Why Should You Get Your Air Ducts Cleaned?

Answer: Because they get dirty!

Aside from occasional construction debris left behind when your home was built (i.e., saw dust, plaster dust, beer cans, cigarette butts, etc.), or if previous occupants were not diligent about changing filters, your home's duct work and indoor cooling coil could potentially be filthy. If, on the other hand, you have a high efficiency air cleaner installed and maintained in your home, and your home was not built on a Monday or a Friday (ha, ha, ha), your duct work might be rather clean.

If you are noticing dust accumulation on furniture, or irritated sinuses when your furnace or air conditioner is running, you could definitely benefit from professional duct cleaning, and/or upgrading your home's central air cleaning system.

In addition to normal accumulations of dust and dirt found in all homes through regular use, there are several other factors that can increase the need for air duct cleaning:

Some occupants are more sensitive to these contaminants than others. Allergy and asthma sufferers, as well as young children and the elderly tend to be more susceptible to the types of poor indoor air quality that air duct cleaning can help to address.

Inspect Your Air Ducts

You can tell if your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system needs cleaning by one of two ways. First, with a screwdriver, remove a floor or wall register. Then...

  1. Use a small mirror and flashlight -or-
  2. Use a digital camera to take a picture inside the duct

What You Need to Know About Duct Cleaning

Air duct cleaning is a misnomer. In actuality, the entire HVAC system should be cleaned. Failure to clean all components of the system can result in re-contamination of the entire system, thus minimizing the benefits of cleaning.

Just as you wouldn’t only clean half of your living room floor, you also would not want to clean only part of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The National Air Dudct Cleaning Association recommends cleaning the entire HVAC system, including the following components:

Proper HVAC Cleaning Process

There are two key components to HVAC cleaning: breaking contaminants loose, and collection of contaminants.

1. Breaking Contaminants Lose

Properly cleaning HVAC systems requires removing the sources of contamination. Source removal begins with use of one or more agitation devices designed to loosen contaminants from the surfaces within the heating and air-conditioning system. Examples of agitation devices include brushes, air whips, and compressed air nozzles or “skipper balls.” Agitation can also be achieved through hand-brushing or contact vacuuming.

2. Collection of Contaminants

During cleaning, the entire HVAC system is placed under continuous negative pressure (vacuum) to prevent the spread of contaminants. Continuous negative pressure allows very fine particles to be removed from the system as they become airborne, ensuring that these particles are not released into the living space when the system is turned on after cleaning.

This negative pressure also serves to extract the loosened contaminants, which are collected and removed from your home.

Finding A Qualified Contractor

System Access

HVAC system cleaning is not a complex process, but each job is unique. Where possible, access to duct interiors should be made through existing openings such as supply diffusers, return grills, duct end caps, and existing service openings. Cleaning technicians may need to cut access holes in the duct work in order to reach inside with various cleaning tools. Creation of these service openings, and their subsequent closure, requires craftsmanship and professional skills.

Antimicrobial Chemicals

Antimicrobial chemicals include sanitizers, disinfectants and deodorizers are applied to non-porous surfaces in HVAC systems to address microbial contamination and help control odors. Our chemicals are registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can be used. These products are only used after mechanical surface cleaning has been performed and if the need for such treatment has been deemed necessary.

System Maintenance

There are a few things that you can do to maintain the cleanliness and efficiency of your HVAC system:

Cost and Time Estimates

There are several factors that affect cost and time estimates:

Servicing existing units

Existing units using R-22 can continue to be serviced with R-22. There is no EPA requirement to change or convert R-22 units for use with a non-ozone-depleting substitute refrigerant. In addition, the new substitute refrigerants cannot be used without making some changes to system components. As a result, service technicians who repair leaks to the system will continue to charge R-22 into the system as part of that repair.

Glorified Shop-Vac?

Now I know you have seen the ad talking about $49 duct cleaning services; did you know that they are in and out in less than 1 hour? They would have to be! Our thorough duct cleaning processes take the better part of a day to complete, and we actually clean your ducts.