Most people barely give their home’s ventilation system much thought. Your home’s ventilation system is one part of a typical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. The ductwork, filters, air handler and plenum are all needed to move treated air (either hot or cold) through your home. If you own a small business that uses an HVAC system, the same concepts apply. The combined volume of a typical building’s ductwork is equal to a whole additional room in a single-family home. At some point, you will consider ventilation system cleaning and wonder, is it worth it?
Air Filters & Ventilation System Cleaning
Air filters should definitely be cleaned (if they are permanent filters) or replaced (if disposable) periodically. If you have disposable filters, spend the most you can reasonably afford on replacements. The better the filter, the longer your HVAC system will last.
That said, the other secret to keeping your system clean and free-flowing is to replace filters frequently (under some conditions, monthly replacement is wise). Home Advisor says a typical central air conditioning system costs over $5,000 to install; do not undermine your investment and risk mechanical failure by refusing to spend $5 a month or so on clean, new filters.
Permanent filters generally require professional maintenance, which will include removal, inspection, thorough cleaning using the correct equipment, and replacement.
A reliable, trustworthy HVAC contractor will clean the interior of your system’s plenum and the air handler as part of a typical servicing call. The plenum may have very little dust or grime inside it, but a quick wipe-down will improve airflow.
The air handler — fan, motor, pulley wheel and belt — need regular service to keep the heated or cooled air flowing. A typical cleaning service call will include belt inspection, motor oiling, and lubrication of bearings.
Your decision to have the interior surfaces of your home’s or business’s ductwork cleaned could be influenced by all these considerations:
- Family or employee health conditions such as allergies, compromised respiratory systems, or infirmity due to very young or very advanced age
- Local environmental conditions, such as living in a highly pollen-laden region, near industry, or near agricultural fields that may have pesticides, fertilizers, or numerous insects
- Geography, with emphasis on latitudes and states that enjoy abundant sunshine (and increased growing seasons), high levels of allergens, or windborne dust, silt, or salt
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) points out that “Duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems.” The agency goes on to say that, done improperly, duct cleaning can worsen indoor air quality. That means the very solution you sought to help your employees or family with allergy relief may make them even sicker!
Done properly, duct cleaning can improve the efficiency of your system’s HVAC units, provide cleaner indoor air for your family or customers, and increase the lifespan of your equipment. Filters on equipment are not there for your lungs; they are in place to prevent debris from striking and harming the interior of your furnace or central air conditioner.
How Much is Ventilation System Cleaning
The same experts at Home Advisor peg the national average for duct cleaning at $357, but caution that the range can be as low as $267 up to as high as $474. Cleaning may be worth the cost to you for peace of mind. The next time your system turns on, you will not see a puff of dust from registers or a spray of particles from AC vents.
On the other hand, consider the EPA’s advice, and lock in a reliable, expert duct cleaning service to avoid any problems.
For over 20 years, we have been helping people who are working on improving indoor air quality with Indoor Environmental Surveys and Ventilation Systems Cleaning by providing high quality workmanship with unparalleled customer service to both residential and commercial customers. Our staff of professionals are dedicated to serving your specific needs from the moment you contact us until the completion of your remediation project. Visit our website or contact us today for more information or to schedule your mold remediation consultation.