What is Air Duct Cleaning?
Duct cleaning often refers to the cleaning of various heating and air conditioning vents, ducts, coils, drain pans, and fans. The cleaning is essential: If these HVAC components aren’t properly installed or maintained, they may become contaminated with dust particles, pollen, or other debris. To further complicate the issue, if water or moisture is present, dirty ducts can become a breeding ground for bacteria that form spores, capable of traveling through air vents into your living space or office, and creating additional health concerns.
Why You Should Get Your Ducts Cleaned?
Air ducts are not exempt from the consequences of aging: As ducts age, they begin to collect dust and other particulates. Over time, this dust and debris can clog filters or even escape into your home or business. Before you realize it, significant amounts of dust and debris can be infiltrating your space.
This creates a special problem for people who suffer from asthma, bronchitis, or any other upper respiratory illness. A significant amount of dust particles in the air can lead to an asthma attack. In addition, excess water in the duct system supports a greater risk of mold, a serious problem for vulnerable populations.
Duct cleaning is a simple way to improve the overall air quality in your home and help everyone breathe easier. In addition, cleaning the duct system helps maintain the efficiency of your HVAC system. Less debris clogging the airways means less resistance to the incoming air. The stress on your HVAC system’s fan and motor is reduced, helping the system run smoother, for longer.
Dryer Duct Cleaning
Most homeowners rarely think about cleaning their dryer duct. These ducts range in size from 5-25 feet and over time begin to clog with lint and other particles. Periodically having your dryer duct cleaned helps improve the dryer’s efficiency. It’s a safety boost too: a clean dryer duct is less likely to spark a fire. For safety and efficiency, have your appliances serviced and repaired on a regular basis.
Benefits of a Duct Cleaning
When you have your air and dryer ducts periodically – and professionally – cleaned, you:
- Create a Cleaner Living Space: Having a professional clean your ducts reduces the amount of dust circulating through your home. Less dust = less dusting!
- Reduce Allergens and Irritants: Beyond dust, your house is home to more harmful particulates, such as pet dander, bacteria, pollen, mildew, mold spores, and a variety of other airborne toxins. Periodic cleaning helps prevent these particles from entering the airways of your home – and your body.
- Remove Unwanted Odors: Pets, cleaning agents, paint fumes, smoke, and even old cooking scents contribute to the stale smell coming from your ducts. Anytime the furnace or air conditioner runs, these smells are blown throughout the house. Additionally, if the dust in your vents gets wet, it can produce a musty smell whenever the air is turned on. A thorough cleaning ensures these smells are eliminated.
- Improve HVAC Efficiency: Ducts, vents, and fans with a heavy layer of dirt and grime can inhibit the flow of air through the HVAC system. This, in turn, causes your system to work harder than it normally would to either heat or cool your home. When your system has to work harder, it uses more energy and increases your electric bill. A clean HVAC system runs at peak efficiency, saving you money.
The Duct Cleaning Process
When Lee Company comes out to do your duct cleaning, we use what’s called a negative air machine. The results? Very positive.
To begin, our professional technician assembles the negative air machine near the HVAC system or the ductwork, reducing the chances of particulates escaping. The machine works by combining three chambers containing three different filters.
The top chamber contains a net designed to catch all the large particulates that are removed from the ducts. These large particulates could be almost anything; our equipment has caught marbles, wrappers, pet food, and a multitude of other objects. The second chamber houses a pleated filter. This heavy-duty filter prevents small particulates, such as dust, from re-entering the living space. The third and final chamber contains a HEPA filter. The HEPA filter is designed to trap all the remaining particulates that may have passed through the pleated filter.
To get the dust and particulates out of the ductwork and into the negative air machine, a few additional tools are needed. A variety of brushes and whip heads are used to scour the ducts and loosen all the dust and debris collected there. Additionally, hoses are attached to a compressor to blow all of the particulates into the negative air machine.
Once the HVAC technician has finished cleaning your ducts, we clean up the area and safely dispose of the dust and debris.
How to Prevent The Need for Frequent Duct Cleanings
Whether you’ve had your ducts cleaned before or are currently considering it, there are plenty of steps to take to prevent further contamination of your ductwork.
- Use the highest efficiency air filters recommended by your HVAC system’s manufacturer.
- Regularly change your air filters. If your filters become clogged quickly, either shorten the period between filter changes or call a professional to clean your ductwork.
- Be sure you’ve properly installed and secured your filters so that no air escapes around the edges.
- When having your system cleaned, be sure to ask the HVAC technician to clean your cooling coils and drain pans.
- If you’ve had work done inside your home, seal off the return vents and clean up all the dust before opening the vent and running the system.
- To prevent moisture from entering the ductwork, make sure all ducts are properly sealed. If you notice a leak in your ductwork, repair it immediately to prevent the growth of mold or mildew.
Keeping up to date with a preventive maintenance plan helps you greatly reduce the risk of contamination in your ductwork and throughout your home.
Contact Lee Company When You Need Your Ducts Cleaned
If you’re noticing an increasing amount of dust or bad smells in your home, or your HVAC system seems to be working harder than normal, it may be time to get your air ducts cleaned. Lee Company provides a thorough air duct cleaning service that is sure to get rid of any dust, debris, and grime that may be contaminating your ductwork.