Is duct cleaning really worth it?

Nor do studies conclusively demonstrate that the particle (e.g., printable version · Indoor Air Pollution · Guide to Indoor Air Quality) An official website of the United States government Official websites use. gov A. gov The website belongs to an official United States government organization. Knowledge about cleaning air ducts is in its early stages, so a general recommendation cannot be offered as to whether you should clean your home's air ducts. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urges you to read this document in its entirety, as it provides important information on the subject.

Duct cleaning has never been proven to actually prevent health problems. This is because much of the dirt in the air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space. It's important to note that dirty air ducts are just one of many possible sources of particulate matter in homes. Contaminants that enter the home from both outdoor and indoor activities, such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, or simply moving around, can cause greater exposure to contaminants than dirty air ducts.

In addition, there is no evidence that a small amount of household dust or other particles in air ducts poses a health risk. If any of the conditions identified above exist, it usually suggests one or more underlying causes. Before ducting is cleaned, modernized, or replaced, the cause or causes must be corrected, or else the problem is likely to recur. Some research suggests that cleaning the components of the heating and cooling system (e.g., however, there is little evidence that cleaning only the ducts) improves system efficiency.

You may consider cleaning air ducts simply because it seems logical that air ducts get dirty over time and should be cleaned from time to time. As long as cleaning is done properly, there is no evidence to suggest that such cleaning is harmful. The EPA does not recommend that air ducts be cleaned routinely, but only when necessary. However, the EPA recommends that if you have an oven, stove, or chimney that burns fuel, they be inspected to make sure they are working properly and serviced before each heating season to protect them against carbon monoxide poisoning. If you decide to clean your air ducts, take the same consumer precautions you would normally take when evaluating the competence and reliability of the service provider.

Whether or not you decide to clean your home's air ducts, preventing water and dirt from entering the system is the most effective way to prevent pollution (see How to Prevent Duct Contamination). If you decide to clean your heating and cooling system, it's important to ensure that the service provider is committed to cleaning all components of the system and is qualified to do so. In addition, the service provider can propose the application of chemical biocides, designed to eliminate microbiological contaminants, inside the ducts and in other components of the system. Some service providers may also suggest the application of chemical treatments (sealants or other encapsulants) to encapsulate or cover the interior surfaces of air ducts and equipment housings, as they believe that this will control mold growth or prevent the release of dirt particles or fibers by ducts.

These practices have not yet been thoroughly researched and you should be fully informed before deciding to allow the use of biocides or chemical treatments in your air ducts. They should only be applied, if at all, after the system has been properly cleaned to remove all visible dust or dirt. Knowledge about the potential benefits and potential problems of cleaning air ducts is limited. Since every home's conditions are different, it's impossible to generalize about whether cleaning your home's air ducts would be beneficial or not.

On the other hand, if family members have unusual or unexplained symptoms or illnesses that you think may be related to your home environment, you should discuss the situation with your doctor. The EPA has published the following publications as guidance on identifying potential indoor air quality problems and ways to prevent or solve them. You may consider cleaning the air ducts simply because it seems logical that the air ducts get dirty over time and that they should be cleaned from time to time. While the debate over the utility of regular duct cleaning continues, there is no evidence to suggest that such cleaning is harmful, as long as it is done properly. On the other hand, if a service provider doesn't follow proper duct cleaning procedures, duct cleaning can cause problems with indoor air.

For example, an inadequate vacuum collection system can release more dust, dirt, and other contaminants than if the ducts had been left without problems. A careless or inadequately trained service provider can damage the ductwork or the heating and cooling system, which could increase heating and air conditioning costs or force you to perform difficult and expensive repairs or replacements. This is because much of the dirt that can accumulate inside air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter. in the living space.

The EPA does not recommend that air ducts be cleaned, except when necessary, due to continuing uncertainty about the benefits of duct cleaning under most circumstances. Some research also suggests that cleaning dirty cooling coils, fans, and heat exchangers can improve the efficiency of heating systems and refrigeration. However, there is little evidence to indicate that simply cleaning the duct system will increase the efficiency of your system. If you think cleaning your ducts might be a good idea for your home, but you're not sure, talk to a professional.

The company that maintains your heating and cooling system can be a good source of advice. You can also contact professional duct cleaning service providers and ask them about the services they offer. Remember that they are trying to sell you a service, so ask questions and insist on comprehensive, well-informed answers. A thorough visual inspection is the best way to verify the cleanliness of your heating and cooling system. Some service providers use remote photographs to document the conditions inside the ducts.

All parts of the system must be visibly clean; you should not be able to detect any debris with the naked eye. Show the consumer checklist after cleaning to the service provider before work begins. Once the task is complete, ask the service provider to show you each component of the system to verify that the task was successfully completed. Whether or not you decide to clean your home's air ducts, it's essential to commit to a good preventive maintenance program to minimize duct pollution.

Whether or not you decide to clean your home's air ducts, it's essential to commit to a good preventive maintenance program to minimize duct pollution. There should be no moisture in the ducts. Controlling humidity is the most effective way to prevent biological growth in air ducts. You may be familiar with air ducts made of sheet metal. However, many modern residential air duct systems are built with fiberglass panels or sheet metal ducts lined inside with a fiberglass coating. Since the early 1970s, there has been a significant increase in the use of flexible ducts, which are generally internally lined with plastic or some other type of material.

Experts agree that there should be no moisture in the ducts and, if there is moisture and dirt, there is a chance that biological contaminants will grow and be distributed throughout the house. Controlling humidity is the most effective way to prevent biological growth in all types of air ducts. Air duct cleaning service providers may tell you that they should apply a chemical biocide inside the ducts to kill bacteria (germs) and fungi (mold) and prevent their biological growth in the future. Some duct cleaning service providers may propose introducing ozone to remove biological contaminants.

Ozone is a highly reactive gas that regulates itself in outdoor air as a lung irritant. However, there remains considerable controversy over the need and advisability of introducing chemical biocides or ozone into pipelines. While some low-toxicity products can be legally applied while the occupants of the house are present, you may want to consider leaving the facility while the biocidal product is being applied as an additional precaution. Manufacturers of products marketed to coat and encapsulate duct surfaces claim that these sealants prevent dust and dirt particles inside air ducts from being released into the air.

As with biocidal products, a sealant is often applied by spraying it on the operating duct system. Laboratory tests indicate that materials introduced in this way tend not to completely cover the surface of the duct. The application of sealants may also affect the acoustic (noise) and fire retardant characteristics of ducts lined or constructed with fiberglass and may void the manufacturer's warranty. Most organizations dealing with pipeline cleaning, including the EPA, NADCA, NAIMA, and the National Association of Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors (SMACNA), currently do not recommend the routine use of sealants to encapsulate contaminants in any type of duct.

Some cases in which it may be appropriate to use sealants to encapsulate duct surfaces include repairing damaged fiberglass insulation or combating fire damage to ducts. Sealants should never be used on wet duct lining, to cover actively growing mold, or to cover duct debris, and should only be applied after cleaning in accordance with NADCA or other appropriate guidelines or standards. Indoor Environment Division of the Office of Radiation and Indoor Air (6609J) 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N, W. Duct cleaning isn't necessarily a bad idea, but it's certainly not necessary in most cases.

In fact, cleaning normally dusty ducts provides no real value. If done properly, duct cleaning can be useful in limited situations. As for air conditioning, indoor air quality If members of your family get sick often, you suspect that mold is growing in your duct, or you simply think that the dust in your house comes from the air duct, you might be tempted to contact an air duct cleaning service. Ultimately, what you really want is cleaner air in your home.

But will cleaning your air ducts really provide you with cleaner air? Or is duct cleaning a waste of money? We'll tell you why we don't offer duct cleaning services and we don't recommend them to our customers either. So why don't we offer duct cleaning even though some customers ask us for this service on a regular basis? Air conditioning systems are already designed with a built-in cleaning system called an air filter. The function of the air filter is to remove particles from the air flowing through the HVAC system. Air filters don't always filter out all dust particles, but is this really a problem? In most cases, the dust that passes through the air filter and reaches the duct system is minimal and has not been proven to cause an appreciable decrease in air quality.

As the EPA study suggests, most of the dust will adhere to the duct surface and will not continue to enter the house. The air filter should hold any dust that comes out of the duct into your home for the next cycle. Because air conditioners use air filters to clean air and there is no evidence to demonstrate the need to clean ducts, manufacturers of air conditioning systems do not design air ducts for clean them. The EPA recommends that, if you choose to use duct cleaning services, only use them on ducts made of solid metal sheets.

However, in most homes today, we use flexible ductwork that can be easily damaged by duct cleaning services. If air ducts are not cleaned properly, it can further damage air quality by releasing more dust into the house or insulation particles due to broken ducts. Once the air duct is damaged, you have no choice but to replace it. This will result in an even greater expense than if you had simply replaced the duct at the beginning. If you're considering cleaning ducts due to mold in your home, consider the type of duct you have.

The EPA only recommends duct cleaning if you have solid sheet metal ductwork. They also warn consumers to always check that any biological material in the duct is actually mold. This can be verified by third-party tests. You should never take a contractor's word for it when they say there's mold in your air ducts. In addition, cleaning air ducts can eliminate immediately visible areas of mold.

However, unless you discover and address the root cause of mold, you may have to fight the same battle again in the future. If mold continues to develop, then there is a reason. Until you solve the root of the problem, cleaning the ducts will be of no use. If you're thinking about cleaning your air ducts because you want cleaner air, let us offer you some better alternatives. While air filters help remove particles from the air to actually eliminate viruses, bacteria, and mold, you'll need to use some additional technology, such as the Reme Halo device.

The Reme Halo device can be inserted into the existing ductwork. Once installed, it distributes the ionized hydroperoxide molecules. Hydroperoxide molecules attack airborne contaminants, such as bacteria, mold, and dandruff. It also charges the air particles it comes into contact with and causes them to stick together, making it easier for the air filter to remove dilated particles.

The REME HALO is already being used in hospitals, cruise ships, restaurants, food processing plants and other industrial applications. Fortunately, it can also be installed in your home to provide you with safer, cleaner air. There are very effective air filter systems that can be added to your existing air conditioning system. A 5-inch filter has a larger surface area, giving you two great advantages.

First, it allows more particles to be filtered out of the air without restricting airflow. Second, it should only be changed every 3 to 6 months instead of monthly. The MERV is a unit that measures the effectiveness of a filter's operation. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles it filters out of the air.

However, if you use a very high MERV filter, you can also reduce the airflow in your system too much. Since your air conditioning system is designed to use air filters to clean the air, the most obvious thing to do is to change the filters regularly. If you have a standard 1-inch pleated filter, we recommend that you change it once a month. While Pro-Tech doesn't recommend duct cleaning services, we can definitely help you improve air quality in your home. Unlike cleaning dryer ducts, which must be checked and cleaned regularly, no objective, independent organization recommends cleaning HVAC ducts as an essential part of routine maintenance of HVAC systems.

Rosalind Crapp
Rosalind Crapp

Certified problem solver. Amateur beer trailblazer. Infuriatingly humble music expert. Wannabe social media scholar. Incurable troublemaker.