Having your home’s duct systems inspected regularly and cleaned when necessary has many advantages, including maintaining healthy indoor air quality. Also, while many Northwestern Arkansas homeowners will think of spring and summer pollen when the allergy topic arises, air duct cleaning can help allergy sufferers all year round. Before you make an appointment with an HVAC contractor, though, here are six key tips to consider.
The importance of clean ductwork. HVAC systems maintain the comfortable environment that is your home, but simultaneously collect particulates and contaminants, including mold, fungi, bacteria and dust. A clean duct system will help protect your family’s health while ensuring that airflow through the ducts is maintained, for efficient heating and cooling.
Inspect before and after. Be sure to check the buildup in your ductwork before and after having them cleaned. You can use a flashlight and mirror to do this, but your contractor should help access many of its components.
Get a second opinion. Consult at least two trusted local contractors for estimates on cleaning time and methods. This will depend on duct system size, the extent of the dirt and contaminant issues in the ducts, and how many cleaners will be involved. But having an estimate will let you know what to expect. Make sure you use a reliable contractor, since some unscrupulous HVAC companies may oversell the need for duct cleaning and overcharge for the service.
The best way to clean. The most efficient method is Source Removal, which uses a powerful vacuum to remove contaminants from your air ducts. Contractors will insert other devices at the same time to dislodge any remaining debris.
Kill microbes. In addition to standard ductwork cleaning, you might consider having antimicrobial chemicals applied to the interior. These combat biological contaminants, but be sure that only chemicals certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are used.
Clean as needed:. How often you schedule air duct cleaning depends on circumstances in your home. A well-maintained forced-air heating and cooling system, with regular filter changes and no unusual environmental circumstances (e.g., dusty road, hairy pets), should only need infrequent duct cleanings. More regular cleaning is usually required due to:
- Moving into a new home
- Water contamination or damage
- Recent renovations or remodeling
- Household members who smoke
- Household members with allergies or asthma
- Pets that shed significant hair and dander
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air duct cleaning and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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