Can you clean your own furnace ducts? Absolutely. However, there are a few things you should be aware of before you turn duct cleaning into your next weekend warrior project. In some cases, it's best to have a professional furnace and duct cleaning service give you a hand.
Mold loves to grow
Mold loves to grow in your ducts. All mold needs to thrive is a suitable temperature, food, and moisture, all of which can be found in your heating ducts. You may think that there isn't any moisture in your furnace duct system, but the moisture comes from the humidity in the air. Molds can cause allergic reactions even when it's dead. Molds release spores in the air that cause allergic reactions, and that's definitely not something you want to take care of yourself. Just because you can't see the mold, doesn't mean it isn't there.
Rodents could be playing house
Unless you feel willing and ready to come face to face with a rodent or a few rodents, you should let professional furnace cleaners do the job. Small animals and rodents often make their homes in heating ducts. Some signs of this would be a strange smell, noises that sound like they're coming from the walls, or animal excrement. There are times when you can have a rodent infestation in your furnace ducts and not realize it.
Contaminants can be an issue
In some cases contaminants can be a cause for concern. This could be pet hair, debris, dust, or animal waste. When it's been collecting all year, or longer, if you haven't had your ducts cleaned in a while, there's definitely the potential for an unsavory experience if you go the DIY route. Professional furnace cleaners will have everything they need to deal with this type of issue safely. Animal and rodent waste can harbor Giardia, worms, toxoplasmosis, and a variety of other nasty diseases, all of which can be transfered to humans.
Allergies or health issues can worsen
Even if you don't have allergies, being exposed to the dust and debris in your furnace duct could cause an allergic reaction. If someone in your home does have allergies, cleaning the ducts will most likely cause the issue to worsen. Cleaning the ducts yourself is going to throw a lot of dust into the air. If you decide to do it yourself, wear a face mask at the minimum, and have anyone with allergies leave for a day.
If you suspect any of these issues: mold, infestation, contaminants, or the possibility of an allergic reaction, it's best to have a professional from a place like Just In Time Furnace Inc take care of cleaning your furnace ducts. It's healthier for you and your family, simple, thorough, and inexpensive.