What exactly is air duct cleaning? Most people know indoor air pollution is a growing concern with increased visibility. Many businesses market products and services aimed at improving the quality of your indoor air. You’ve most likely seen an advertisement, received a coupon in the mail or been approached directly by a company offering to clean your air ducts to improve your home’s indoor air quality. Depending on the services provided, these services typically cost between $450 and $1,000 per heating and cooling system. Should you have the air ducts in your home cleaned?
If you decide to have, your heating and cooling system cleaned, ensure that the service provider agrees to clean all system components and is qualified to do so. Cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, such as supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers, heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and air handling unit housing is referred to as duct cleaning (See diagram).
These components may become contaminated with dust, pollen, or other debris if not properly installed, maintained, and operated. Moisture increases the potential for microbiological growth (e.g., mold), and spores from such growth may be released into the home’s living space. When people are exposed to some of these contaminants, they may experience allergic reactions or other symptoms. If you decide to have, your heating and cooling system cleaned, ensure the service provider agrees to clean all system components and is qualified to do so. Failure to clean a contaminated system component can result in re-contamination of the entire system, negating any potential benefits. Duct cleaning methods vary, but industry associations have established standards for air duct cleaning. A service provider will typically use specialized tools to dislodge dirt and other debris from ducts before vacuuming them with a high-powered vacuum cleaner. You can always contact American air ducts for duct sealant pearland.
Furthermore, the service provider may suggest applying chemical biocides designed to kill microbiological contaminants inside the ductwork and other system components. Some service providers may also recommend using chemical treatments (sealants or other encapsulants) to encapsulate or cover the inside surfaces of air ducts and equipment housings in the hopes of controlling mold growth or preventing the release of dirt particles or fibers from ducts. These practices have not been thoroughly researched, and you should be fully informed before allowing the use of biocides or chemical treatments in your air ducts. They should only be used after the system has been thoroughly cleaned of any visible dust or debris.
It is important to note that using sealants to encapsulate the inside surfaces of ducts is not the same as sealing duct air leaks. Sealing duct air leaks can aid energy savings on heating and cooling bills.
Choosing Whether to Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned
There is a lack of understanding about the potential benefits and drawbacks of air duct cleaning. Because every home is different, it is impossible to say whether or not air duct cleaning would benefit your home.
If no one in your household suffers from allergies, unexplained symptoms, or illnesses, and you see no indication that your air ducts are contaminated with large deposits of dust or mold (no musty odor or visible mold growth) after a visual inspection of the inside of the ducts, having your air ducts cleaned is probably unnecessary. As dust-laden air is drawn through the grate, it is normal for the return registers to become dusty. This does not imply that your air ducts are heavily contaminated with dust or debris; the registers can be easily vacuumed or removed and cleaned.
However, if family members are experiencing unusual or unexplained symptoms or illnesses that you believe are related to your home environment, you should consult your doctor. The EPA has issued publications to identify potential indoor air quality issues and ways to prevent or correct them.
Indoor Air Quality for Health Professionals: An Overview
A Guide to Indoor Air Quality on the Inside
You may want to have your air ducts cleaned simply because it seems logical that air ducts will become dirty over time and should be cleaned regularly. While the debate over the value of periodic duct cleaning continues, no evidence suggests that it would be harmful if done correctly.
On the other hand, duct cleaning can cause indoor air quality issues if a service provider fails to follow proper duct cleaning procedures. For example, an insufficient vacuum collection system can cause more dust, dirt, and other contaminants to be released than if the ducts were left alone. A careless or inexperienced service provider can cause damage to your ducts or heating and cooling system, potentially increasing your heating and cooling costs or forcing you to undertake difficult and costly repairs or replacements.
You should consider having your home’s air ducts cleaned if:
- Mold growth is visible inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or other heating and cooling system components. There are several key points to understand when it comes to mold detection in heating and cooling systems:
- Many parts of your heating and cooling system may be inaccessible for a visual inspection, so request that the service provider show you any mold they claim exists.
- You should be aware that, while a substance may appear to be mold, only an expert can determine whether it is mold or not, and final confirmation may require laboratory analysis. Some microbiology laboratories can tell you whether a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or simply a substance that looks like mold for about $50.
- If your insulated air ducts become wet or moldy, the insulation cannot be effectively cleaned and must be removed and replaced.
- Mold growth will return if the conditions that caused it in the first place are not corrected.
- Vermin, such as mice, infest ducts (rodents or insects)
- Ducts are clogged with excessive dust and debris, and/or particles are released into the home through supply registers.
Other Vital Considerations
Duct cleaning has never been proven to prevent health issues. Neither studies show conclusively that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes rise due to dirty air ducts or fall after cleaning. This is because much of the dirt accumulating inside air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space. It is critical to remember that dirty air ducts are only one of many possible sources of particles in homes. Pollutants that enter the home from outside and inside activities such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, or simply moving around can expose you to more contaminants than dirty air ducts. Furthermore, there is no evidence that a small amount of household dust or other particulate matter in air ducts harms one’s health.
Because of the ongoing uncertainty about the benefits of duct cleaning in most circumstances, the EPA does not recommend cleaning air ducts except on an as-needed basis. However, the EPA recommends that if you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, you have it inspected and serviced before each heating season to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Cleaning dirty cooling coils, fans, and heat exchangers may also improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems, according to some research. However, there is little evidence that simply cleaning the duct system will increase the efficiency of your system.
If you are unsure whether duct cleaning is a good idea for your home, consult with a professional. The company that maintains your heating and cooling system could be a good source of information. You should also contact professional duct cleaning service providers and inquire about their services. Read how to choose a quality air duct cleaning service? Remember, they’re trying to sell you a service, so ask questions and demand complete and knowledgeable responses. American air ducts are famous for duct sealant pearland tx. You can contact them at 866-373-3828.