Air Duct Cleaning is an excellent option for homeowners who want to improve the air quality in their homes. The process involves cleaning the air vents and ductwork using special brushes and home vacuums.
Indicators that your ductwork needs to be cleaned include unexplained allergies or illnesses, pet dander, and unpleasant odors from smoking or mold growth. The procedure includes a thorough inspection, sanitizing, and cleaning.
The ductwork in a home is an important part of the air-conditioning system, but it can also be a source of pollutants that affect indoor comfort and health. It is vital to have it cleaned, inspected and maintained on a regular basis. It is especially important to have the ductwork cleaned and sealed after major construction and remodeling projects, because dust and debris can settle in air-conditioning ducts and cause breathing problems.
It is also important to have the ducts inspected and cleaned after a fire or flood, because water and smoke damage can leave behind mold and other contaminants that are harmful to health. Additionally, animal dander and other allergens can collect in the ducts, which can lead to respiratory issues for family members.
If you are having your ducts cleaned, make sure the service provider follows NADCA’s global standards for the assessment and cleaning of ducts. This will ensure that your ducts are clean and sealed properly and that they remain airtight after the cleaning procedure.
During the inspection, look for signs of contamination, such as visible mold or mildew, as well as any leaks. Leaks should be repaired with HVAC aluminum foil tape or mastic sealant, which is specifically designed for ductwork. Also, inspect the ductwork for any gaps or holes in the insulation and use a flashlight to see inside the ducts.
Since the duct cleaners will be using loud equipment and will be visiting each room of your house, it is a good idea to have family, friends, and business associates out of the house during the inspection and cleaning. It is also a good idea to keep pets in their crates, if possible. This way, they won’t be scared by the loud noises during the duct cleaning process. It is a good idea to schedule the inspection and cleaning at a time when they won’t interfere with any important activities, such as baby naptime or an important Zoom meeting. This will minimize distractions and ensure that all areas of the ductwork are thoroughly inspected and cleaned.
Preparing the Area
Air duct cleaning is a messy job, and it can be difficult to control where the dust blows during the process. If you don’t want to spend a few hours cleaning up afterward, it’s best to prepare the area in advance.
For homeowners, this means decluttering the areas around the vents and registers. Ideally, you should also move furniture and other items away from these regions to give technicians more room to work. This will help prevent debris from accidentally scratching or damaging items in the space. In commercial settings, it’s important to let coworkers know ahead of time that the areas around ventilation registers will be cluttered during a duct cleaning service, and they should be careful not to touch them.
If you have children, consider sending them over to a friend or neighbor’s house for the duration of the service. Duct cleaning is usually noisy, and it can hurt kids’ sensitive ears. Furthermore, they may distract the technicians from their work by playing or being too noisy.
You should also decide ahead of time whether you’ll stay home or leave the property during the duct cleaning. If you’re staying, be ready to show the technician where all the vents are located and direct them to your HVAC equipment. It’s also a good idea to tell the technician any questions you have about the process.
Before the cleaning process starts, you should also turn off your heating and cooling system. It may take up to 4 hours for the temperature in your home or business to return to a comfortable setting once the ducts have been cleaned.
Some duct cleaning services recommend applying chemical biocides to the inside of your ductwork and other system components. These chemicals may kill microbiological contaminants and inhibit mold growth, but they should only be used after the ducts have been thoroughly cleaned. Be sure to ask the technician about this and any other question you have about their cleaning methods. They’ll be happy to explain their process and answer your questions. They’ll also have safety practices in place to protect their licensed employees.
Cleaning the Ducts
Airborne pollutants, including dust, dirt, pollen, pet dander and mildew, pass through your home’s ductwork constantly. Although filters keep some of these particles from entering your system and circulating through the home, they do not catch everything. Over time, these contaminants accumulate inside your ductwork and restrict airflow. Duct cleaning removes these particles from your ductwork, improving indoor air quality and reducing energy bills.
Each year, your ductwork collects about 40 lbs of dust, dirt and allergens. This can irritate your family’s allergies and asthma, making it hard for them to breathe. In addition, this debris can weigh down your ductwork and lead to blockages in your air conditioning and heating systems.
When you hire an air specialist technician for duct cleaning, the first thing they will do is inspect your ducts and assess their condition. This will give them a good idea of how much work is involved and the best method to use in cleaning your ducts. They will also give you a price quote, which you should be sure to double-check before they start working.
Once the ducts are inspected, the service provider will use specialized brushes and vacuuming equipment to dislodge and remove the debris. Then they will clean the ducts with cleaning solutions that are safe for your family’s health and will leave them looking like new.
Cleaning the ducts is a complex process. If it is done incorrectly, it can cause a lot of damage to your ducts and your heating and cooling system. If this happens, you will need to pay for expensive repairs or replacements.
Another problem with dirty ducts is that they can create fire risks in your home. If the ducts become lined with lint, tar or other materials, they may ignite when your furnace or heater is in operation. This can cause serious damage and put your family at risk. Duct cleaning can eliminate these fire hazards and prevent a fire from occurring in your home. This is especially important if you have an older HVAC unit or use propane for a fireplace, stove or portable heating units.
If you have central air in your home, it passes through ductwork before venting into the rooms of your house. This ductwork collects dust, dirt and other airborne pollutants. These particles can collect on blower wheels and evaporator coils and restrict airflow, leading to poor indoor air quality.
Cleaning your ductwork can help restore the proper airflow through your HVAC system. It can also remove pollutants that can be harmful to your health.
A professional duct cleaner has specialized equipment to clean your ducts properly. While you can use basic brushes and a home vacuum, the process will not be as thorough and may not get all the contaminants from your ductwork.
It is recommended that you have your ductwork cleaned at least every three to five years. You can schedule an appointment by calling your preferred duct cleaner or online. Most companies will offer a free estimate before work begins.
When the technician arrives, they will check all access points to your ducts and inspect their condition. Then, they will set up the vacuum collection unit. This will create negative pressure, so the particles within your ductwork are sucked into the collection unit instead of spreading around your house.
Before they start sucking the nastiness out of your ductwork, your technician will visually inspect the ducts that lead to your supply and return registers. This is important for two reasons: it allows you to see the level of build-up beforehand and then confirm that the ducts have been cleaned, and it gives the contractor an opportunity to spot any leaks or kinks in the ductwork that need attention.
After sucking out the pollutants, your technician will run a final inspection and make any necessary adjustments to your HVAC system. They will also test the vents to make sure they are working correctly.
You should prepare for your duct cleaning by clearing out space for the service provider to access all of your ducts and your HVAC equipment. This may involve relocating furniture and cleaning up the area. If your child’s bed or another item is right next to a vent, you should move it and cover it with a tarp for safety.