What to expect after duct cleaning?

Expect to see a reduction in the need for dust removal. Expect to see a reduction in reactions to environmental allergies, such as dust, dust mites, pollen, and similar allergens, while you're inside the house. Expect less bacteria, dust, dust mites, and other debris to circulate throughout the house through the duct system. Once everything is out of the ducts, the technician will check and disinfect every corner of the system.

This will remove any remaining dust, allergens or bacteria. It will also create a healthier environment inside the ducts, which means that there will be no more mold growth and will improve air quality. 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 could be 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 against carbon monoxide poisoning. If sufficient dirt and moisture are allowed to enter the duct system, there may not be a significant difference in the speed or extent of microbial growth in internally lined or bare metal foil ducts. Most organizations that deal 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 conduit. This is because much of the dirt in the air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space.

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. 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. 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 contamination. This is because much of the dirt that can accumulate inside air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space.

Air duct cleaning service providers may tell you that they must apply a chemical biocide inside the ducts to kill bacteria (germs) and fungi (mold) and prevent their biological growth in the future. These products are specifically designed for use in ducts or as ducts themselves, and are tested in accordance with standards established by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). If no one in your household has allergies or unexplained symptoms or illnesses and if, after a visual inspection of the inside of the ducts, you don't see any signs that the air ducts are contaminated with large deposits of dust or mold (there is no musty smell or visible mold growth), cleaning the air ducts is probably not necessary. On the other hand, if a service provider doesn't follow proper duct cleaning procedures, duct cleaning can cause problems with indoor air. Duct cleaning methods vary, although industry associations that deal with air duct cleaning have established standards.

While many of these products can legally be used inside uncoated ducts if all instructions on the label are followed, some of the instructions on the label may not be suitable for use on ducts. Knowledge about cleaning air ducts is in its early stages, so a general recommendation cannot be given as to whether air ducts in the house should be cleaned. Ducts are usually cleaned after a residential fire when the ducts are full of smoke residue, which is why Rainbow Restoration offers the service and some HVAC companies don't.

Rosalind Crapp
Rosalind Crapp

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