Air Conditioning Duct Cleaning Video
Learn about the importance of cleaning your ac ducts.
Duct cleaning is a regularly scheduled part of home maintenance. Why is air conditioning duct cleaning so important, what does it do, and how is it done? Air conditioning controls the air quality of your home, which in turn controls the health of its inhabitants. If you want to make sure that your home is healthy to live in, you need to make sure you have clean air.
Why Would You Need to Clean Your Ducts?
All of the air that moves through your home is circulated through your HVAC system. This HVAC system operates through a complex series of ducts which open into the rooms of your home. Over time, these ducts can become clogged with dust, dirt, and dander, all of which can have an adverse impact on the air quality within your home. A poorly maintained HVAC system will be drawing in air and then circulating that air with dust and dirt. Air conditioning duct cleaning is one way that you can ensure cleaner air and a cleaner home.
Dust, allergens, and other particles can easily cause an immune reaction, leading to people getting sick and feeling unhealthy. Elderly individuals and children are most susceptible — and small animals, such as pets, can be too. An improperly cleaned air duct can even eventually grow mold, which could become toxic.
How Often Do You Need to Clean Your Ducts?
Though it’s generally suggested that homeowners clean their ducts approximately every decade, the frequency of your duct cleaning actually depends on your home and your habits. Once every five years is recommended for homes that have.
- Pets. Pet dander and pet fur can easily become clogged in an HVAC system, even if the system’s filters have been changed frequently. Pet dander isn’t always visible and it’s what causes allergies… even if you don’t have allergies yourself, it’s possible to reach a “tipping point” where it becomes unhealthy.
- Traffic. If your home is positioned next to a busy roadway, it’s more likely that you’re experiencing large amounts of dust and dirt. This may not be immediately visible, as it may be getting caught in your filters and (of course) your duct. Any home that’s around a highway is going to need more frequent cleaning.
- Dust. There are some homes that are just more prone to dust, whether it’s because the weather is more volatile around it or because there are more trees and flowers to give off pollen. If you find yourself dusting your home frequently, you may need to invest in duct cleaning earlier on.
- Kids. Kids tend to track in a lot of dust and dirt, and at least some of that is going to get caught up in the air. If you have carpet or rugs, it’s more likely that dust is being trapped inside of your home, and it may be getting into the air duct system.
Not sure if your air conditioning system qualifies? If you find yourself having to change filters more frequently than recommended, it’s likely.
How Does Air Conditioning Duct Cleaning Work?
Negative pressure and positive pressure is used to push and pull debris through the air ducts, dislodging any materials that are stuck. Duct cleaning technicians first prepare the area with drop clothes and remove vent covers; they then place a foam plug into the vents, isolating each individual vent for cleaning. These plugs are removed as they progress through the home. .
Technicians will generally start with the duct that is farthest away from the HVAC system. They will then slowly advance closer to the machine. Once the ducts have been properly blocked off, a HEPA vacuum system is attached to one end, while a blower system is attached to the other. This is industrial equipment that operates at very fast rates; the HEPA vacuum moves at 1,000 cubic feet of air per minute. The air will be extracted to the system and run through a sequence of filters. Meanwhile, another technician at the end will be applying positive pressure, to completely clean the ducts.
A primary filter system will catch all of the larger items, such as roaches. A secondary system will collect pollen and other micro-particles, which aren’t necessarily visible. The last HEPA filter further guarantees that this debris stays within the vacuum rather than being put back into the atmosphere. Once the duct cleaning has completed, an antibacterial product is introduced into the system, to further clean it.
How Do You Prepare for an Air Duct Cleaning?
You can begin preparing for an air duct cleaning by running your air conditioning system, as your entire HVAC system will be off for an hour or two. Otherwise the technicians will handle everything else.
Duct cleaning will remove dust, fragments, pet hair, and human hair from the ducts. It may even remove pests such as roaches or other small animals that have become lodged inside of it. Either way, duct cleaning is an absolutely critical maintenance task for anyone who wants a healthy home.
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