What is the Best Kind of Air Duct Cleaning?

When it comes to cleaning air ducts, there are two main systems that are generally considered to be the most acceptable on the market today. The first is the most thorough and expensive method of cleaning an air duct, which involves using a high-powered vacuum as the sole source of waste disposal. This method can be risky if not done carefully, as it could potentially break the ducts. However, professional air duct cleaning services are usually very careful and thorough when using this method, so duct tearing is rare.

HomeAdvisor is a great resource for finding local services, as their business profiles are comprehensive and include areas of expertise, years of service, business hours, and contact information. Customers can view this information by entering their name, phone number, and email address. HomeAdvisor also rewards companies with high ratings and allows landlords to request quotes for local services through an engine on its website. Additionally, they provide national and local cost estimates so customers can have a clear idea of how much they will need to pay. You may want to consider cleaning your air ducts simply because it seems logical that they will get dirty over time and should be cleaned from time to time.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not recommend that air ducts be cleaned routinely, but only when necessary. However, they do recommend that if you have a furnace, stove, or fireplace that burns fuel, they be inspected for proper functioning and maintained before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. If you or someone in your family has asthma or allergies, you may be considering cleaning your home's heating and cooling ducts. Even if you don't have special health problems, duct cleaning may appeal to you on an intuitive level. After all, if your ducts are clean, all the air coming out of the vents should also come out clean, right? While some companies that perform duct cleaning may advertise health benefits or suggest that it will reduce your energy bills by improving the efficiency of your system, there is no data to support these claims.

In fact, the little independent research done on duct cleaning indicates that the process removes so much dust that it creates a bigger problem than it solves. Although it intuitively makes sense to clean the ductwork, after all, the dust is removed and the rest of the house is cleaned, the fact is that the dust that settles in the ventilation system usually remains where it is and is unlikely to be carried through the air unless disturbed. Under most circumstances, dust is inert and harmless, and shaking it with cleaning equipment creates major problems. Government studies in both the United States and Canada have been conducted on this topic by both the EPA and CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation), but neither support nor oppose routine duct cleaning. Changing air filters frequently is the best way to keep dust, allergens, and other particles out of your home. With a newly installed system or a system in a house you just moved to, check the filter once a month to determine how quickly it gets dirty at different times of the year.

Most should be replaced every two to three months. Although not always part of their basic cleaning services, many duct cleaning companies often also clean heating and cooling equipment (heat exchangers, cooling coils, condensate drain containers, fan motors, fan blades, and fan housings).The CMHC researchers found that when duct cleaners also cleaned the fan blades, there was a small reduction in airborne particles. Cleaning the fan could also slightly improve the system's energy efficiency. The same goes for the evaporator coils inside your home cooling system.

Evaporator coils cause condensation which dehumidifies air before it circulates through your home. Condensed moisture can cause dust and other particles to adhere and collect on the coils. In addition to this, cleaning the collection tray (and tray drain nozzle) located below the coils ensures that dirt does not accumulate and enter the system. It also prevents water from accumulating on and under the coils which can cause mold problems. If someone in your household has specific health problems such as allergies or asthma consult your doctor first.

It is important to identify the problem so that they can suggest alternatives to cleaning the ducts. Start by identifying if your ducts are part of the problem (probably aren't) and if cleaning them would help.