Clearing the Air on Air Duct Cleaning
With spring weather upon us, now is the time to consider having those air-ducts cleaned. Duct cleaning is a great idea when homeowners use it for specific, limited purposes. Unfortunately, it’s a field that has seen its share of wild health claims and fly-by night operators. It’s not without reason that the information provided by both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) has plenty of caveat emptor. According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to act as a collection source for a variety of contaminants. Some of these have the potential to effect health, such as mold, fungi, bacteria, and very small particles of dust. The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC system and home should be considered as one component in an overall plan to improve indoor air quality. Clean systems operate more efficiently and have fewer maintenance problems. For a residential system, the most effective cleaning method is source removal. A Certified Cleaning Technician will place the system under negative pressure through the use of a specialized high-powered vacuum truck, which draws air through the system. The registers are blocked off so the entire system is placed under a vacuum. Devices are then inserted into the ducts to dislodge debris that might be stuck to interior surfaces. The debris then travels down the ducts to the vacuum, which removes it from the system and the home. We can start with the assumption that there is debris in most ductwork. The average home accumulates close to a pound a year in the ductwork. You may consider having your air ducts cleaned simply because it seems logical that air ducts will get dirty over time and should occasionally be cleaned. The EPA has determined that cleaning of heating/cooling system components can improve the efficiency of heating and cooling system. Clean efficient systems are less likely to break down, have longer life spans and generally operate more efficiently than dirty systems. If your home or office is new, it may contain drywall dust, sawdust and other building debris. If your home or office is older, it may contain that and a whole lot more. If you are considering having your air ducts cleaned, you should speak with a professional. What criteria should I use to in selecting an Air-Duct Cleaning company?
- Make sure the company is in good standing with NADCA.
- See if the business has been in business long enough to have adequate experience and proper cleaning equipment. Beware of small portable units that may not be powerful enough to clean your ductwork.
- Enquire whether the business is in good standing with Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Get proof that the company is properly insured, bonded and or licensed.
- Avoid advertisements for the low cost “whole house specials”, and other sale gimmicks using the word “free”, “free sanitizing”, or “free furnace cleaning”.
- Ask the company if they have the right equipment to effectively perform cleaning, and if the company has done work in homes or offices similar to yours. Get references if possible.