Why should air ducts be cleaned?
Studies have shown that indoor air can be 2 to 5 times MORE polluted than outside air. Most disposable filters remove about 10% of these pollutants allowing 90% to enter the air system, even during the construction of a new home. The pollutants contain dust, pollen, mold spores, animal dander and much more. These materials collect in the furnace, air conditioner and duct surfaces, just as they do on the furniture and floor surfaces. The furniture and floor are cleaned regularly but the duct surfaces are hidden from view and can only be reached by specialized duct cleaning equipment. These pollutants can migrate out into the room again, or become a food source for mold and bacteria, which can thrive in this dark comfortable environment from high humidity or moisture from the air conditioner or humidifiers. Biological growth can release mold spores or toxins into the air system.
According to the EPA, indoor air can be up to 70 times more polluted than outdoor air. The benefits of a freshly cleaned air duct sytem include: (1) Cleaner, fresher and healthier air inside your home or office (2) Home and office furnishings will stay cleaner longer (3) Mechanical units will perform more efficiently when coils and blowers are cleaned which means energy and money savings for you.
How can mold grow in a duct system and what problems can it cause?
Mold spores require a stable temperature, a food source and moisture to live and reproduce. Dust and dirt that go through the filter are a good food source. The furnace/air conditioner is designed to maintain a comfortable temperature, and moisture is available from humid conditions in the environment, the humidifier in the furnace or the cooling coils in an air conditioner. Live molds can release spores that will trigger allergic or asthmatic reactions, sometimes severe, in about 10% of the population. Mold both living and dead can produce toxins that may cause short term allergic reactions. Long term exposures to low levels of some mold toxins can result in permanent chemical sensitivity to common compounds in the environment.
How Should the Air System Be Cleaned?
1. Clean the furnace/air conditioner.
2. Clean the supply and return registers and grills.
3. Clean the supply and return ducts.
4. Install electrostatic air filter and odor control products.
Will a dirty air system result in higher energy costs?
Depending on the amount of contamination and its location, energy consumption could be increased. If the fan blades, evaporator coil or other control components of the system are heavily contaminated, the system may have to run much longer to cool or heat the occupied space, wasting a lot of energy.
Which parts of the air system should be cleaned?
There are 3 major parts to an air system:
1. The supply and return grills
2. The interior surfaces of the supply and return vents
3. The furnace/air conditioner air handler
All 3 components must be cleaned. If only one or two of the components are cleaned, the contaminates from the 3rd component will rapidly contaminate the ones that were cleaned.
What are the sources of air duct contamination?
All inside air was once outside air, so all of the dust, chemicals, pollen, insects and mold spores in the outside air can be pulled into the air system. People shed millions of tiny dead skin cells every hour. Cooking smoke, household insect sprays, personal care products are also a source of pollutants. Many construction materials, carpets, wood products and plastics give off pollutants as well. During construction or remodeling activities, many types of dust are produced and find their way into the duct work. If the duct components were stored outside prior to construction, they may have collected dust, rain water and even mold before they were installed in a system.
What does it cost to have a whole air system cleaned?
This can depend on a lot of factors, such as the size of the home, the number of supply ducts, how long since the ducts were cleaned, etc. The whole system should be cleaned and a more efficient filter installed to keep the system clean longer. A competent duct cleaning company would not be able to do this for less than $200 for a small home or $800 for a large home.
For residential customers, the EPA says that “duct cleaning services typically – but not always – range in cost from $450 to $600 per heating and cooling system” depending on factors such as the level of service provided, the size and number of systems to be cleaned, climatic region and level of contamination, and the type of air duct material. For commercial customers, please call for a price quote.
Will your equipment damage my air ducts?
Absolutely not. While our equipment is designed to be aggressive at removing debris from your air system, it is also gentle enough so that it does not damage your air ducts.
How will you clean my air ducts?
There are two universally accepted methods to clean air ducts. One method is called contact cleaning, which stirs up and collects the debris at the point of contact inside the ducts. The other method is negative air cleaning or the “push-pull method”. This method of air duct cleaning involves putting the air system under negative pressure, disturbing the debris inside the ducts and collecting it in one place.
Is the process messy?
Absolutely not. All of our vacuum equipment is HEPA-filtered to 99.97% so the dirt stays in the machine and out of your home. Our procedures are designed to protect your home and furnishings from dust/dirt and we always leave the home cleaner then when we arrived.
How long does it take?
It typically takes 2-4 hours per air system based on the cleaning method being used (residential customers).
How often should my air ducts be cleaned?
It is recommended to have your home’s air system cleaned every 3-5 years. For commercial customers, we recommend a thorough cleaning every 2 years.
Can I be at home while the work is being completed?
Yes. Our HEPA-filtered machines prevent any debris in your air system from entering the home environment, so you can be home while the work is performed.