What is an air duct cleaning?
January 21, 2015
Your air ducts can be your best friend or your worst enemy depending on how well they are maintained. Well maintained ducts circulate air in your house and help keep you warm or cool respectively. Dirty ducts do exactly the same thing – with the added bonus of helping move years of built up debris into your home’s air.
Last week we looked at why you should get your air ducts serviced regularly. This week we will look at what you can expect when someone comes in to clean your air ducts.
First and foremost, we want to remind you to do your research. The past few years have seen quite a few scammers pop up offering too-good-to-be-true deals on duct cleaning. These companies are known to either tag on extra costs after the fact or use equipment that could potentially damage your home ventilation systems (or worse). Always go with a reputable company with a lot of in-home experience. Check nadca.com to find a dealer near you.
Once you have found a dealer and set an appointment, a contractor will come to your house to perform the service. They will find a convenient access point to your air duct system and attach a high-power vacuum to your vents. This is done by cutting a small hole in the ductwork that will later be covered. Future cleaners will use the same access point when performing cleanings. The technician will then turn off your furnace and continue the cleaning procedure.
The technician will go to each register in your house and loosen the debris in your vents using an air pressure scrubber (or something similar) that can be snaked through the vents. All of the loosened debris is collected by the previously attached vacuum and removed. The air returns should also be physically cleaned during this process. The air duct cleaning procedure should take at least two to three hours. The amount of time will depend largely on how big your home is and how much ductwork is involved.
This is what you can expect during any duct cleaning service. Some companies offer add-ons such as fungicide sprays to prevent certain bacteria and fungus from growing. Do some research into these offers and see if they are right for you. Some people gain extra peace of mind from the service while others feel it is unnecessary. The sprays are optional, so do your best to make an educated decision.
Duct cleaning only has to be performed every three to five years depending on your household (number of family members, pets and occupation can all affect the regularity with which duct cleaning has to be performed). The long-term health of your home can be improved drastically by completing this occasional service.
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