In the HVAC industry, knowledge about air duct cleaning is still in its infancy, therefore there is no blanket recommendation as to whether your ducts should be cleaned or not. This is according to the Environmental Protection Agency. However, in another statement, the agency warns that much of the dirt present in homes comes from dirty duct surfaces. It is therefore prudent that you have your ducts cleaned regularly.
When You Should Consider Duct Cleaning
There are several pointers that you should be on the lookout for when inspecting your ducts for possible cleaning. Generally, you should get in touch with a HVAC practitioner if you see any of the following in your house.
- Substantial visible growth of mold inside ducts or other heating or cooling system components
- If your ducts are invested with vermin such as insects or rodents.
- When the ducts are clogged with an excessive amount of debris and dust. You may see a release of some of these particles into your home right from the supply registers.
If you witness any of the above conditions, it means your ducts could be actually dirty and thus a need to clean them.
The Duct Cleaning Exercise
Indoor air pollution is gradually becoming a concern and an issue that receives increased visibility. Lots of companies have come into this space to market their services and products which are meant to improve your indoor air quality. On average, service providers charge $450 to $1000 for every HVAC system they service. Their services depend on:
- System accessibility
- The size of the system you want cleaned
- Level of contamination
- Your location and climatic patterns
Before you decide to hire an air duct cleaning professional, ensure they are qualified to do so and they agree in the contract you sign with them to clean all the components of your HVAC system. Generally, duct cleaning refers to targeted cleaning of various HVAC components including grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers and cooling coils, return air ducts and registers, fan motor and fan housing, condensate drain pans, and air handling unit housing.
Choosing a Duct Cleaning Provider and What to Expect
Checking under duct cleaning category in your Yellow Pages or contacting the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, you can find companies that can help you with duct cleaning. Consider hiring companies that use treatments that are ozone and environmentally friendly, those that have references to other customers they have worked for and who are knowledgeable enough to undertake your project.
The service provider should open doors or access ports so that they can access the entire system to be inspected or cleaned. They should also inspect the system to be sure that it doesn’t have asbestos materials before beginning the cleaning process. Vacuum equipment should only be used if it exhausts particles outside your home and uses HEPA vacuuming. Through a thorough visual inspection or remote photography, you can verify whether the service provider has done a good job.