FAQ by Air Duct Cleaning Customers

Does cleaning of HVAC system have any health benefits?

HVAC (Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system) acts as a source of collection for various contaminants with the potential of affecting our health, like mold, bacteria, fungi, and minute dust particles. The elimination of the contaminants from home and HVAC systems should be put into consideration as a major part of the overall plan in improving quality of air indoors.

How can one determine how effective the HVAC system is?

The greatest way to find out whether the cleaning of an HVAC system was effective is by performing a visual inspection of such systems prior to and even after cleaning. If some debris and dust are visualized during the inspection, that system shouldn't be regarded as cleaned. One can conduct their own visual inspection via a mirror and flashlight. However, professional cleaning contractors use special inspection equipment that can reach all the system components.

What duration does it take in cleaning a typical residential HVAC system?

The duration of cleaning a home HVAC system relies on several variables, like the home size, the system numbers, the length of contamination and the number of cleaners doing the work. Get a minimum of 2 contractors to carry out the inspection and offer a given timeframe for your specific system. This offers an overall idea of the job duration and a clue of how efficient the contractor is.

How many times should one clean the residential HVAC systems?

The cleaning frequency depends on a number of factors, but in most cases, the homeowner's preference. Some issues that may guide homeowners on considering frequent cleaning are:

  • Smokers present in the house.
  • Pets shedding high number of dander and hair.
  • Damage to HVAC system or home or water contamination.
  • People with asthma or allergies that may benefit from lowering the quantity of air pollutants within the home's HVAC system.
  • After renovation or remodeling of homes.
  • Before occupying a new home.

How should one clean the residential HVAC?

The most efficient method of cleaning ventilation and air duct systems is employing Source Removal cleaning methods. The contractor should put the system on negative pressure using special and powerful vacuum. As the vacuum sucks air via the system, the devices are placed into the ducts in order to dislodge debris that may remain stuck to the inner surfaces. Debris then moves down through ducts to the system vacuum, thereby removing it from your home and system.

What are the antimicrobial chemicals and what would be the reason for their use?

Antimicrobial chemicals are used by certain companies in the air duct inner surface to get rid of microbial contamination, like fungi (mold), bacteria, or viruses. Prior to the use of antimicrobial chemicals, the system must be cleaned thoroughly. It is essential that all antimicrobial treatment employed in the system must be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, particularly for the HVAC system use. The antimicrobial chemical use is an extra service and is not a typical cleaning project for air ducts.

What procedure should one employ in choosing an HVAC system cleaner?

Interview local contractors and invite them to your home for inspection and offer you a quotation. To choose a reliable contractor, one can go by the pre-qualifications listed below:

  • Ensure that the company of choice is an active member of NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association).
  • Ensure the company has done business for a long period of time and has enough experience.
  • Get evidence that the company is adequately licensed and insured.
  • Verify the company's certification by NADCA to conduct HVAC system cleaning.
  • Ensure that the company not only cleans but also visually inspects every related system components and air ducts.
  • Ignore advertisement and sales gimmicks.
  • Inquire whether the company has the correct equipment to efficiently clean the system, and also if it has performed that work in other homes with a similar size as yours.
  • Get references from your neighbors if you can.

What's the normal cost range of HVAC cleaning services?

According to Environmental Protection Agency, the price of duct cleaning services often ranges from $450 to $1000 for every cooling and heating system, based on the services provided, the size of the HVAC system to be cleaned, accessibility of the system, climatic condition, contamination level and duct material type.

Consumers should be careful about air duct cleaning companies which make sweeping and unsubstantiated claims concerning duct cleaning health benefits. Clients should also be wary about companies that employ "blow-and-go" methods of cleaning air ducts. Such companies usually charge people some nominal fee and conduct a poor cleaning of the cooling and heating system. The companies may even convince the clients to have unnecessary services.

What kind of equipment is more effective in cleaning HVAC systems; truck mounted or portable vacuums?

There are two kinds of major vacuum collection devices: the ones mounted on trailers and trucks, and the portable units. Generally, trailer/tuck mounted tools are more powerful compared to portable equipment. But the latter can be placed directly into the facility, permitting the source of vacuum to be put near the duct-work.

Every vacuum unit must be connected to some collection device to have safe containment before disposal. All vacuum collection appliances that exhaust indoors should be filtered by HEPA.

The employment of tools and methods designed for agitation of debris stuck on surfaces within the systems, together with the employment of vacuum collection appliances (such as air whips, brushes and "skipper balls."), is necessary in cleaning HVAC systems.

Why should one select a member of NADCA to clean their air ducts?

NADCA Members have signed a Code of Ethics stating that they will protect the clients and observe NADCA Standards. Air duct cleaning companies should meet certain strict requirements and rules to become a NADCA Member. Every member of NADCA must possess Air System Cleaning Specialists (ASCS), indicating that they have passed the NADCA Certification Examination. This shows a wide knowledge in HVAC cleaning and design methods. ASCSs must also further the industry education by going to seminars.

Do HVAC system cleaning lower home energy bills?

A certain EPA research demonstrated that it may permit systems to work efficiently by eliminating debris from mechanical components that are sensitive. Efficient and clean systems don't break down easily, last longer, and are more effective. This translates to reduced energy bills.