How often should you have your air ducts cleaned?

air duct along ceiling

How do professionals clean air ducts?

The component to your HVAC system that inside the house is important and the component outside your house is important too. However, without the air duct system, neither one is any good, so, maybe the air duct system and air duct maintenance are more crucial than we’ve given it credit?!  

In this piece today, we are going to cover the important of air duct maintenance and keeping them clean. How air duct clean effects the air your family is breathing and how it effects your unit’s efficiency. It isn’t just about you keeping a regimen of changing or cleaning the filter. It is important for the duct clean out to be done annually too, with the services of a duct clean company. 

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association has standard procedure for safe air duct cleaning and professional air duct cleaning companies that have become certified by NADCA are expected to follow these standards. Including in those standards, there is specification of chemicals and equipment to be used in air duct cleaning process. This process has been tested for the safety of the service technicians and for the safety of the customer and their home. 

The Duct Cleaning Equipment Recommended

Vacuums: Technicians should use  a powerful vacuum that is specific to duct cleaning. It can be truck mounted or portable but must meet the NADCA approved equipment list.  Professional duct cleaning services may use hand-held HEPA units and wet vacuums. 

  • Access Devices: A professional air duct cleaning technician should use tools that will gain access to the ductwork interior such as drills and saws to create entry points for imaging equipment. The imaging equipment is used to see the interior of the duct system and access the air duct condition. 
  • The Imaging Devices: There are a variety of imaging devices that can be used in accordance with the NADCA guidelines. Among those devices are CCTV cameras, still cameras, and mirrors, either mounted on wheels or work remotely to travel the ductwork. 
  • Hand Tools: Various hand tools are needed for thorough air duct inspection, cleaning, and repairing, including brushes, mirrors, direct-view periscopes, and pneumatic tools specific to air duct cleaning.
  • Chemicals: A professional air duct cleaning service will use only safe chemicals and sanitizers to rid the ductwork of any mold or other contaminants.

The Recommended Process

The NADCA instructs its members to assess the ductwork condition first. They should identify any breaks, cracks, or leaks and wherein the system the accumulation of debris, dirt, and dust are found. The technician will attach a vacuum system to the air ductwork to suck all the loose debris, dirt, and dust. The technician then uses different brushes, manual or power, and removes the debris, dirt, and dust that is stuck inside the ductwork walls. The debris can include any dead critters, insects, or rodents that have made their way into the system.

How long does air duct cleaning last?

Well, this is going to depend on the air inside your home, your air duct maintenance regimen and what is going on inside your home. If there is construction in progress (remodeling, renovating) and pets in the house, the air duct system will get dirty faster.  As a homeowner, your air duct maintenance checklist should include changing or cleaning the air filter, coils, and dusting and vacuuming of your home. Think of anything that can become airborne in your home is getting sucked into the air duct system. 

How do I know if my air ducts need to be cleaned?

Air ducts in some home get dirtier faster than others, like anything else, no two homes are identical. The NADCA recommends as part of your air duct maintenance is having the system professionally inspected every two years. Signs that your air ducts need cleaning are: 

  1. Air Filters Need Changing or Cleaning More Frequent
  2. Electric Bill Spikes
  3. Signs of Insect or Rodent Infestation
  4. Dirt or Dust Around the Registers and Vents
  5. Occupants Experiencing Respiratory Problems
  6. Mildew and Mold Growth
  7. Inconsistent Airflow from Room to Room
  8. Noises and Sounds in the Ductwork

Can dirty air ducts make you sick?

Yes, that is one factor that it is recommend having your air duct maintenance include professional cleaning every two years.  The other factor is that the cleaner the system is, the more efficient it will work and make it easier for the system, which is easier on your utilities. 

If a member of your household is suffering from an unexplained allergy or respiratory illness, and all other efforts to make this better haven’t worked, consider adding a professional air duct cleaning to your air duct maintenance regimen

dirty air conditioner filter

Is air duct cleaning really worth it?

Air duct cleaning has gain popularity in recent years with more people concerned with the indoor air quality of their homes. Is this a worthwhile service or a scam? Research hasn’t proven that routine air duct cleaning will improve your home’s indoor air quality, nor does it reduce the dust. However, as we just stated above, clean air duct service that includes the cooling and heating coils, motors, and air handler will make your HVAC system more efficient. 

When air ducts are cleaned properly, it can be good for the HVAC system, your indoor air quality, and your utilities. No, you don’t need to put a professional duct cleaning on a monthly routine, but every two years is recommended.  In between times, part of your duct maintenance should include cleaning the vent covers along with changing or cleaning the air filter. Call 478-781-9107 today for your air duct cleaning needs.