You want a home or business that’s as free from dust and allergens as possible in order for everyone inside to stay healthy. There are many ways you can clean areas and surfaces to remove the dirt, debris and dust that accumulates. However, the dirt that accumulates in air ducts is difficult to see with the naked eye.
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Air duct cleaning is not really just cleaning the air ducts; it encompasses cleaning the entire HVAC system to be effective. If all components aren’t cleaned, there will be minimal resulting benefits. These components include:
blower motor and assembly
The air ducts in your home or business are part of the overall HVAC system that circulates air throughout. Whether there’s heat from the furnace or cold air from the air conditioner blowing, it all flows through the air ducts system. As you know,, your HVAC system runs several times a day, some days more than others, based on the temperatures outdoors.
When your air ducts (and other HVAC system components) are free of debris, the air that flows through them comes out clean and easy to breathe. The dirtier they are, the more polluted the air your family breathes will be. Getting your air ducts cleaned will remove dust and contaminants within the ductwork. This includes the supply and return air ducts as well as the registers and diffusers in each room.
Top 5 Reasons to Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned
There are many benefits to have your air ducts professionally cleaned. We’ve listed the top five below.
1. Allergy Relief
Individuals sensitive to dust, pollen and other contaminants can breathe a lot easier when they’re not circulating in the home, office or other commercial building. Allergens like bacteria, fungi and even mold can accumulate in the air ducts. Young babies and children, those with asthma and other respiratory ailments and the elderly are all more susceptible to these allergens.
2. Mold Treatment
Air duct systems are often located in basements, which can be damp. The basements may even have had water leaks or flooding. This moisture is a breeding ground for mold, which can also grow inside the air ducts. To completely remediate the ducts for the mold, the professionals will perform extra steps to prevent future mold growth.
3. Remove Pet Hair and Dander
If you have or have had animals living in the home or your business welcomes or treats animals, most of them usually shed hair and dander. Even if you’ve never had an animal in the building, the previous owners may have. The fur from the animals travels through the air vents and can result in a build-up of germs, fungus and bacteria. It may even reduce the efficiency of the HVAC unit due to the accumulation of hair in the system.
4. Increase HVAC Efficiency
The accumulation of debris and other pollutants in the ductwork will impact the airflow of your HVAC system. Even insects and rodents may have died and gotten trapped in the ducts. Professional air duct cleaning can remove the buildup, which will increase the system’s efficiency. When the fans and motors don’t have to work as hard or as often to circulate the air, your HVAC system will last longer and your utility bills will decrease.
5. Remove Unpleasant Odors
Just imagine all the smells that circulate throughout your home on a regular basis. Cooking, painting, cleaning, chemicals used in cleaning, smoking and others can all cause unpleasant odors to accumulate on surfaces. Your air ducts aren’t exempt from that buildup. So as your HVAC system circulates the air, the odors are repeatedly distributed through the air. Cleaning the ducts will result in a cleaner and fresher-smelling home.
When to Get Your Air Ducts Cleaned
We recommend getting your air ducts cleaned every 3-5 years under normal circumstances. However, you may want to schedule your air duct cleaning more frequently if you:
Live or work in an older building
Have pets or other animals
Have someone with allergies or respiratory illness living or working in the building
Have a problem with excess dust
Allow smoking in the building
There are certain signs that may indicate that it’s time to have your air ducts cleaned:
You can see an accumulation of dust and debris in the ducts or registers/vents.
The amount of dust that builds up in the building has increased.
Occupants have an increase in their allergy symptoms or respiratory problems.
There are also unique events and situations when you should consider getting them cleaned as soon as possible.
The Home or Business Building Is Newly Built or It Has Undergone a Renovation.
When a a home or commercial building is constructed or remodeled, there can be lots of debris flying around that gets into the ductwork. It’s especially important if the remodeling included asbestos abatement, lead paint removal, or generated a significant amount of dust and debris.
There Is a Vermin Infestation.
If there is evidence of animals, rodents or insects inside the building or you notice them exiting your ductwork, you first need to exterminate and rid the building of the vermin. You’ll then need to have your air ducts cleaned ASAP to rid them of fir, droppings and dead insects.
You’ve Had a Mold Problem.
If your home or commercial building has experienced mold growth anywhere, the likelihood of it being inside your air ducts is pretty good. Mold spores travel through the air, so they are being circulated through your HVAC system through the ductwork. The priority is to remediate the mold firs, of course, then have the air ducts thoroughly cleaned by a professional.
Beware of Scammers
Although getting your air ducts cleaned has many benefits, there are companies who will take advantage of you because of your lack of knowledge on the subject. Make sure you do your due diligence when hiring anyone to clean your air ducts. The EPA has a plethora of information on their website that can help.
Basically, there are signs that you may be getting duped by “blow and go” air duct cleaning companies.
They charge a nominal fee and do a poor job of cleaning. Professional and certified air duct cleaning usually costs $400 and up, depending on the size of your building and issues encountered. Beware of the company who offers a coupon or other “special deal”. These are referred to as the “$49 bandits”. These companies may use that “special price” to get their foot in the door, then perform unneeded services that keep piling on the charges. Even worse, they won’t do a great job of thoroughly cleaning your air ducts.
You’re told you have mold or other toxic substances in your HVAC system. If the company doesn’t have expertise in mold remediation, they won’t have the expertise to determine that.
Want more info about how scammers operate? Watch this special Hidden Camera Investigation by Inside Edition.
How to Choose a Reputable Air Duct Cleaning Company
First and foremost, choose a company who is a member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). These companies have undergone training and certification with NADCA and follow the strict standards set forth by them for professional air duct cleaning.
And don’t think that if a company has the NADCA logo on their website or marketing material, that they are really certified. Unfortunately, there are air duct cleaning companies that illegally use the NADCA logo or claim to be NADCA members when they are not. The best way to ensure that the company you hire is indeed a NADCA member is to look up the company in NADCA's Find a Professional Directory or contact NADCA Headquarters to verify membership at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to become a NADCA member, a company must:
Have at least one NADCA certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialist (ASCS) on staff.
Maintain general liability insurance.
Agree to clean according to ACR, the NADCA Standard.
Comply with NADCA’s Code of Ethics.
All ASCS certified individuals must acquire continuing education credits to maintain certification each year.
Members of NADCA will use the proper equipment needed to clean the HVAC system. They may use either or both truck-mounted and portable vacuums, depending on the specific needs of the job. They will use high pressured air that cleans the entire area of the ductwork without any debris escaping into the interior of the building.
St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration Is a Certified NADCA Member
At St. Louis Cleaning and Restoration, we value our NADCA certification, so all of our technicians are trained in and follow their guidelines. We don’t offer scammy specials to lure you in. We are upfront about our process and estimates.
If you’re a home or business owner and not sure whether you would benefit from a professional air duct cleaning, request a free consultation. We’ll give you all the information you need to make a decision.