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Duct Cleaning

Duct cleaning services are essential when you own an air conditioning system, but how often should you have them cleaned? This is a tougher question to answer as it depends on several factors. Ask yourself these questions.

  • Are you seeing mold or mildew on hard surfaces in or around the ducts or on the AC components? Does your equipment look dirty?
  • Do you also have a wood stove or pellet stove that you use in the cooler months that produces extra dust and particles? How about pets that shed a lot of fur?
  • Do you see dust or debris in the supply registers?
  • Do you use a HEPA vacuum cleaner or does your vacuum emit dust when it’s running?
  • Does anyone in the home suffer from severe allergies or asthma?
  • Have you seen insects or rodents in or around the ducts?
  • Is your system not cooling your home as well as it did?
  • Was your home recently renovated? Did the contractors cover return registers to prevent construction dust from getting into your system?

If you’re answering yes to these questions, you may want to schedule duct cleanings more than others. The best way to know for sure is by asking a duct cleaning professional for input.

Home Duct Cleaning
Home Duct Cleaning
Home Duct Cleaning

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What Are the Benefits of Duct Cleaning?

What are the benefits of getting your ducts cleaned? There are several benefits ranging from your own health to your system’s efficiency.

  1. It Improves Efficiency

Every time your AC unit runs, it draws warmer air from the room to condition and recirculate it. Each time this happens, dust, dander, pet hair, and other particles are drawn into the ducts. The filter catches those particles. But, any moisture in the air from the meals you’re cooking or showers you take can end up bringing some moisture into the ducts that cling to the ducts’ walls and build up.

Clogged ducts and AC components make your equipment work harder. This can increase energy consumption. Air flows better, so your rooms stay cooler.

Between 25% and 40% of the energy consumed while cooling a home ends up wasted. Dust, particles, and other contaminants make an air conditioning system work harder. Even with filters in place, this debris gets into the ducts and components. By getting your ducts cleaned when needed, you can lower your bills by as much as 30% according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

  1. Reduce Wear and Tear

In addition to lowering energy bills, when an AC system is working efficiently, it’s not putting a strain on the different AC components. Cleaning ducts can help prevent excessive repairs and maintenance and potentially lengthen the life of your air conditioning unit.

  1. Health Issues Like Allergies May Worsen

Do you have allergies or asthma? It’s hard to keep all allergens out of your home. But, keeping mildew and mold from your AC unit is important. Cleaning the ducts and regularly changing filters with the highest filtration level will help. Air filters carry a minimum efficiency rating value (MERV) rating. The higher the number, the more effective the filtration.

  • MERV 1 to 4 filter out carpet fibers, dust mites, pollen, spray particles, and textile fibers.
  • MERV 5 to 8 filter out all of the above plus cement dust, fabric/hair sprays, and microbes.
  • MERV 9 to 12 filter out all of the above plus baking mixes/flour, fumes/emissions, legionella bacteria, and mineral dusts.
  • MERV 13 to 16 filter out the above items and all other bacteria, smoke, and spray from a sneeze.

People who own pets, have allergies, or live in areas experiencing some pollution should aim for filters rated 11 or higher. A MERV rating of 8 to 10 is good for most households.

  1. You Save Money

When your ducts are dirty, you may find you’re replacing filters more often than you’d expected. If you’re supposed to replace them once or twice a year, and you find you’re replacing them every couple of months, you’re wasting money. Get your ducts cleaned to lower the number of filters you’re buying each year.

  1. You Avoid Bad Odors

When your ducts are dusty and developing mold and mildew, those odors can circulate throughout your house. A clean duct system helps you avoid unpleasant odors.

What Happens During a Duct Cleaning?

How does a professional air conditioning technician clean your ducts? You actually find that a duct cleaning covers more than just the ducts. As dirt and grime can build up on all components of your AC unit, all of your system needs to be cleaned. It’s a multi-stage process.

First, the team inspects the system and ductwork. Once they’ve identified the system, they seal registers and attach a vacuum to the ductwork.

Second, all of the contaminants have to be loosened from surfaces. This is done using a compressed air whip and motorized brushes. These brushes and pressurized air loosen the particles for the vacuum system to suction all of that loosened material out of the ducts and into a containment unit to prevent the particles from getting airborne.

Third, hand brushes may be used to clean the grills, blower motor, heat exchanger, air plenum, coils, drain pan, etc. All of these areas are cleaned to ensure the system is rid of any dust, mold, algae, or grime that impacts its performance.

The fourth step isn’t always performed. It depends on what the technician finds during the inspection. Sanitizers or UV lighting may be used to disinfect and sanitize the surfaces. This is often done only if there are signs of microbes. If it’s severe, your air conditioning technician may recommend duct sanitization or duct restoration.

Finally, the fifth step involves replacing the filters, turning on the system to make sure all is running well. At that point, the air conditioning team cleans up the area and provides you with any necessary paperwork or instructions.

Can you do anything prior to the appointment to help the duct cleaning team? Make sure furnishings are out of the way. If you have a table near a register, move it so that the registers are accessible. Confine pets during the appointment so that they don’t try to get into equipment or in the way.

Make An Appointment Today

What’s the best way to know if you should have your ducts cleaned and inspected? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of the earlier questions or are finding your electricity bills increasing, it’s time to talk to an expert. All Year Cooling offers comprehensive AC inspections and air duct cleaning services. Give us a call.

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