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Duct Sanitization

Air from your room travels through vent covers into the ducts and to the main unit where the air is cooled before returning to your rooms. The air that enters the ducts contains dust, pet dander, pet hair, dead skin cells, pollen spores, and dirt. All of that can get trapped in the ducts and on the evaporator coils in your AC system.

Evaporator coils are the perfect grounds for microbes, such as fungal and bacterial growths, to grow and multiply. Air travels to the cooling coils to be conditioned before it goes back into the home or business where it leaves vents as cool air. Moisture pools up and leaves the system through condensate lines, but some water remains and collects on the coils.

As these microbes grow, some of them are picked up and go back into the ducts. Ducts may also start growing some microbes adding to the problem, as they eventually exit through the floor or wall vents. Those microbes are now in the air you’re breathing.

There’s a second problem. Microbes create a layer on the coils. That layer acts as insulation making it harder to effectively transfer the heat to the outside air. The air conditioning system works harder and becomes less efficient.

Why Would You Add Duct Sanitization?

Efficiency and safety are the two biggest reasons to consider duct sanitization services. If you allow mold spores to enter your home, they can cling to walls and ceilings. Before you know it, you could have a serious mold issue in your home, requiring expensive mold remediation services.

Is it really that bad? Yes, it is. BobVila.com reports mold remediation costs between $10 to $25 per square foot. A whole house mold remediation service could cost as much as $30,000 plus materials. You can prevent this by making sure your AC ducts are cleaned and sanitized.

Mold is just one issue. Bacteria can lead to serious diseases. Some of the bacteria commonly found in air conditioning systems include Clostridia, Legionella, Listeria, Staphylococci, and Streptococci. Do you know what these are?

  • Clostridia: Clostridia is a type of anaerobe that is linked to diseases like botulism, food poisoning, and tetanus.
  • Legionella: You may have heard of Legionnaires disease? It was found after military veterans attended a convention in 1976. It spreads through air conditioning systems with ease and causes the form of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ and also Pontiac fever, a flu-like disease.
  • Listeria: Listeria is a bacterium that usually comes from food poisoning and causes severe illness in people with compromised immune systems, older adults, infants, and pregnant women.  Symptoms usually appear a couple of weeks after ingesting the food and include confusion/disorientation, issues with balance, headaches, muscle aches, fever, and fatigue.
  • Micrococcus: Typically, people exposed to micrococcus don’t become ill, but it can cause problems in people with weakened immune systems. Meningitis and pneumonia are two of the most common illnesses linked to these bacteria.
  • Mycobacterium Bovis: If you breathe in Mycobacterium Bovis, you may never feel sick even if you have a latent infection. Only 2% of Americans ever get tuberculosis, however, thanks to the use of pasteurization of milk.
  • Staphylococci: Staph infections are something you’re probably familiar with. Most people develop minor infections in cuts or openings on the skin. For others, the infections can be serious.
  • Streptococci: Streptococcal infections range from strep throat and cellulitis to pneumonia and Scarlet Fever.

Those are all reasons it’s important to get your air ducts inspected and cleaned for your safety. There’s one more. It’s possible for mice and other rodents to find their way into the ducts. If they die while in a duct, you now have a decomposing animal in your duct. The odor is bad enough, but you’re also breathing in the particles from that decomposition. No one wants to be exposed to that.

An inspection will find these issues. If dead animals or microbes are found, add a duct sanitization service to a thorough cleaning.

How is Duct Sanitization Completed?

How do the experts at All Year Cooling complete duct sanitization? The ducts are inspected and cleaned. If animals are found in the ducts, it’s important to find where they’re getting in and seal those openings. If the damage is bad enough, sections of ductwork may need replacing.

Once these steps are completed, a disinfectant is used to coat the interior surfaces of the ducts. It’s an EPA-approved and registered disinfectant that kills bacteria, viruses, and fungus without creating odors. This product neutralizes everything from mold spores to COVID-19 and other viruses.

Will you experience any issues after the air duct sanitization service? Some people experience minor skin irritation at first, but that’s rare. Most people don’t notice any sign of the sanitizing agent. If you are sensitive to cleaning products, talk to the experts at All Year for more information about the sanitizers we use.

Schedule an Appointment

When was the last time anyone performed a duct cleaning or inspection? You should have your ducts inspected, especially if your system isn’t cooling as well as it used to or you notice foul odors coming from your vents. All Year Cooling provides free inspections and can tell you if your ducts are in good shape. If they need cleaning, duct restoration, or sealing, we’ll explain what is needed, if anything, and why it’s necessary.

Duct sanitization is an add-on to a duct cleaning. If you have people in your home with severe allergies, asthma, or with a compromised immune system, it’s an essential service. Learn more by filling out All Year Cooling’s online service request form.

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