Air Duct Cleaning Advice

This is a topic that few people know anything about and yet it’s a fairly important thing to know about.


There are huge benefits for people who schedule a cleaning for their heating, ventilation, and air conditions HVAC system. Here is the lowdown on how to select the right air duct cleaning company.

Why do you need your air ducts cleaned in the first place? Quite frankly your air conditioning, ventilation, and heating systems collect bacteria, fungi, mold, and other contaminates that can greatly reduce the air quality that is breathed in those places. Not only can the air be unpleasant but this can lead to negative health effects to the people breathing it.

A routine air duct cleaning’s purpose is to remove these contaminants from any home or building and the result is good indoor air quality.

So what exactly happens when these companies come out and make a service call?

For a company to come out and do a proper cleaning they are going to need some specialized air duct cleaning equipment.

They use a specialized really powerful vacuum which puts your ventilation system under negative pressure. As the vacuum is drawing air through the system a device is inserted into the duct to dislodge debris from the interior surface and move the contaminants from the air duct ventilation system into the vacuum.

There are two types of vacuum collection systems that companies will use. They are a) hose mounted on trucks and trailers and b) portable units. I have found that truck or trailer mounted vacuum systems are generally more powerful than the portable equipment. By contrast, portable equipment is easier to use as it can often can be brought directly into a facility. Both types of equipment are able clean air ducts to industry standards.

This is the first step. It alone does not fully clean any HVAC system. A person using air whips, brushes, and some other tools that agitate the contaminants scrub the surface within the ventilation system and sends them into the vacuum collection machine.

Anti-microbial chemical sanitizers are then added to the inside surface of the air ducts to control future microbial contamination. All anti-microbial chemicals that are utilized have to be EPA registered for use in HVAC systems. It is perfectly fine to ask to see the chemical’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

So how often do you need to have this service performed? It depends on several factors.

You would definitely want to have this done before you buy or occupy a new home, after remodeling or heavy renovations like painting, if one or several people smoke in the house, pets that shed a lot of hair or dandruff, water contamination, have a big rodent problem, and residents with a history of bad asthma or allergies. And if you have none of the previous conditions you still should get your ducts cleaning every couple years to insure you have the best indoor air quality possible.

What is the average cost to get the service done?

Air duct cleaning services will usually cost $450-$1000 depending on the size of your house and how hard it will be to access you ventilation system.

Remember that the price of the service is going to depend on the amount of time is takes them to do the air duct cleanings and this will depend on a) the size of your home b) the number of systems you have c) how dirty your system is d) the number of cleaners they are going to need for the job and e) how hard your ventilation system is going to be to access. Be aware of duct cleaning scams or less than ethical companies in this business who charge bellow market rates but do not do a thorough job (usually referred by us as the blow and go”).

Let’s review. Why is it so Important?

Keep in mind some things. You are breathing in millions of mold and germ-carrying dust particles from ventilation systems that cause allergies, asthma, and even terminal illnesses. Air ducts in every home or building gathers dust, dirt, human skin flakes, pet hair, tar from cigarettes and they become holding cells for allergens, mold spores, germs and other unwanted particles. This problem heightened itself in the mid 1970′s as new construction techniques made buildings more tightly sealed and insulated which restricts the flow of fresh air. This makes staying on top of your air duct cleaning even more important. Do a visual inspection and if you see build up call a company out to get it cleaned.

I have seen this in so many homes I have serviced. I have serviced some fairly dirty homes and I can tell you what to look for. What am I talking about? I am talking about knowing if you have “dirty ducts.” You would not believe some of the houses or businesses I have serviced. They were gruesome. They should have called an air duct cleaning service years ago! But many, or should I say most, people do not even know when they need it done. Read on and I am going to tell you how you can know if you have “dirty ducts” as we call them.

Every home is different. But here are some things to look for….

If you are any of your family members are having unexplained or usually symptoms or allergies that could be related to your home environment. This could mean that that there are large deposits and dust or mold and having your air ducts cleaned could be very necessary.

This will depend on where you live but ducts can get infested with rodents and insects. This is a really bad problem to have. Those vermin make their homes in your ducts and when they die it can really cause air quality problems.

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