What to Expect From an Air Duct Cleaning Service Provider
Should you choose to have your ducts cleaned, the service provider need to:
Open access ports or doors to permit the entire system to become cleaned and inspected.
Inspect the method ahead of cleaning to be certain that you'll find no asbestos-containing materials (e.g., insulation, register boots, and so on.) inside the heating and cooling technique. Asbestos-containing supplies require specialized procedures and really should not be disturbed or removed except by specially trained and equipped contractors.
Use vacuum equipment that exhausts particles outside on the home or use only high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) vacuuming gear in the event the vacuum exhausts inside the home.
Defend carpet and household furnishings during cleaning.
Use well-controlled brushing of duct surfaces in conjunction with contact vacuum cleaning to dislodge dust as well as other particles.
Use only soft-bristled brushes for fiberglass duct board and sheet metal ducts internally lined with fiberglass. (Despite the fact that flex duct also can be cleaned working with soft-bristled brushes, it may be more economical to merely replace accessible flex duct.)
Take care to defend the duct operate, like sealing and re-insulating any access holes the service provider may have made or made use of so they are airtight.
Adhere to NADCA's requirements for air duct cleaning and NAIMA's recommended practice for ducts containing fiber glass lining or constructed of fiber glass duct board.
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Tips on how to Decide when the Duct Cleaner Did A Thorough Job
A thorough visual inspection is definitely the best solution to verify the cleanliness of the heating and cooling method. Some service providers use remote photography to document circumstances inside ducts. All portions from the system ought to be visibly clean; you need to not have the ability to detect any debris together with the naked eye. Show the Post-Cleaning Customer Checklist for the service provider prior to the operate starts. Right after finishing the job, ask the service provider to show you every element of the method to verify that the job was performed satisfactorily.
In the event you answer "No" to any with the concerns around the checklist, this may possibly indicate a problem with the job. Ask your service provider to appropriate any deficiencies till you may answer "yes" to all of the inquiries on the checklist.
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Suggestions for Choosing a Duct Cleaning Service Provider
To find companies that provide duct cleaning services, check your Yellow Pages under "duct cleaning" or contact the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) at the address and phone number in the information section located at the end of this guidance. Do not assume that all duct cleaning service providers are equally knowledgeable and responsible. Talk to at least three different service providers and get written estimates before deciding whether to have your ducts cleaned. When the service providers come to your home, ask them to show you the contamination that would justify having your ducts cleaned.
Do not hire duct cleaners who make sweeping claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning — such claims are unsubstantiated. Do not hire duct cleaners who recommend duct cleaning as a routine part of your heating and cooling system maintenance. You should also be wary of duct cleaners who claim to be certified by EPA. Note: EPA neither establishes duct cleaning standards nor certifies, endorses, or approves duct cleaning companies.
Check references to be sure other customers were satisfied and did not experience any problems with their heating and cooling system after cleaning.
Contact your county or city office of consumer affairs or local Better Business Bureau to determine if complaints have been lodged against any of the companies you are considering.
Interview potential service providers to ensure:
- they are experienced in duct cleaning and have worked on systems like yours;
- they will use procedures to protect you, your pets and your home from contamination; and
- they comply with NADCA's air duct cleaning standards and, if your ducts are constructed of fiber glass duct board or insulated internally with fiber glass duct liner, with the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association's (NAIMA) recommendations.
Ask the service provider whether they hold any relevant state licenses. As of 1996, the following states require air duct cleaners to hold special licenses: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Texas. Other states may require them as well.
If the service provider charges by the hour, request an estimate of the number of hours or days the job will take, and find out whether there will be interruptions in the work. Make sure the duct cleaner you choose will provide a written agreement outlining the total cost and scope of the job before work begins.
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Understanding in regards to the potential advantages and doable issues of air duct cleaning is restricted. Due to the fact conditions in each and every household are unique, it is actually impossible to generalize about whether or not or not air duct cleaning within your dwelling would be useful.
If nobody inside your household suffers from allergies or unexplained symptoms or illnesses and if, immediately after a visual inspection of your inside in the ducts, you see no indication that your air ducts are contaminated with huge deposits of dust or mold (no musty odor or visible mold development), having your air ducts cleaned is in all probability unnecessary. It really is typical for the return registers to have dusty as dust-laden air is pulled via the grate. This does not indicate that your air ducts are contaminated with heavy deposits of dust or debris; the registers is usually quickly vacuumed or removed and cleaned.
However, if loved ones members are experiencing uncommon or unexplained symptoms or illnesses that you simply feel may possibly be related to your home atmosphere, you should discuss the scenario along with your medical professional. EPA has published the following publications for guidance on identifying achievable indoor air high quality difficulties and approaches to prevent or repair them.
Indoor Air Good quality: An Introduction for Health Specialists
The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air High-quality
You may think about obtaining your air ducts cleaned merely since it appears logical that air ducts will get dirty over time and really should occasionally be cleaned. Even though the debate regarding the worth of periodic duct cleaning continues, no evidence suggests that such cleaning will be detrimental, provided that it is completed appropriately.
Alternatively, if a service provider fails to adhere to correct duct cleaning procedures, duct cleaning can cause indoor air difficulties. For example, an inadequate vacuum collection technique can release a lot more dust, dirt along with other contaminants than when you had left the ducts alone. A careless or inadequately educated service provider can harm your ducts or heating and cooling system, possibly growing your heating and air conditioning costs or forcing you to undertake tricky and costly repairs or replacements.
You ought to look at possessing the air ducts within your residence cleaned if:
There is certainly substantial visible mold growth inside tough surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling program. There are many critical points to understand concerning mold detection in heating and cooling systems:
Lots of sections of your heating and cooling method might not be accessible for a visible inspection, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they say exists.
You ought to be conscious that though a substance may perhaps appear like mold, a optimistic determination of irrespective of whether it is mold or not might be made only by an specialist and might demand laboratory evaluation for final confirmation. For about $50, some microbiology laboratories can let you know irrespective of whether a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or basically a substance that resembles it.
Should you have insulated air ducts as well as the insulation gets wet or moldy it can't be properly cleaned and ought to be removed and replaced.
In the event the circumstances causing the mold growth in the first location usually are not corrected, mold growth will recur.
Ducts are infested with vermin, e.g. (rodents or insects)
Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are really released in to the home from your provide registers.
Other Significant Considerations
Duct cleaning has by no means been shown to essentially avert health difficulties. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in properties raise due to dirty air ducts or go down just after cleaning. That is for the reason that a great deal on the dirt that may perhaps accumulate inside air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and will not necessarily enter the living space. It can be significant to help keep in thoughts that dirty air ducts are only among many attainable sources of particles which might be present in houses. Pollutants that enter the house each from outdoors and indoor activities like cooking, cleaning, smoking, or just moving about can cause higher exposure to contaminants than dirty air ducts. Moreover, there's no proof that a light amount of household dust or other particulate matter in air ducts poses any threat to well being.
EPA doesn't suggest that air ducts be cleaned except on an as-needed basis as a result of the continuing uncertainty about the positive aspects of duct cleaning below most circumstances. EPA does, however, advocate that for those who have a fuel burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, they be inspected for correct functioning and serviced before every heating season to safeguard against carbon monoxide poisoning. Some research also suggests that cleaning dirty cooling coils, fans and heat exchangers can strengthen the efficiency of heating and cooling systems. Nevertheless, little proof exists to indicate that just cleaning the duct system will enhance your system's efficiency.
In the event you consider duct cleaning could be a superb concept for the house, but that you are not positive, talk to a professional. The organization that services your heating and cooling technique can be a great source of suggestions. You might also desire to speak to experienced duct cleaning service providers and ask them regarding the solutions they deliver. Try to remember, they are wanting to sell you a service, so ask concerns and insist on complete and knowledgeable answers.
RamAir International, Inc.
62900 Mercury Place
Bend, OR 97701
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What is Air Duct Cleaning?
Most of the people are now aware that indoor air pollution is definitely an problem of growing concern and increased visibility. A lot of firms are marketing products and solutions intended to improve the good quality of your indoor air. You may have in all probability noticed an advertisement, received a coupon in the mail, or been approached directly by a organization offering to clean your air ducts as a indicates of enhancing your home's indoor air high quality. These services usually - but not always - range in expense from $450 to $1,000 per heating and cooling program, depending on:
the solutions supplied
the size of the program to be cleaned
degree of contamination
If you decide to have your heating and cooling program cleaned, it crucial to make sure the service provider agrees to clean all components on the technique and is qualified to accomplish so.
Duct cleaning usually refers to the cleaning of several heating and cooling method components of forced air systems, such as the provide and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and also the air handling unit housing (See diagram).
If not adequately installed, maintained and operated, these components might develop into contaminated with particles of dust, pollen or other debris. If moisture is present, the possible for microbiological growth (e.g., mold) is improved and spores from such development may possibly be released into the home's living space. Some of these contaminants may cause allergic reactions or other symptoms in folks if they are exposed to them. Should you make a decision to possess your heating and cooling method cleaned, it is vital to make positive the service provider agrees to clean all elements in the system and is certified to accomplish so. Failure to clean a element of a contaminated program can result in re-contamination of your entire system, as a result negating any potential positive aspects. Approaches of duct cleaning differ, even though requirements happen to be established by market associations concerned with air duct cleaning. Usually, a service provider will use specialized tools to dislodge dirt along with other debris in ducts, then vacuum them out with a high-powered vacuum cleaner.
Additionally, the service provider may perhaps propose applying chemical biocides, designed to kill microbiological contaminants, to the inside with the duct perform and to other system elements. Some service providers could also recommend applying chemical treatment options (sealants or other encapsulants) to encapsulate or cover the inside surfaces with the air ducts and equipment housings due to the fact they believe it will handle mold development or prevent the release of dirt particles or fibers from ducts. These practices have however to become fully researched and also you need to be completely informed before deciding to permit the usage of biocides or chemical treatments inside your air ducts. They need to only be applied, if at all, soon after the method has been adequately cleaned of all visible dust or debris.
Note: Use of sealants to encapsulate the inside surfaces of ducts is really a unique practice than sealing duct air leaks. Sealing duct air leaks can assist save energy on heating and cooling bills. For far more information and facts, see EPA's Power Star web page.
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Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned?
Expertise about air duct cleaning is in its early stages, so a blanket recommendation can't be offered as to irrespective of whether you ought to have your air ducts in your household cleaned. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urges you to read this document in it entirety because it supplies vital info on the topic.
Duct cleaning has under no circumstances been shown to essentially protect against wellness complications. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes boost because of dirty air ducts. This really is due to the fact a lot from the dirt in air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space. It's important to keep in mind that dirty air ducts are only one of several probable sources of particles that happen to be present in properties. Pollutants that enter the house both from outdoors and indoor activities like cooking, cleaning, smoking, or just moving around can cause greater exposure to contaminants than dirty air ducts. Moreover, there is absolutely no evidence that a light quantity of household dust or other particulate matter in air ducts poses any danger to your wellness.
You need to look at obtaining the air ducts in your residence cleaned if:
There is substantial visible mold growth inside really hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling technique. You will discover various essential points to know regarding mold detection in heating and cooling systems:
Lots of sections of your heating and cooling technique may not be accessible to get a visible inspection, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they say exists.
You ought to be aware that though a substance may perhaps appear like mold, a constructive determination of irrespective of whether it really is mold or not may be made only by an specialist and may perhaps call for laboratory evaluation for final confirmation. For about $50, some microbiology laboratories can let you know whether or not a sample sent to them on a clear strip of sticky household tape is mold or simply a substance that resembles it.
In case you have insulated air ducts along with the insulation gets wet or moldy it cannot be successfully cleaned and need to be removed and replaced.
If the circumstances causing the mold development inside the initial location are not corrected, mold growth will recur.
Ducts are infested with vermin, e.g. (rodents or insects).
Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are essentially released in to the dwelling out of your provide registers.
If any in the conditions identified above exists, it generally suggests a single or much more underlying causes. Prior to any cleaning, retrofitting, or replacing of one's ducts, the cause or causes ought to be corrected or else the problem will probably recur.
Some analysis suggests that cleaning heating and cooling method components (e.g., cooling coils, fans and heat exchangers) may possibly strengthen the efficiency of one's system, resulting within a longer operating life, in addition to some power and maintenance cost savings. Nevertheless, little proof exists that cleaning only the ducts will boost the efficiency from the system.
You could consider obtaining your air ducts cleaned simply because it seems logical that air ducts will get dirty over time and really should be occasionally cleaned. Supplied that the cleaning is performed adequately, no proof suggests that such cleaning could be detrimental. EPA does not propose that the air ducts be cleaned routinely, but only as necessary. EPA does, on the other hand, suggest that in case you have a fuel burning furnace, stove or fireplace, they be inspected for correct functioning and serviced prior to each heating season to defend against carbon monoxide poisoning.
In the event you do determine to have your air ducts cleaned, take the same customer precautions you typically would in assessing the service provider's competence and reliability.
Air duct cleaning service providers may perhaps tell you that they really need to apply chemical biocide to the inside of your ducts as a suggests to kill bacteria (germs) and fungi (mold) and avert future biological growth. They may also propose the application of a "sealant" to prevent dust and dirt particles from being released into the air or to seal air leaks. It is best to completely realize the benefits and drawbacks of permitting application of chemical biocides or sealants. Even though the targeted use of chemical biocides and sealants can be suitable under precise circumstances, investigation has not demonstrated their effectiveness in duct cleaning or their possible adverse health effects. No chemical biocides are at present registered by EPA for use in internally-insulated air duct systems (see Really should chemical biocides be applied to the inside of air ducts?).
Irrespective of whether or not you make a decision to possess the air ducts within your property cleaned, stopping water and dirt from getting into the program is definitely the most efficient method to prevent contamination (see How you can Avoid Duct Contamination).
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