Have you ever worried about dust mites in your building? You probably won’t ever see them, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there—especially if you haven’t been staying on top of your responsibilities as an HVAC owner. Dust mites tend to thrive in places where the ventilation systems have not been properly maintained, but air vent cleaning can drive them out quickly and make it difficult for them to return in significant numbers. Learn more below about how vent and duct cleaning can protect you from mites and improve your life in other valuable ways.
Before We Get to Air Vent Cleaning: What are Dust Mites, and Why Should You Care?
Dust mites aren’t as immediately concerning as many other common household pests. They won’t bite you in the middle of the night, chew through electrical cables or make a lot of creepy and distracting noises. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t be problematic for the people who must share space with them.
Dust mites resemble insects, but they’re practically invisible to the naked eye. They often number in the hundreds of thousands inside the homes where they live—and they can live practically anywhere. Furthermore, dust mites produce an allergen that can cause numerous unwelcome reactions in the people who inhale it. The worst part? This allergen comes from their fecal matter and body fragments. Gross!
Symptoms of a Dust Mite Problem
Dust mite allergies can cause a variety of different reactions in people, ranging from fairly mild to quite extreme. If you have dust mites in your home or at your office, you might expect to encounter some of the following symptoms:
- Runny noses caused by inhaling too many dust mite allergens nasally and irritating your mucous membranes.
- Frequent sneezing and watery eyes as your body attempts to flush out the allergens unsuccessfully.
- Regular coughing and congestion in cases where the problem is severe and unchecked.
- Uncomfortable pressure accumulating in the face.
- Asthma attacks. People who already have asthma need to be extremely careful to keep their homes and workplaces free from dust mites, since their presence can make attacks much more likely.
How do Dust Mites Thrive?
A few dust mites are present in almost every home, but they only tend to exist in massive quantities given specific conditions. One of those conditions is humidity. Whereas humans consumer water by drinking it, dust mites absorb liquid from the air. If you can control the level of humidity in your home, you can prevent it from becoming a stomping ground for these troublesome creatures.
How Well-Maintained HVACs Prevent Mite Problems
An HVAC is responsible for two important functions: keeping the temperature at an acceptable level, and maintaining high air quality. Several factors play into determining air quality—including humidity. When you run your air conditioner, it lowers the humidity in your home. Here’s how:
Your air conditioner uses a coil to condense water from the air in your home and turn it into liquid. Doing so lowers the amount of moisture present in the air itself. Not only does this improve the quality of the air inside and prevent it from feeling muggy; it also makes it less hospitable for dust mites. That’s why a clean and well-maintained HVAC is a dust mite’s worst nightmare.
Of course, if you want your HVAC to do a proper job of removing humidity from the air in your home, you need to make sure that air can always pass through your ducts unimpeded. That’s why air vent cleaning is so important. Have a professional come in and clean your ducts and vents every 1-2 years, depending on how high above sea level your building is. Buildings that are higher up will need duct cleaning more frequently since the air around them is thinner and particles will pass more easily through their filters to settle in the ducts.
Invest in Licensed Professionals
When you’re choosing a professional to clean your ducts, it’s critical that you pick someone with a license to do the work. The state of California requires all HVAC contractors to hold a valid C-20 license before they can perform any work costing more than $500. The C-20 proves that they have sat for two exams, invested a certain amount of money in their business, and worked for at least four years at (or above) a journeyman level. As such, you will be able to expect more thorough service from a licensed pro—and lower the risk of debris being left in your ducts where it could build up into a blockage and prevent air from moving through to be properly treated.
Air Vent Cleaning is the Best Way to Prevent Dust Mites
When you arrange for regular duct and air vent cleaning in your building, you will discourage mites from settling there and potentially affecting your health. Learn more by contacting a qualified HVAC technician near you and speaking to a professional who has experience in these matters.