleaning is a practice that should be taken seriously by all home and business owners, especially if you care about the health of your family or employees.
This article will take a look at why dirty ducts can make you sick, the various impacts dirty ducts can have on your health, and what you can do to mitigate and eliminate these impacts.
Sick Building Syndrome
A term you may not be familiar with is sick building syndrome (SBS). SBS describes any scenario where the occupants of a specific building experience acute health effects that directly cause discomfort as a result of having spent time in that building. These effects can range from a scratchy and sore throat to sinus issues as well as nausea and even vomiting. SBS can occur as a result of harmful pathogens that have built up inside a duct system circulating throughout the air of the building and infecting occupants or causing them extreme discomfort. Sometimes the effects can be localised to a single room of the building, but more often than not, the entire building is compromised. Duct cleaning has been shown to significantly reduce the effects of SBS or even eradicate the problem entirely.
How Dirty Ducts Can Impact Health
Dirty ducts that result in SBS can have a number of health impacts on building occupants. Some of the most common ones are:
Exacerbation of Asthma & Allergies
Dirty ducts that are circulating air that has been contaminated with allergens and dust have repeatedly been shown to exacerbate symptoms of those who suffer from mild respiratory illnesses such as asthma and seasonal allergies.
Increases Frequency of Illness
Air ducts that harbour harmful pathogens can lead to building occupants falling ill more frequently. Illnesses can range from colds and sinus infections to more serious upper respiratory infections. As bacteria and pathogens are continually recirculated through the duct system, occupants are likely to fall ill more frequently.
Mental Health Impacts
Dirty ducts can also have mental health implications in some circumstances. The poorer indoor air quality coupled with the fact that occupants will constantly be using energy to fight off infections and then recover from them can make them feel lethargic and lead to reduced productivity, generating stress in their daily lives.
Can Duct Cleaning Actually Help?
Regular duct cleaning is one of the very few ways that you can truly clean and maintain ducts and improve health outcomes for occupants of a building. Having ducts thoroughly cleaned not only eliminates annoying dust, dirt and debris, but also ensures that ducts are free from harmful pathogens and bacteria. Most duct cleaning services offer duct sanitisation as well in order to stop these harmful contaminants from entering the duct system in the first place.