What is Duct Cleaning?
The awareness that indoor air pollution is an issue has steadily grown amongst Homeowners. Many companies are marketing products and services intended to improve the quality of your indoor air. You have probably seen an advertisement, received a coupon in the mail, or been approached directly by a company offering to clean your air ducts as a means of improving your home’s indoor air quality. These services typically — but not always — range in cost from $650 to $1,500 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climatic region, and level of contamination.
Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply 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 the air handling unit housing.
If not properly installed, maintained, and operated, these components may become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen or other debris. If moisture is present, the potential for microbiological growth (e.g., mold) is increased and spores from such growth may be released into the home’s living space. Some of these contaminants may cause allergic reactions or other symptoms in people if they are exposed to them. If you decide to have your heating and cooling system cleaned, it is important to make sure the service provider agrees to clean all components of the system and is qualified to do so. Failure to clean a component of a contaminated system can result in re-contamination of the entire system, thus negating any potential benefits. Methods of duct cleaning vary, although standards have been established by industry associations concerned with air duct cleaning. Typically, a service provider will use specialized tools to dislodge dirt and other debris in ducts, then vacuum them out with a high-powered vacuum cleaner.
In addition, the service provider may propose applying chemical biocides, designed to kill microbiological contaminants, to the inside of the duct work and to other system components. Some service providers may also suggest applying chemical treatments (sealants or other encapsulants) to seal or cover the inside surfaces of the air ducts and equipment housings because they believe the sealant will control mold growth or prevent the release of dirt particles or fibers from ducts. These practices have yet to be fully researched and you should be fully informed before deciding to permit the use of biocides or sealants in your air ducts. They should only be applied, if at all, after the system has been properly cleaned of all visible dust or debris.
What is your IAQ?
Indoor Air Quality
For years Americans have thought of air pollution solely as an outdoor phenomenon. But recent studies have revealed some alarming statistics about the air we breathe indoors at our home and at work it may be 10 to 90 times more polluted than the air outdoors.
Indoor Air quality (IAQ) refers to the cleanliness and environmental comfort of the air within your home. One major cause of poor IAQ is the dust, dirt, mold, and moisture that accumulates within your home air conditioning duct system and indoor air equipment.
Poorly maintained heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to act as a collection source for a variety of contaminants, such as; mold, fungi, bacteria, and very small particles of dust and debris, that have the potential to affect health. 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.