5 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Duct Cleaning


There’s no doubt that some unscrupulous contractors have done their share to impugn the value of this service. But it doesn’t help that assumptions, half-truths, distortions and inaccuracies actively swirl around duct cleaning like a wilted dandelion arching over an overworked compressor.

So let two leading and unbiased authorities on the subject — the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institutes of Health — cut right to the heart of matters by addressing the five things that nearly everyone gets wrong about duct cleaning.

Wrong: “From what I hear, duct cleaning is essentially vacuuming.”

Right: Duct cleaning involves much more than vacuuming. The EPA defines duct cleaning as “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, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing and the air handling unit housing.” Using specialized tools, a provider will dislodge dust, dirt and other debris from the ducts and then – yes – follow up with a high-powered vacuum.

Wrong: “Duct cleaning makes sense mostly for people whose homes or businesses have recently undergone a dusty remodeling or renovation project.”

Right: This certainly is one determining factor. But the EPA makes it clear that two other conditions might make duct cleaning worthwhile, too. Perhaps the more worrisome is the presence of mold growth on the ducts or other components of the heating and cooling system – or the precursor: the smell of mold emanating from the ducts. Remember, too: even though a substance might look like mold, only a laboratory analysis can tell for certain. And the cause of the mold growth must be corrected, or the mold will simply return. Insects and rodents that have sought a “safe harbor” within ducts also might necessitate duct cleaning.

Wrong: “My doctor says duct cleaning is geared toward people with allergy and respiratory problems.”

Right: It’s true that the EPA says that you might wish to consider duct cleaning if someone “suffers from allergies or unexplained symptoms or illnesses and if, after a visual inspection of the inside of the ducts, you see no indication that your air ducts are contaminated with large deposits of dust or mold.” At the same time, the EPA acknowledges that no scientific studies, to date, draw a direct link between duct cleaning and better health. Without conclusive evidence, many physicians rely on deductive reasoning and recommend duct cleaning as a sensible, proactive measure for patients who suffer from myriad breathing difficulties.

Wrong: “It sounds like I can’t do anything about what lands in my ducts anyway.”

Right: Actually, you can take several steps to prevent dust, dirt and other airborne particles from entering your ducts:

  • Use a high-efficiency filter
  • Change the filter regularly
  • Remove dust and vacuum your home or place of business regularly
  • Seal off supply and return registers during a remodeling or renovation project
  • Remain vigilant about regular HVAC inspections

Wrong: “The average consumer can’t tell one duct cleaning service from another anyway; they all seem to be the same.”

Right: This is probably the most dangerous assumption of all. Only the most reputable indoor air quality experts belong to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, which sets the industry standard for duct cleaning.

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of having your ductwork cleaned, contact SanAir TODAY! Visit our website and learn more: SANAIRCLEAN.com

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