Ventilation cleaning or air duct cleaning services has many advantages. Dust trapped in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is a major health hazard. In addition to eliminating the health risks associated with dust, dirt, and other harsh elements, a thorough cleaning allows you to enjoy clean air in your home.
Your air conditioning and heating systems are also likely to last longer with clean ducts. The only limitations you have to overcome are a lack of essential tools and probably limited cleaning skills. Nevertheless, here’s a guide on how to clean your home’s air ducts and vents.
How do I Know if My Air Ducts Need to be Cleaned?
It is advisable to perform a ventilation cleaning under certain circumstances: if and when there is significant visible mold growth inside the components of your heating and cooling system, if and when the ducts are infested with rodents or insects, and if and when the ducts are so full of debris that a huge amount of dust is entering your home through them.
If there are visible molds on the ducts, or if you hear noises coming from them. But if you’re acting on a hunch, we suggest you start by examining the vents, grills, drip pans or registers of your appliance. Do you notice any discoloration or dark dust? Do you smell anything unusual?
Another question to ask yourself is whether the airflow is consistent in each room of your home. A buildup of dirt, dust or mold could be responsible for restricting the airflow in your home.
Reduce Dust in Your Home and Save Money
There are many reasons to do an air duct cleaning, one of the best reasons is to increase your indoor air quality. When the ducts are clean, the heating system works longer, we dust less often and the air we breathe in our home is cleaner. For those of us who suffer from allergies, this should be a welcome improvement.
Of course, you won’t be able to reach every nook and cranny, but you can still remove about 85% of the dust in your system without spending more than the cost of your new furnace filter.
There are many different designs of duct systems, such as attic systems and underground systems, but the theory of cleaning these systems is the same. You may not be able to access all parts of these systems for example, underground ducts, but you can make a difference in the quality of your air by cleaning the parts of the system that you can reach.
What do you Need to Clean Your Air Ducts
Furnace filter: You will definitely need a new furnace filter at the end of the job. Be sure to choose the filter option that’s right for you.
Vacuum cleaner: A household vacuum cleaner with a suitable hose will do the job and help you to perform ventilation cleaning.
Screwdriver or Hex Screwdriver: Your dampers are probably held in place by fasteners. You’ll need a tool that fits these fasteners, usually a Phillips screwdriver or 1/4 hex screwdriver.
Brush: A brush that looks like a toilet brush will work best, but a stiff brush or something similar will do.
Paper towels: Unless you want to do a lot of dusting and sweeping right after you do a vented cleaning, you’ll find these towels useful for covering some registers while you clean others.
Change Air Filters Regularly
Air filters trap dust and other particles before they can enter your HVAC system. Over time, they become clogged and need to be cleaned or replaced. Experts recommend replacing air filters every three months, but this really varies from household to household depending on factors such as the level of dust in the area, whether there are pets, and the season, as air conditioners tend to be used heavily in the summer.
If you’re not sure when your air filter should be replaced, check it every week or so. If it’s covered with a layer of dust and particles, you should replace it. Fortunately, the air filters are designed to be user-replaceable, and replacement filters can be purchased in stores, just make sure you choose the same size as the old one.
How to Prevent Duct Contamination
Whether or not you decide to do ventilation cleaning on your home, it’s essential to engage in a good preventive maintenance program to minimize duct contamination.
To prevent dirt from entering the system:
Use the most efficient air filter recommended by the manufacturer of your heating and cooling system.
Change filters regularly.
If your filters become clogged, change them more frequently.
- Make sure no filters are missing and that air cannot bypass the filters through gaps around the filter holder.
- When you have your heating and cooling system serviced or checked for other reasons, remember to have the service provider clean the cooling coils and drain pans.
- During construction or remodeling work that produces dust in your home, close the supply and return registers and do not operate the heating and cooling system until the dust has been cleaned.
- Remove dust and vacuum your home regularly. Use a high-efficiency vacuum cleaner or the most efficient filter bags your vacuum cleaner can take. Vacuuming can increase the amount of dust in the air during and after vacuuming and in your ducts.
- If your heating system includes duct humidification equipment, be sure to operate and maintain the humidifier strictly according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
To Prevent the Ducts from Becoming Wet:
Moisture should not be present in the ducts. Moisture control is the most effective way to prevent biological growth in air ducts. Moisture can enter the duct system through leaks or if the system has been improperly installed or maintained.
Research suggests that condensation that occurs when a surface temperature is below the dew point temperature of the ambient air on or near the cooling coils of air conditioning units is a major factor in moisture contamination of the system.
The presence of condensation or high relative humidity is an important indicator of the potential for mold growth on any type of ductwork. Controlling moisture can often be difficult, but here are some steps you can take:
Repair any leaks or water damage quickly and properly.
- Pay attention to the cooling coils, which are designed to remove water from the air and can be a major source of moisture contamination in the system, which can lead to mold growth.
- Make sure the condensate pan drains properly. The presence of a significant amount of standing water or debris indicates a problem requiring immediate attention.
- Check the insulation near the cooling coils for wet spots.