Should Air Ducts Be Cleaned?
This weeks blog we wanted to discuss what are air ducts and if it is necessary to have them cleaned?
The quality of the air we breathe indoors has become an increasingly important environmental concern.
Clean, fresh air is a great concern too many homeowners and building managers as allergy and respiratory problems increase. Today’s tightly insulated energy efficient homes and buildings trap and recycle polluted air. Dirty air ducts also cost you money. Just a .042 inch of dust on heating or cooling coils reduces the efficiency up to 21%.
Dirt, dust and microorganisms such as bacteria virus, dust mites, mold spores, fungi, yeast and algae collect and breed in air duct systems. These pollutants are force fed into every room whenever the fan comes on, causing allergies and respiratory problems to flare. microbial in nature, they can also create unpleasant odors.
What Are Air Ducts?
Quoting the definition in Wikipedia:
Ducts are used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to deliver and remove air. These needed airflows include, for example, supply air, return air, and exhaust air. Ducts also deliver, most commonly as part of the supply air, ventilation air. As such, air ducts are one method of ensuring acceptable indoor air quality as well as thermal comfort.
What is Air Duct Cleaning?
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.
Should You have The Air Ducts Cleaned Out?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that it isn’t necessary to have them routinely cleaned but only as needed — such as when mold, pests or excessive debris clutter the system. Informed consumers are aware of EPA studies concluding that poorly maintained ducts can be a breeding ground for disease causing organisms. Duct cleaning, performed properly, will remove dirt, dust, and microorganisms such as bacterial virus, dust mites, mold spores, fungi yeast, and algae from the system.
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) experts argue the need for cleaning depends on a variety of factors, including pets, smoking, recent renovations, local weather conditions and overall home cleanliness.
Beware of Scammers
A growing number of duct cleaning advertisement scams have been recently uncovered. These ads claim whole house duct cleaning or unlimited vents can be cleaned for $49.00, $69.00 or $99.00.
How To Choose A Duct Cleaning Company?
Duct cleaning, if done improperly, can be the worst thing you can do for your air quality.
5 Questions You Should Ask Your Duct Cleaning Contractor
1) Will the contractor inspect your ducts to make sure they are cleanable?
2) Will the contractor be cleaning the entire system including fans and coils?
3) Will the contractor provide you with the means to conduct a visual inspection at any time during the cleaning process?
4) Can the contractor provide references of previous customers with phone numbers?
(Don’t be afraid to follow up)
5) Is the contractor giving you a guaranteed price before the cleaning? Mold, damaged fiber glass insulation, cleaning/treating coils may become add-on costs.
Duct Cleaning Could Be The Healthiest Investment You Ever Make!