Duct cleaning may be of value to homeowners, despite the lack of definitive studies supporting its direct impact on indoor air quality. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) encourages homeowners to tread lightly when it comes to duct cleaning, recommending the service only in the following three scenarios:
- Mold – If mold is visibly present on the interior surfaces of the ducts, duct cleaning can remove the substance–and the HVAC equipment too. It follows that if there’s mold on the ducts, there’s probably mold on the HVAC system. In fact, the equipment may be the root of the problem. Before proceeding with duct cleaning, lab analysis should verify the presence of mold. Further, if insulated portions of the ducts are moldy or wet, they’ll need replaced.
- Vermin – Evidence of vermin like insects or rodents in the ducts is cause for duct cleaning. When present in the ducts, droppings and dander are spread into the home via the air flowing through the system.
- Dust – Supply registers clogged with dust and dirt may be an indication that significant dust is present in the ducts.
Standards exist for duct cleaning service providers, and you should be wary of hiring a duct contractor making exaggerated claims about its benefits. Choose a contractor with National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) certification, the industry’s leading certification organization, as well as one who will follow these standardized duct cleaning practices:
- Access the internal components of the air conditioner or furnace to inspect its condition and thoroughly clean it.
- Ensure that there’s no asbestos in the HVAC system before proceeding.
- Engage a high-powered vacuum to remove dust and other debris from the ducts, safely exhausting the materials outside, and preventing them from circulating inside the home. Normally, the service provider will employ the use of a High Efficiency Particular Air (HEPA) vacuum if the air isn’t exhausted outside.
- Take measures to protect the home.
- Brush the interior of the ducts to remove dirt.
- Seal and insulate portions of the ducts as necessary.
For more information about duct cleaning, or to schedule an appointment, contact Wolff Mechanical today! Proudly serving our neighbors in the Phoenix area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).