What is Air Duct Cleaning?

The majority of people are now aware that indoor air pollution is an increasing source of concern and public awareness. Many businesses promote goods and services aimed at improving the quality of your indoor air. You’ve either seen an ad, got a coupon in the mail, or been contacted directly by a company promising to clean your air ducts to improve the indoor air quality of your home. These services will cost anywhere from $450 to $1,000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the following factors: the services provided


  • the size and accessibility of the device to be cleaned
  • contamination degree by climatic zone


Various heating and air 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, are all cleaned during duct cleaning.

These components can become polluted with dust, pollen, or other debris if not properly assembled, maintained, and operated. The potential for microbiological growth (e.g., mold) is increased when moisture is present, and spores from such growth may be released into the living room. If people are exposed to any of these chemicals, they can experience allergic reactions or other symptoms. If you plan to get your heating and cooling system cleaned, make sure the technician agrees to clean all of the system’s components and is trained to do so. Failure to clean a contaminated system component will result in the entire system being re-contaminated, negating any possible benefits. While industry associations associated with air duct cleaning have developed guidelines, duct cleaning methods differ. Typically, a service provider can dislodge dirt and other debris from ducts with specialized equipment before vacuuming them out with a high-powered vacuum cleaner.


In addition, the service provider can recommend applying chemical biocides to the inside of the ductwork and other device components in order to destroy microbiological pollutants. 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 preventing mold growth or the release of dirt particles or fibers. These procedures have not yet been thoroughly investigated, and you should be completely aware before allowing biocides or chemical treatments in your air ducts. If at all, they can only be used after the device has been thoroughly cleaned of any visible dust or debris.


Choosing Whether or Not to Clean The Air Ducts – How Often?

There is a scarcity of information about the potential benefits and drawbacks of air duct cleaning. Since every home’s circumstances are unique, it’s hard to say whether or not air duct cleaning will be helpful in yours.


If no one in your household suffers from allergies or unexplained symptoms or illnesses, and you see no evidence that your air ducts are polluted with significant deposits of dust or mold (no musty odor or clear mold growth) after a visual examination of the inside of the ducts, having your air ducts cleaned is probably unnecessary. When dust-laden air is drawn through the grate, the return registers can become dusty. This does not necessarily mean that your air ducts are clogged with dust or debris; the registers can be easily vacuumed or removed and washed.


If, on the other hand, members of your family are having rare or unexplained symptoms or illnesses that you believe are linked to the home setting, you should consult your doctor. The EPA has issued the following publications to assist in recognizing potential indoor air quality issues as well as ways to avoid or correct them.


You might think about getting your air ducts cleaned simply because it seems obvious that they will get dirty over time and should be cleaned on a regular basis. Although there is still concern about the benefits of duct cleaning on a regular basis, there is no proof that it is harmful if performed correctly.

Prevent Dust & Find Issues when Air Ducts are Clean

Duct cleaning, on the other hand, can cause indoor air quality issues if a service provider fails to follow proper duct cleaning procedures. An insufficient vacuum collection system, for example, will release more dust, dirt, and other pollutants than if the ducts were left alone. A careless or inexperienced service provider may cause damage to your ducts or heating and cooling system, potentially increasing your heating and cooling costs or requiring you to make difficult and expensive repairs or replacements.


If any of the following apply to your house, you can get your air ducts cleaned:


  • Within hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system, there is significant noticeable mold formation. When it comes to mold detection in heating and cooling systems, there are a few key points to remember:
    • Many parts of your heating and cooling system may not be noticeable, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they claim to have found.
    • Although a material may appear to be mold, a positive determination of whether it is mold or not can only be made by an expert, and final confirmation may require laboratory examination. Some microbiology labs will tell you whether a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or just a material that looks like it for around $50.
    • If your insulated air ducts get damp or moldy, the insulation cannot be efficiently washed and must be removed and replaced.
    • Mold growth will return if the conditions that caused it in the first place are not addressed.
  • Vermin, such as rats, infest ducts (rodents or insects)
  • a tick mark
  • Excessive quantities of dust and debris are clogging ducts, and/or particles are being released into the home via supply registers.

Some Other Things to Consider – Find Duct Cleaning Service

Cleaning the ducts has never been shown to prevent health issues. No definitive evidence exists that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes rise as a result of dirty air ducts or fall as a result of cleaning. This is because much of the dirt that collects within air ducts adheres to duct surfaces rather than entering the living room. It’s important to remember that filthy air ducts are only one of several potential sources of particles in the household. Pollutants can enter the home from both outside and inside activities such as cooking, washing, smoking, or just moving around, exposing you to more toxins than polluted air ducts. Furthermore, there is no evidence that a small amount of household dust or other particulates in air ducts is harmful to one’s health.


Because of the ongoing confusion about the benefits of duct cleaning in most cases, the EPA does not recommend that air ducts be cleaned other than on an as-needed basis. However, the EPA advises that if you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, you should have them tested and serviced before each heating season to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Cleaning dirty cooling coils, fans, and heat exchangers, according to some studies, will increase the performance of heating and cooling systems services. However, there is no evidence that merely cleaning your duct system would improve the performance of your system.

If you’re unsure whether duct cleaning is a good idea for your home, consult with and find a specialist at American Air Duct Cleaning. Have a professional clean your ducts. Your HVAC company that maintains your heating and cooling system services might be able to help you. Ask lots of questions and demand detailed, knowledgeable responses.

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