Air Duct Cleaning

Take a close look into a ray of sunshine beaming through your living room and what will you see? Millions of dust particles dancing around the light! These tiny dust particles may result from a combination of triggers in the home, including the air ducts. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), air duct cleaning is "the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heating and cooling coils, drip pans, fan motor and housing, and the air handling unit housing."

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Why Perform Air Duct Cleaning?

If air ducts are not cleaned regularly, there is a potential for mold and fungi growth, which can be released into the air through the mechanical components of the system with dust particles and other debris. Air duct cleaning can help eliminate air contamination, allergic reactions, and other respiratory conditions resulting from mold and dust particles. Air duct cleaning is done frequently in homes with smokers and pets and those with allergies or asthmatics. Air duct cleaning is also performed prior to occupying a new home or after renovations.

How Air Duct Cleaning Works

Basic air duct cleaning consists of using special equipment or tools to loosen dirt, mold, and debris from the system's surface and components of the air ducts. Once the debris has been loosened, it can be removed by using a powerful vacuum to push the particles through the air ducts, into vacuum and away from the home. This method of air duct cleaning is called "source removal." In some cases, in order to prevent the release of dust particles into the air and to control fungi growth, a variety of chemicals or sealants may be applied after ducts are thoroughly cleaned. These chemicals and sealants are designed to remain in the ducts instead of being released into the air.

The Equipment Used in Air Duct Cleaning

While source removal is the most popular method of duct cleaning, there are two types of vacuum equipment used for duct cleaning: truck mounted and portable. Truck mounted vacuum equipment is mounted on a truck or trailer and it is more powerful than portable equipment. Portable vacuum equipment is attached to a collection device allowing the provider to get closer to the ductwork. Portable equipment may exhaust indoors or outdoors. If the provider uses indoor equipment it must be HEPA (high efficiency particulate absorbing) filtered to prevent the redistribution of harmful particles.