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A Brief Guide to Duct Cleaning

April 3, 2021

duct cleaning

Americans spend and an average of 90% of their time indoors. But that’s not even a problem.

The problem is that the concentration of pollutants is 2 to 5 times higher in indoor areas than outdoors. And this figure goes to show just how much indoor air pollution is a growing concern.

If you own an HVAC system, there’s a high likelihood that you’ve come across companies that claim to have solutions that improve indoor air quality. Some are even likely to have mentioned duct cleaning as a way of improving indoor air quality.

But do you understand the actual meaning of air duct cleaning?

If you’re not an HVAC technician, you probably just have a rough idea of what duct cleaning is. But don’t worry! We’re here to give you everything you need to know about duct cleaning.

What Is Duct Cleaning?

Duct cleaning is a term that describes the cleaning of various components of a forced-air system. These components include supply and return air ducts, heat exchangers, grilles and diffusers, air handling unit housing, and heating and cooling coils.

If these components are not cleaned, they accumulate dust, fur, pollen, bacteria, and other indoor air contaminants.

When there’s a high concentration of these contaminants, they may cause allergic reactions and respiratory diseases in people.

If you hire a service for duct cleaning, ensure they clean all the components of the unit. Failure to clean some parts will lead to recontamination of the entire unit.

Duct cleaning methods may vary depending on the service you’ll hire. Some common duct cleaning methods include:

  • Vacuum cleaning
  • Applying chemical biocides
  • Applying sealants

However, your service provider should be cautious with the chemical methods since there’s insufficient research to prove their effectiveness. They should be a last resort after getting rid of visible dirt through vacuum cleaning.

Note that the sealants method mentioned above is different from applying sealants to close leaking air ducts. In the above method, a sealant is applied on the inner side of air ducts to prevent mold growth and the release of dust particles from the ducts.

Do You Need to Clean the Air Ducts?

If your family members are complaining of unknown allergies or respiratory problems that you associate with the environment, you probably need duct cleaning.

It is logical that the ducts will accumulate dirt over time and require cleaning once in a while. Although research on duct cleaning benefits is still scanty, no evidence suggests it could have detrimental effects.

However, you need to be careful with your choice of a service provider. An inexperienced technician can easily damage the duct system, causing indoor air problems.

For instance, if they use an ineffective vacuum cleaning system, they might end up spreading the contaminants all over your house instead of removing them. Such a scenario would leave your house in a worse situation than it was before cleaning the ducts.

An inadequately trained service provider could also damage your HVAC system, leaving you to incur a huge repair bill or a high energy bill.

Consider cleaning the air ducts in your home only when:

  • There’s visible mold growth in the ducts or other components of the HVAC unit
  • There’s pest or rodent infestation in your ductwork
  • The ducts are visibly clogged with dust and debris

Another reason to undertake duct cleaning is to minimize the risk of carbon monoxide in your home. EPA asks homeowners using fuel-based HVAC systems to clean their air ducts regularly to eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Duct cleaning is also said to improve the efficiency of an HVAC system. However, there’s no adequate research to prove by what margins does duct cleaning improve the unit’s efficiency.

If you’re not sure if duct cleaning is a necessary exercise, it’s good to speak to a reputable duct cleaning HVAC service company. However, remember to ask the right questions and demand knowledgeable answers. You don’t want to end up buying a service or product that has no tangible benefits.

Choosing a Duct Cleaning Service Provider

The easiest way to find a company that offers duct cleaning services is to check on the internet. A simple search like “duct cleaning company near me” could leave you with a list of over a hundred companies in your area.

So, how do you narrow it down to the best St Louis duct cleaning service provider?

You can start by checking the Yellow Pages or reaching out to NADCA to get the businesses’ contact information.

Do not assume all providers are the same. Talk to several and ask them a few questions. Also, get their estimates before picking the best service provider.

Some other factors to consider include:

  • Their experience in duct cleaning while working on units similar to yours
  • Their certification and licensure
  • Ability to follow NADCA’s duct cleaning guidelines

A service provider who checks most, if not all, of these boxes, will be an ideal choice for the job.

What Expect During Duct Cleaning

The service provider you choose to work with should be able to:

  • Open all key areas of the unit for inspection and cleaning purposes
  • Ensure there’s no asbestos material in the HVAC unit
  • Seal all the holes in the ductwork
  • Use a vacuum cleaning that exhaust outside the house

If the service provider can do these tasks, you’re likely to be left with a very clean HVAC system.

Enjoy Clean Indoor Air

Do you have concerns about the quality of your indoor air? It could be that smoke, pollen, allergens, moisture, bacteria, or other contaminants are giving you a headache.

If you’re experiencing their side effects, you need to consider cleaning your air ducts.

Duct cleaning done by a professional company is a non-disruptive process that won’t mess with your house.

Are you looking for a duct cleaning service provider that won’t disappoint you? Anton’s Air Conditioning & Heating is the leading St Louis air duct cleaning service. We have the expertise and the machines to clean your dirty air ducts thoroughly.

Give us a call today to enjoy our top-notch services.

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