You have heard more than once that cleaning your ductwork makes a huge difference in your air quality. Just how dirty can your ducts become if only filtered air flows through them? If you have friends and neighbors who talk about their duct cleaning, get the facts first before you make a call.
What benefits are associated with duct cleaning?
Most experts, including the Environmental Protection Agency, agree there are benefits to having air ducts cleaned. Benefits include:
- Improved Indoor Air Quality
- Reduced dust on return vents.
- Lower mold, bacteria and other microorganisms found on ductwork walls.
- Increased air velocity for more efficient HVAC equipment operation.
- People report fewer asthma attacks and allergy symptoms after having the ductwork cleaned.
How often should I have my ductwork cleaned?
The general rule is to have your ductwork cleaned every three to five years. Air duct cleaning is most effective when filters in the HVAC units are changed or cleaned out at the same time. Circumstances may require duct cleaning more often if the following applies:
- When you move into a new home, unless the previous owner provides proof of ductwork servicing within the past three to five years.
- After moving into a newly-built home.
- After completing a home renovation project that has spewed sawdust and debris around your home, including inside the ductwork.
- Following flood or mold remediation.
- If your or a family member’s allergies spike at home for no apparent reason and don’t dissipate despite other efforts to clean the indoor air.
- If you have one or more pets that shed excess amount of fur.
- If you or a family member smoke indoors often.
- Any time you suspect mold growth or vermin infestation in the ductwork.
- When you see visible proof of dirty ducts in the form of dust blowing out of supply registers when the HVAC system operates.
How do I know duct cleaning has been performed correctly?
Your best bet for a job well done is to hire an experienced duct cleaning professional with membership in the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). Steer clear of cheap specials that sound too good to be true because they probably are.
Then, look for these signs that your ducts are being cleaned thoroughly:
- The technician addresses every aspect of the system, including the furnace, coils and blower motor. Duct cleaning is much more than simply sticking a vacuum into the vents.
- A truck-mounted vacuum depressurizes the ducts, drawing out dust and debris from ductwork walls. With the collection device located outside the home, the technician prevents contaminating other areas of your home.
- The technician implements the use of specialized tools to dislodge debris still adhering to ductwork walls despite the vacuum pressure.
- The process takes a few hours. The technician should not be in and out in less than 60 minutes.
- The company follows standards set by NADCA.
Are chemicals used during duct cleaning?
If there is the presence of mold in the ductwork, antimicrobial chemicals may be used during the cleaning process. If the contractor you choose recommends chemicals, be sure to ask about the presence of mold and what is the name of the chemical that is used to clear the mold. Most importantly, hire a qualified professional. If a ductwork cleaning coupon or special sounds too good to be true, it probably is. When there are national associations such as NADCA overseeing this type of service, you should expect professional, certified technicians who can explain the process to you step by step.
Schedule your ductwork cleaning with licensed, certified professional ductwork experts at Preferred Air Conditioning & Mechanical, Inc. We have proudly served residents in West Palm Beach and surrounding areas since 1991.