How To Prevent Dirt In HVAC Systems

image of a homeowner experiencing lots of dust from hvac system

A dirty heating and cooling system is more than just an unsightly mess. This has serious implications if neglect continues. The equipment will not be able to operate efficiently. Energy consumption will rise which will reflect on your monthly energy bills. Breakdowns will also increase in frequency, leading to high HVAC repair costs and premature replacement. Also, since your HVAC system is supposed to help reduce indoor air pollutants, the aspect of HVAC dust control will not work as necessary. Consequently, the health of the family may take a turn for the worse as indoor air quality plummets. Avoid all of these headaches by being proactive about dirt prevention in your HVAC system.

In this article, we discuss some of the best techniques to keep your heating and cooling system clean. Naturally, a clean and dirt-free HVAC system will inevitably ensure healthy indoor air quality and avoid all of the problems mentioned above.

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How To Prevent Dirt In HVAC Systems

Implement the following measures as soon as possible:

Schedule An Annual Tune-Up For Your Heating & Cooling System

image of an hvac contractor performing annual furnace maintenance

Every year, you should schedule a tune-up for both your heating and air conditioning system. Ideally, you should schedule one in the fall for your heating system and one in the spring for your air conditioner. It helps improve efficiency, reduces wear and tear, and prevents avoidable HVAC repairs. Likewise, it lowers your heating and cooling costs and improves indoor air quality. It ensures that your system is operating safely and that there are no CO leaks in your home.

During an HVAC tune-up, the technician will clean the unit and lubricate all of its moving parts. This is one of the most effective ways for homeowners to avoid the problems associated with dirt accumulation in the unit.

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Replace The Air Filters On A Regular Schedule

All manufacturers list regular HVAC filter replacement as a vital maintenance task. These filters are the first line of defense against dirt and dust. They block the entry of unwanted indoor air particles to keep the inside of the system clean, allowing the components to run at optimum performance. However, air filters can only stay effective for a few months, depending on your home. Some homes will require more frequent air filter replacements.

A layer of blocked dirt quickly builds up across its surface. The thicker this gets, the harder it will be for air to pass through. Check your filter monthly and replace when necessary to avoid airflow issues.

Work With An HVAC Contractor In Shifting To HEPA Filters

hepa filter for a heating and cooling unit

Aside from increasing the frequency of filter replacement, you may also consider improving the quality of the filters you are using as well. Learn more about HEPA filters which have the ability to block 99.97% of particles with a diameter of 0.5 micrometers or more. This level of performance is way ahead of what the typical cheap filter replacements can provide. Just remember that HEPA filters will also make it harder for air to pass through. This is not a simple shift. The system needs airflow adjustment to make it all work. Talk to an HVAC contractor about this.

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Keep The HVAC Air Vents Open To Prevent Dirt Build-up

hvac air vent

Air vents can be closed or opened depending on the needs of the system. Closing them completely at all times is one of the worst contributors to the build-up of dirt within the ducts. This keeps the particles trapped inside so they accumulate faster. Look for the lever for each vent. This will allow you to open or close these individually. Some vents can even open in the opposite direction depending on how you operate the lever. Keep these vents open at all times. Check if there are obstructions blocking them such as furniture pieces or decorative items. Get these out of the way.

Install An Air Purifier To Enhance Indoor Air Quality

Although air filters do their share in trapping dirt and improving indoor air quality, they are often inadequate on their own. You might want to give them a helping hand by installing a standalone air purifier. This type of equipment can remove finer particles in the air including pollen, bacteria, mold spores, pet dander, VOCs, and other dangerous microscopic substances. Compare the different filters used by various models. Be sure to get one with a highly rated filter so that you can be confident in its performance.

Also, your HVAC contractor can recommend one that works in conjunction with your HVAC system. These systems work well as it purifies the air in your entire home and not in just one room.

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Use Disposable Dusting Cloth Around The House

cleaning dust in house

Dust settles on surfaces all-around a home. If disturbed, the particles will float in the air once again and make their way into the air ducts. When cleaning the house, do not use a regular feather duster that removes dirt from décor and furniture while making indoor air quality worse. Don’t let the dust fly. Trap them upon contact by using the right cleaning tools such as a disposable dusting cloth. Some of these can attract particles even when dry. Others perform better when slightly damp.

Search For & Seal Leaky HVAC Ducts

image of an hvac ductwork inspection and repair

Some homeowners are actually quite diligent when it comes to routine HVAC maintenance. They change the air filters regularly knowing all of the consequences. However, they may still experience excessive dust around their home. If this is happening to you, then you may want to check your air ducts. There may be leaks across the system that are pulling dusty air from the attic. This circulates from room to room. Aside from making the house unhealthy, leaky ducts also reduce system efficiency and increase component stress because everything is forced to work harder. Electric bills will also soar due to higher energy consumption.

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Monitor Possible Insect Or Rodent Infestation

Dirt in the HVAC system can also come from tiny animals that manage to find their way into the ductwork. Most of the time, these are insects or rodents that are looking for food. They might use the ducts as their personal highway while they navigate from room to room. Their droppings are bad news as these can cause health issues. Some of them may even make the ducts their home and die there eventually. The stench is a dead giveaway about their presence. Always clean up the kitchen and store food in airtight containers to avoid attracting these pests.



If you suspect leaky ducts, pest infestation, mold growth, and dust build-up inside the HVAC system, then call a contractor for cleaning. Let the professionals deal with these issues once and for all. The reality is that they should come by periodically to conduct maintenance services. This includes a thorough system inspection, duct cleaning, functionality testing, refrigerant monitoring, and a whole lot more. With their help, you can avoid most of the common problems with heating and cooling. Your system can last longer with fewer breakdowns while your family enjoys better indoor air quality.

Call McAllister Energy For All Of Your HVAC Requirements

McAllister Energy

McAllister Energy offers superior heating and cooling services in Camden County, New Jersey. We hire the best-certified technicians who can provide you with excellent HVAC tune-ups, repairs, installations, and replacements. Each of our techs has the knowledge and experience to service your HVAC system correctly.

McAllister Energy guarantees the most competitive heating and cooling service costs in the area. Our maintenance services can improve your comfort, increase your energy efficiency while reducing your home heating and cooling costs. If you happen to need an HVAC repair or replacement system, we can recommend the best one for your home while staying within your budget. We back all of our work with a guarantee to ensure your satisfaction. To schedule a service appointment, give McAllister Energy a call today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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