Do You Really Need Duct Cleaning?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the knowledge about air duct cleaning is in its early stages, so a blanket recommendation cannot be offered as to whether you should have your air ducts in your home cleaned. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urges you to read their document in it entirety as it provides important information on the subject.
Duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that dust levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts. This is because much of the dirt in air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not enter the living space. It is important to keep in mind that dirty air ducts are only one of many possible sources of particles that are present in homes. Pollutants that enter the home both from outdoors and indoor activities such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, or just moving around can cause greater exposure to contaminants than dirty air ducts. Moreover, there is no evidence that a light amount of household dust or other particulate matter in air ducts poses any risk to your health.
Duct Cleaning: When To Clean Your Ducts
- There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system. There are several important points to understand concerning mold detection in heating and cooling systems: Many sections of your heating and cooling system may not be accessible for a visible inspection, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they say exists. You should be aware that although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination of whether it is mold or not can be made only by an expert and may require laboratory analysis for final confirmation. For about $50, some microbiology laboratories can tell you whether a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or simply a substance that resembles it. If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced. If the conditions causing the mold growth in the first place are not corrected, mold growth will recur.
- Ducts are infested with vermin, e.g. (rodents or insects)
- Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are actually released into the home from your supply registers.
Read Below If You Still Think You Need Duct Cleaning
If you have a problem listed above it usually suggests that there is a cause. So before cleaning, retrofitting, or replacing of your ducts, you should correct the cause so the problem will not recur.
Research suggests that cleaning heating and cooling system components (e.g., cooling coils, fans and heat exchangers) may improve the efficiency of your system, resulting in a longer operating life, as well as some energy and maintenance cost savings. However, little evidence exists that cleaning only the ducts will improve the efficiency of the system.
You may consider having your air ducts cleaned simply because it seems logical. However we not recommend that the air ducts be cleaned routinely. Ducts should be only cleaned on an as needed basis. But if you have a fuel burning furnace, stove or fireplace, we should inspect them for proper functioning and service them before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.
Duct Cleaning: Mold
Mold is usually a product of moisture. Moisture should not be present in ducts. If moisture and dirt are present you could get mold. Controlling moisture is the most effective way to prevent biological growth in all types of air ducts. Mold can be treated in metal ducts. If you have porous ducts such as plastic or fiberglass you willed to fix the moisture cause and replace the ducts. The first step is to control moisture. Do this by:
- Correct any water leaks or standing water.
- Remove standing water under cooling coils of air handling units. Make sure that drain pans slope toward the drain.
- If humidifiers are used, they must be properly maintained.
- Air handling units should be constructed so that maintenance personnel have easy. Access to heat exchange components and drain pans should be easy reach for cleaning and maintenance.
- Fiber glass or any other insulation material that is wet or visibly moldy should be removed. If an unacceptable odor is present, the material should be removed. It should be replaced by a qualified heating and cooling system contractor.
- Steam cleaning and other methods involving moisture should not be used on any kind of duct work.
Duct Cleaning: How We Clean Ducts
- Open access ports or doors to allow the entire system to be cleaned and inspected.
- Inspect the system before cleaning to be sure that there are no asbestos-containing materials (e.g., insulation, register boots, etc.) in the heating and cooling system. Asbestos-containing materials require specialized procedures and should not be disturbed or removed except by specially trained and equipped contractors.
- Use vacuum equipment that exhausts particles outside of the home or use only high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) vacuuming equipment if the vacuum exhausts inside the home.
- Protect carpet and household furnishings during cleaning.
- Use well-controlled brushing of duct surfaces in conjunction with contact vacuum cleaning to dislodge dust and other particles.
- Use only soft-bristled brushes for fiberglass duct board and sheet metal ducts internally lined with fiberglass. Flex duct can also be cleaned using soft-bristled brushes. It may be cheaper to replace flex duct rather than cleaning it.
- Take care to protect the duct work, including sealing and re-insulating any access holes the service provider may have made or used so they are airtight.
- Follow NADCA’s standards for air duct cleaning. Also use NAIMA’s recommended practice for ducts containing fiber glass lining or constructed of fiber glass duct board.
If You Still Need Duct Cleaning. Call Us!
We will never estimate an unnecessary job. If you feel you have mold or need your ducts cleaned call us. (757) 468-3831
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