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Why You Need Duct Cleaning

Q: Are there any health benefits that come from HVAC systems cleaning?

A: Heating, ventilation,and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to act as a collection source for a variety of contaminants that have the potential to affect health, such as mold, fungi, bacteria, and very small particles of dust. The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC systems and home should be considered as one component in an over all plan.

Q: Will HVAC system cleaning reduce our home energy bills?

A: Research by the U.S. EPA has demonstrated that HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to run more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical components. Clean, efficient systems are less likely to breakdown, have a longer life span, and generally operate more effectively than dirty systems.

Q: How should a residential HVAC system be cleaned?

A: The most effective way to clean air ducts and ventilation system is to employ Source Removal methods of cleaning. This requires a contractor to place the system under negative pressure, through the use of specialized, powerful vacuum. While the vacuum draws air through the system, devices are inserted into the ducts to dislodge any debris that might be stuck to interior surfaces. The debris can then travel down the ducts to the vacuum, which removes it from the system and the home.

Q: How often should residential HVAC system be cleaned?

A: Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, not the least of which is the preference of the home owner. Some of the things that may lead a homeowner to consider more frequent cleaning include: Smokers in the household, Pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander, Water contamination or danger to the home or HVAC system, Residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the same amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system. After home renovations or remodeling, Prior to occupancy of a new home.

Q: How long should it take to clean a typical residential HVAC system?

A: There are a variety of factors that could affect the time needed to clean a residential HVAC system, including the type of home, accessibility of the ductwork, and the number of workers on the project. A typical three or four bedroom home will require 4 to 8 hours for cleaning.

Q: How can I determine if the HVAC system cleaning was effective?

A: The best way to determine if HVAC system cleaning is effective is to perform a visual inspection, before and after cleaning. If any dust or debris can be seen during the visual inspection, the system should not be considered clean. While you can perform your own visual inspection using a flash light and mirror, a profesional cleaning contractor should be able to allow you better access to the system components and perhaps the use of specialized inspection tools. In Addition, following this post-cleaning check list can help to ensure a quality job.

Q: What kind of equipment is best for cleaning-Truck-Mounted Vacuums or Portable vacuums?

A: NADCA does not endorse one kind of equipment over another. There are two main types of vacuum collection devices: (1) those mounted on trucks and trailers, and (2) portable units. Truck Trailer mounted equipment is generally more powerful than portable equipment. However, portable equipment can be brought directly into a facility, allowing the vacuum source to be located closer to the ductwork. Both types of equipment will clean to NADCA standards. A vacuum collection device alone will not get an HVAC system clean. The use of methods and tools designed to agitate debris adhered to the surfaces within the system, in conjunction with the use of the vacuum collection device(s), is required to clean HVAC systems. (For example: brushes, air whips and “skipper balls.”)

Q: What are sanitizers, and why would they need to be used?

A: Sanitizers are antimicrobial chemicals applied to the interior surface of the air ducts, designed to control microbial contamination. Before any sanitizers are used, the system should be thoroughly cleaned. It is critical that any anti-microbial treatment used in your system be EPA registered for the intended use in HVAC systems. Ask to see the chemical’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). If you are still concerned, call the EPA, at 1-800-438-4318.