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Indoor air quality is a serious issue. Indoor air pollution is a growing problem, and thankfully, awareness about the problem is increasing. Many people mistakenly think that the air quality of their homes will improve by dusting, or having a vent hood over the stove with an exhaust fan that can remove vapors, steam and food smells. While using an exhaust fan and having a regular dusting routine help a lot, they aren’t enough to eliminate all of the pollutants and particulate matter that circulates through the air every day. We generate all sorts of contaminants just through our presence in our homes. Our pets produce dander, and dirt and dust are inevitable. The everyday household, laundry, and personal care products contain chemicals, some of which are released into the air. The HVAC system recirculates your home’s air and everything in it as many as five to seven times a day. Inevitably, this means that your HVAC system is recirculating pollutants and contaminants. Dirty air ducts may contribute to breathing and other health related issues, especially for people who have asthma, allergies, and autoimmune diseases and disorders.
How do HVAC Cleaning and Air Duct Cleaning Differ?
Before you decide to have your air ducts cleaned, you should understand what it is, what it involves, and why it is done. The EPA explains that the term “air duct cleaning” is used to describe the process of cleaning the different components that make up the complete forced air HVAC system. When you have your air ducts cleaned, you should also get a thorough HVAC cleaning at the same time. Air duct cleaning is something that happens when you’re having the entire HVAC system cleaned. This complete cleaning process should include cleaning all of the supply and return air ducts (that you can’t see,) diffusers, grilles, registers, cooling coils, heat exchangers, drip or condensate pans, the fan housing unit and the fan motor that is inside the unit, and the housing for the air handling unit. There is no point in having your air ducts cleaned unless they are being cleaned as part of a complete HVAC cleaning and maintenance service.
Reasons to Have Professional Air Duct Cleaning
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) advises homeowners to assume that their air ducts are dirty if they look dirty. The organization goes further to recommend that homeowners have their entire HVAC systems evaluated by qualified, licensed, and certified professionals. The EPA stresses the importance of making sure that the company you hire to clean your HVAC system is qualified to clean all of the components in the system. Make sure they are willing to clean every component in the system. If they don’t clean everything, there is a significant likelihood that the entire system will become contaminated again. If that happens, you will have wasted a lot of money for nothing.
Saving Energy and Extending the Life of Your Equipment
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, contaminants like dirt, dust, and debris clog HVAC systems, making them work harder to maintain the comfort of your home or business. Filters only trap a small fraction of the pollutants. The result, according to the EPA, is that 24 to 40 percent of total heating and cooling energy is wasted. That amounts to throwing money away. Clogged air ducts and dirty areas inside the HVAC system will force the air conditioner and heating system work harder to do the same job.
Indoor Air Quality Issues
If you are thinking about duct cleaning, you are undoubtedly concerned about the air quality inside your home. Throughout the year, the average six-room house generates as much as 40-pounds of dust from nothing more than your family’s everyday living. Think of your home’s HVAC system as its respiratory system. It takes air in and expels it, just as we do.
Typical Methods Used to Clean an HVAC System and Air Ducts
The NADCA, which is the main industry association for air duct cleaning, has established standards by which all licensed industry specialists should adhere. While the methods that professional HVAC cleaning and air duct cleaning specialists use may vary, most providers rely on special tools to loosen dirt, dust, particles, and debris that may cling to the insides of duct work throughout a home. After loosening the “gunk,” they use a super high-powered vacuum cleaner to suck out the filth.