Air Duct Cleaning
Knowledge about air duct cleaning is in the early stages and has never been shown to prevent health problems. Studies do not conclude that particle levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts.
You should consider having air ducts cleaned in your home IF:
- There is visible mold growth present in hard surface ducts or on components of your heating and cooling system.
- Ducts are infested with rodents or insects
- Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris or particles that are actually released into the home from your supply registers.
If any of the above conditions exist, it is highly recommended prior to any cleaning, retrofitting or replacing your ducts, the cause or causes be corrected or else the problem will likely recur.
Some researchers suggests that cleaning heating and cooling system components may improve the efficiency of your system, resulting in a longer operating life as well as some energy and maintenance costs.
The EPA does not recommend air ducts be cleaned routinely. ONLY AS NEEDED. HOWEVER, if you have a fuel burning furnace, stove or fireplace they need to be inspected for proper usage and serviced before heating season to protect against CO poisoning.
Please take precaution you normally would, in addressing the service provider’s competence and reliability. Some providers may suggest you need a chemical to kill germs and mold and some may suggest you need a sealant to prevent dust and dirt particles from being released into the air. UNDERSTAND the pros and cons of allowing the application of chemical biocides or sealants. This could be appropriate under specific circumstances. There are no chemical biocides currently registered by EPA for use in internally-insulated air duct system.
Preventing Duct Contamination:
- Use highest efficiency air filter recommended by the manufacturer of your system (use cheap ones)
- Change filters regularly
- If filters become clogged, than them more frequently
- Be sure not to have missing filters through gaps around filter holder
- Have your cooling coils and drain pans cleaned when being serviced
- During construction or renovation work, seal off supply and return registers and do not operate systems until dust has been cleaned
- Remove dust and vacuum your home regularly
- Operate and maintain the humidifier as recommended by the manufacturer if system has in-duct humidification.
Ducts should be prevented from becoming wet, to prevent this:
- Promptly and properly repair any leaks or water damage
- Pay particular attention to cooling coils, make sure condensate pan drains properly
- Make sure ducts are properly sealed and insulated in all non air conditioned spaces such as attics and crawl spaces.
- If you are replacing your heating and cooling system, make sure it is the proper size. One thing to remember is: Bigger is not always better.