What Is Duct Cleaning and When Is It Necessary?

Keeping our HVAC units pathogen-free is critical to improving indoor air quality. Many homeowners are perplexed about what a proper air duct cleaning procedure entails and how frequently it should be performed. 

Well, we don’t blame them, given that there are numerous perspectives on these topics, but we’re about to show you the right ones.

At Clearview Air Duct Cleaning, we offer various duct cleaning services at competitive rates; request a quote today!

What Is Duct Cleaning?

Most, if not all, homes now have heating and cooling units to regulate the temperature indoors. These forced-air systems rely on a duct network to distribute air throughout our homes.

At some point, you’ll need to have these air ducts cleaned so that they don’t compromise the air quality inside your home. This is done through a duct cleaning service, and it involves tackling various HVAC system components.

The air duct cleaning process calls for specialized gear, such as ductwork inspection equipment, high-powered vacuum, rotary brush machines, and others.

You’ll notice that the cost of duct cleaning varies depending on several factors, including the ductwork size, level of contamination, and climatic region. But, in general, expect to pay anywhere between $450 and $1,000.

Can You Clean Air Ducts on Your Own?

Although you may come across some DIY air duct cleaning techniques, we don’t recommend any of them. 

This job requires an experienced eye to determine if there’s a serious problem that needs to be dealt with and to effectively remove contamination. 

You see, we’ve encountered cases where homeowners attempted to do this task on their own and ended up increasing indoor air pollution. That’s because they’ve loosened dirt particles and other pollutants in the ductwork without properly getting rid of them.

When Should You Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned?

What Is Duct Cleaning - Old air duct filled with dust and dirt

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests having your ductwork cleaned only when necessary. In other words, this isn’t something you should be doing regularly. 

What you should routinely schedule for is an inspection of your air ducts. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) encourages having the entire system checked at least once a year to ensure it’s in good condition.

Now, we know that you might still be unsure of when your air ducts will require thorough cleaning. So, we’ve gathered below four of the most common conditions in which you’ll need to hire air duct cleaners:

  1. Mold Growth

Mold can house a heating and cooling system for multiple reasons. It could be due to excess moisture in the ductwork, humidity with poor ventilation, etc.

When mold spores start growing inside the duct system, it can pose serious health risks to you and your family. Inhaling them can cause allergic reactions, asthma symptoms, respiratory failures, and other illnesses.

The thing about mold is that it should always be tested in a laboratory rather than relying on your own analysis. Often, what appears to be mold is actually a sticky substance that resembles it. 

Here are some signs that you might be dealing with this culprit:

  • Mildew smell in the house
  • Mold or dark spots on air vents
  • Persistent cold symptoms (sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose)
  1. Infestations

Another reason to get your ductwork cleaned is if it’s infested with insects or rodents. These critters can enter your duct system through unsealed gaps, vents, or other exposed areas. 

Pest infestations not only can damage the interior of an HVAC system but also reduce airflow inside your house. Besides, we’re pretty sure no one wants mice or roaches running around their space!

You can detect the presence of these intruders by the following indicators:

  • Strange noises in the ductwork
  • Nest materials and pest droppings
  • Unpleasant odors
  1. Construction Work

Having extensive renovation or construction work done inside your house will almost always result in dirty air ducts. 

With all the drilling and installations going on, there’ll be a significant amount of dust and debris that’s likely to settle in your ductwork. In severe cases, they even clog the system and obstruct air circulation. 

  1. Aggravated Health Issues

Over time, air ducts can harbor several contaminants, such as pet dander, dust, or airborne bacteria. This buildup can exacerbate allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to these pollutants. 

If you notice your allergies or asthma are constantly triggered, especially when you turn on the HVAC unit, it’s time to have your ductwork checked.

What Is Involved in a Professional Duct Cleaning Service?

Ventilation cleaning. Specialist at work. Repair ventilation system (HVAC)

To reap the benefits of cleaning your duct system, the procedure must be carried out properly, i.e., by an expert. 

A professional duct cleaning service includes performing several tasks, with the most significant ones being:

Conducting Inspections

Before getting to work, we must run some preliminary inspections, mainly for two reasons. 

The first is to detect problems or damages in the duct system that need to be addressed. The second is to check if the ductwork contains any materials made of asbestos, as this will necessitate a different procedure.

In case you didn’t know, asbestos is a mineral that was widely used in construction but was later discovered to cause various types of cancer

Thorough Cleaning

When it comes to cleaning, we work on all the HVAC system’s components, not just the ductwork. This includes thoroughly cleaning heating and cooling coils, fans, drain pans, and registers. 

This part is what distinguishes legitimate air duct contractors from the rest. Steer clear of companies that offer to clean only specific parts of the HVAC system, as that won’t be as effective. 

Final Word

You won’t have to clean your air ducts frequently, but when you do, make sure it’s done the right way. 

This system is responsible for transporting the air that circulates in your house. Keeping it in good condition is essential to maintaining a healthy living environment.

If you’re looking to have your ductwork cleaned, we’d be happy to help with that. Contact us at Clearview Air Duct Cleaning today to schedule your appointment!

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