Understanding Duct Cleaning
Changing the air filter on your HVAC system isn’t the only thing that keeps the air clean in your home. While it is important, something that is recommended every 30 days, air duct cleaning is a big part of having clean air inside your home.
How do I know if my air ducts need to be cleaned?
There is a lot of debate about whether air duct cleaning is beneficial or not, but if you ask anyone that has had theirs cleaned, they’ll probably recommend having it done. The comfort level and easier breathing in a home that has air duct cleaning have significantly improved indoor air quality.
When you learn what is inside your air ducts and realize the air you’re breathing is blowing across this stuff, you’ll realize why everyone in your home has breathing issues or catches colds. Here, are 8 reasons how to know if your home can benefit from an air duct cleaning service:
1. Clogged ducts and vents: There couldn’t be a better indicator of needing duct cleaning than when small puffs of dust blow out the vents when the HVAC system kicks on. This is dust that is sitting inside the ducts and you’re breathing it each time your HVAC system runs.
2. Air filters clog frequently: If the air filters in your HVAC system have to be changed or cleaned more than once a month, your home could benefit from an air duct cleaning service.
3. Unpleasant odor: Another sign that an air duct cleaning service is needed is when there is constant stale air or odors in your home. If all the candles and room spray aren’t helping, schedule an air duct cleaning.
4. Mildew and mold: As soon as you see any signs of mildew or mold around your HVAC system or any of the vents, get an air duct cleaning service done as soon as possible. Your family is breathing in that mildew and mold, leading to allergies and respiratory conditions.
5. Poor or unstable airflow: If there is inconsistent airflow coming through any of the vents, an air duct cleaning and inspection are needed. They could be clogged and dirty, or they could need repairs.
6. Infestation: Inside air ducts, it is dark and warm, and that attracts insects and vermin. With annual air duct cleaning, the nest that these creatures have built is cleaned out, making the air blowing through them clean for healthier breathing.
7. Dusty house: If you are continuously having to dust your home, it is probably coming from the air vents. An air duct cleaning will minimize, maybe even end the need for constant dusting.
8. Higher cooling & heating bills: Everything gets a little higher every year, but if the cooling and heating bills seem to be higher than usual, have an air duct cleaning and see if that helps. If the air ducts are clogged, they’re clogging the filter and the system is having to work harder, which costs more money.
What happens if you don’t clean your air ducts?
We just listed signs that your home needs air duct cleaning. To recap, the following are 4 of the biggest reasons you want to have air duct cleaning service no further apart than every 2 years:
- Mildew & Mold Build Up and Spreads Through the Air Duct System
- Air Ducts Get Clogged and Can’t Do Their Job
- Attracts Insects, Pests, Vermin
- Higher Energy Bills, More Doctor Appointments
How is duct cleaning done?
If you have had an air duct cleaning service before and it was done within an hour, or less, then your air ducts were not cleaned! In fact, they probably just stirred up the dust and left more.
An air duct cleaning done correctly uses a negative pressure technology. This methodical and straightforward process will give you the best duct cleaning possible. There are a few steps in this process including a duct inspection, the creation of negative pressure, and agitating the remaining dust.
Duct Inspection is a visual inspection of the air ducts, including the return and supply registers is done to assess the level of dirt and dust buildup.
Negative Pressure is created next. The contractor will use a large, portable vacuum device that sucks the debris and dust from the ductwork after they have completed these preliminary steps:
- The large hose on the vacuum device is connected to an air handler and then an access hole is cut into the duct system. The vacuum hose is inserted into that hole and sealed.
- Next, each register is sealed with an adhesive covering to prevent dust from blowing out during the process.
- The vacuum is turned on and creates negative pressure that will suck the particles out of the ductwork.
Finally, you agitate the dust. Each register is uncovered, and the ducts are cleaned as instructed by the NADCA. Rotating brushes are used with compressed air tools, and a simple vacuum cleaner to ensure all the dust is dislodged and sucked into the device.
Can duct cleaning help allergies?
With all the debate on this topic, it certainly doesn’t hurt! When the air duct system has dirt, dust, and pet dander, it is blowing all through your home and everyone is breathing all that in. This includes airborne dust mites, bacteria, mold spores, viruses, and other allergens and contaminants. So yes, having all that removed with air duct cleaning will help your allergies!
Will cleaning my air ducts make my house smell better?
Absolutely, when the insects, pests, vermin, along with the bacteria, dirt, and dust are filling the air ducts, they are creating odors that are spreading through your home. Getting a duct cleaning removes all that and gives your home a fresher smell.
Will duct cleaning help with dust?
Yes, as we have mentioned, the duct cleaning will remove the dirt and dust that is blowing out of the ducts and through the vents, coating your furniture.
How do I prepare my home for duct cleaning?
Now that you have decided to get a professional air duct cleaning, here are a few things you can do that will help the technician give you the best service possible:
- MAKE SURE THE COMPANY YOU CHOOSE IS CERTIFIED AND LICENSED. GET REFERENCES AND CHECK THEM OUT.
- CLEAR A PATH AROUND EVERY REGISTER IN YOUR HOME.
- DO A WALK-THROUGH WHEN THE TECHNICIAN ARRIVES AND ASK QUESTIONS. POINT OUT AREAS OF CONCERN.
How much does it cost to clean your air ducts?
The range for professional air duct cleaning will depend on the size of your home and if any repair or replacement of ductwork is needed. Anywhere between $275 to $500 with an average of around $374. This is money well spent every five to seven years.
In Closing – Can I clean air ducts myself?
A DIY homeowner can do a decent job of duct cleaning, but not as thoroughly as a professional. They have the equipment, which includes brushes and rakes, and a powerful vacuum cleaner. They have experience in sealing the ductwork when they insert the vacuum and other tricks of the trade.