Originally published on the Seattle Times.
Even the most diligent homeowners don’t always know how to recognize signs that a home more than an annual treatment.
Seattle-area residents are known for living “green” lifestyles, striving to use cleaning products that leave a minimal environmental footprint and that don’t worsen allergies or medical conditions. But even the most diligent homeowners don’t always know how to recognize signs that a home needs serious air duct or carpet cleaning rather than the usual once-over with off-the-shelf cleaning products.
“Many people in this region have pets and allergies, and more homeowners here are investing in air conditioning systems as summers heat up, which increases the risk of mold,” says Eric Moe, owner of Alpine Specialty Cleaning, a family-run business that has been cleaning homes around Seattle since 1969. “Without proper cleaning, these homes run the risk of accumulating and recirculating dirty air in ducts and developing unhealthy carpet conditions.”
As more homeowners use their forced-air heating system for heat in winter and to fan air in summer – or to circulate cooled air from an air conditioning unit – these ducts are in service all four seasons, Moe notes.
Is it time for a deep cleaning? Here are five signs.
How often should you clean carpets? Moe says that most homeowners need professional carpet cleaning at least annually − as often as every 6 months if pets, crawling babies or toddlers, or allergies or respiratory sensitivities are present.
Ducts typically need thorough cleaning every two to three years, but again, a more frequent cleaning may be necessary if pet hair or the above factors are present in the house. Moe encourages those in the market for a duct cleaner to carefully vet the outfit they hire, making sure that like Alpine Specialty Cleaning the company is certified by NADCA, a duct-cleaning association that holds member companies to rigorous standards.
“Most people clean their ducts first, then turn to their carpets,” he says. “September is typically our busiest month, as people prepare for fall when heating systems are turned on and rain begins. But you can clean carpets and ducts any time of year – they’re year-round systems, especially ducts which carry air for both heat, fans, and air conditioning.”
The carpet in your home acts as its very own filter, and a large filter at that. Just like any other filter, it’s important to ensure that you regularly maintain it to ensure that it is properly doing its job, and ensures that the air that you breath is fresh! Carpets receive a ton of wear and tear, especially if you have kids or furry ones like cats and dogs.