Air Duct Cleaning
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asserts no studies have proven that duct cleaning prevents health problems. Also, there isn’t proof that dirty ductwork increases dust levels inside homes.
What is Air Duct Cleaning?
Most people are now aware that indoor air pollution is an issue of growing concern and increased visibility. Many companies are marketing products and services intended to improve the quality of your indoor air. You have probably seen an advertisement, received a coupon in the mail, or been approached directly by a company offering to clean your air ducts as a means of improving your home's indoor air quality. These services typically — but not always — range in cost from $450 to $1,000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climatic region, and level of contamination.
Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the 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 the air handling unit housing (See picture).
Symptoms of dirty ducts
- Lots of dust in the air
- Allergy like symptoms while inside
- Clogs of dust, cobwebs, and debris, or noticeable particles blowing out vents
- Visible mold on the inside surfaces of ducts
- Rodent droppings and dead insects inside ducts
Why clean ducts
- Cleaning removes accumulated dust so it won’t shed into the household and be constantly recirculated
- Removing debris and cobwebs eases airflow and increases the efficiency of the system, in extreme cases as much as 40%
- Fiberglass ducts gather more dust than sheet metal ducts
- According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system. Although filters are used, the heating and cooling system still gets dirty through normal use.
- When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire. As a result, less energy is used, leading to improved cost-effectiveness.
When to skip cleaning
- Tight on money
- Not concerned about dust
- Health benefits are not proven by cleaning your ducts
How to keep air ducts clean
- Use the highest efficiency air filter recommended by the manufacturer of your heating and cooling system.
- Change filters regularly.
- If your filters become clogged, change them more frequently.
- Be sure you do not have any missing filters and that air cannot bypass filters through gaps around the filter holder.
- When having your heating and cooling system maintained or checked for other reasons, be sure to ask the service provider to clean cooling coils and drain pans.
- During construction or renovation work that produces dust in your home, seal off supply and return registers and do not operate the heating and cooling system until after cleaning up the dust.
- Remove dust and vacuum your home regularly. (Use a high efficiency vacuum (HEPA) cleaner or the highest efficiency filter bags your vacuum cleaner can take. Vacuuming can increase the amount of dust in the air during and after vacuuming as well as in your ducts).
- If your heating system includes in-duct humidification equipment, be sure to operate and maintain the humidifier strictly as recommended by the manufacturer.
Finding good contractors
If you decide to hire a contractor /service provider to help you please refer to Finding Good Contractors.