Why Should I Have My Air Ducts Cleaned?

Air Ducts

  • Air ducts naturally accumulate sizeable deposits of dust and other contaminants over a period of years.
  • Dirt deposits can reduce the efficiency of your heating and air conditioning system and even cause physical discomfort and illness by degrading the quality of air you breathe indoors.
  • Dirt deposits in your air ducts actually act as food for organisms such as dust mites.

Contaminates build up inside the return ductwork. Traditional heating and cooling systems recirculate the air in a home via supply air ducts and return air ducts. Many homes have inefficient filters, which trap less than 10 percent of the particulate that is circulated in the system. If not trapped by the systems air filter, the particulate accumulates in the ductwork and on the internal components of your furnace or fan coil.

Air duct cleaning involves the following steps:

Initial Inspection: A professional HVAC technician will start by inspecting your HVAC system to assess its condition and determine if cleaning is necessary. They will look for signs of contamination, debris buildup, or any other issues that may warrant cleaning.

Preparation: Before beginning the cleaning process, the technician will take steps to protect your home. This includes laying down protective coverings for your floors and furniture to prevent dust and debris from spreading.

Turn Off the HVAC System: The technician will turn off the HVAC system to prevent the circulation of dust and contaminants during the cleaning process.

Access and Cleaning of Supply and Return Registers: The technician will remove the supply and return registers or grilles from the walls or ceilings. These components will be cleaned separately. They may be soaked in a cleaning solution or physically scrubbed to remove dust and debris.

Ductwork Cleaning: There are different methods for cleaning the ductwork, and the chosen method may depend on the extent of contamination and the technician’s equipment. Common methods include:

a. Mechanical Brushing and Vacuuming: This involves using a rotating brush or whip system to dislodge debris from the duct walls while a powerful vacuum simultaneously removes the loosened debris.

b. Air Sweeping or Compressed Air: High-pressure air is blown into the ducts to agitate and dislodge contaminants, which are then sucked out with a vacuum.

c. Negative Pressure or “Push-Pull” System: This method creates negative pressure in the ducts, and a combination of agitation and suction is used to remove debris.

d. Hand Cleaning: In some cases, manual cleaning may be necessary to remove stubborn debris or mold growth.

Cleaning of Other Components: Besides the ductwork, the technician will also clean other system components, such as the blower motor, coils, and the HVAC unit itself. Cleaning these components can improve overall system efficiency.

Disinfection and Mold Remediation (if necessary): If mold or microbial growth is present in the ducts, the technician may apply antimicrobial agents or disinfectants to eliminate the problem. They may also recommend additional steps, such as sealing ducts to prevent future mold growth.

Final Inspection: After cleaning is complete, the technician will perform a final inspection to ensure that all components are clean, registers are reinstalled, and the system is ready for operation.

Post-Cleaning Verification: Some companies use visual or video inspection tools to show the before and after condition of the ducts. This can help demonstrate the effectiveness of the cleaning process.

System Restart: The technician will turn your HVAC system back on and ensure that it is operating correctly. They may also provide you with recommendations for ongoing maintenance to keep your system clean and efficient.

It’s important to hire a reputable and certified HVAC professional for air duct cleaning to ensure that the job is done correctly and safely. The frequency of air duct cleaning can vary depending on factors like the environment, usage, and the specific needs of your HVAC system.

Duct Cleaning Benefits

Cleaning your ductwork eliminates these contaminates with the following benefits:
  • Safeguard your health by eliminating potential causes of allergies and respiratory problems.
  • Eliminate the dirt that acts as food for dust mites, bacteria, mold and other micro-organisms.