What Homeowners Ought to Know About Duct Cleaning

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You May Want to Think Again About Duct Cleaning Services

There is a lot of hype currently advocating for air duct cleaning. Those in favor of it argue it benefits general health, especially in homes where people with airborne allergies live. This information is quite misleading, considering no actual data is provided for the alleged benefits.

Truth is, duct cleaning has no significant positive effect on your home environment. If anything, the HVAC system is created to hold the dust and not leak it unless disturbed. Truth is, the cleaning process is one of the disturbances that can lead to releasing the trapped particles into the air. 

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1. A Little Research by the U.S and Canada Governments

Due to the rising and alarming misinformation, the U.S and the Canadian governments carried some research about air duct cleaning services. Although they did not disapprove of the routine, they did not recommend it either.

Another study by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency was carried out to measure the efficiency of cleaning the ducts on the system performance. The study was carried for a week and concluded that there is no dust released into the air from dirty ducts. The study added that the small dust particles available in homes are negligible amounts that can create health hazards.

A Canadian government agency, The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, also carried a duct cleaning study in the 1990s. It aimed at studying the significance of duct cleaning to energy consumption reduction and the improvement of indoor air. 34 homes were involved in the study.

Like the U.S EPA, CMHC did not find any significant changes. Although the dust particle reduced in the air after cleaning, it was no a sustainable solution. After two weeks, the dust particles went back to the previous levels, and there was no change in energy consumption.

The conclusions provided by both bodies are reliable, seeing that both used different approaches to the research. CMHC did an uncontrolled experiment in terms of time. The companies under study were not aware of the study to avoid interfering with how they work. On the other hand, the EPA had a controlled study, and they both had the same findings.

2. Change Your Filter Regularly

Instead of hiring cleaning companies to clean your ducts, consider changing the filters regularly. It does not matter whether you moved in an existing house or your newly built home. What is important is to keep changing the filters. These are easy to inspect, and you know when they are dirty because they are all visible. A frequent changing of 2-3 months is recommendable.

3. It Won’t Save Energy Either

Some bodies, such as the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), provide misleading information, which leads to embracing air duct cleaning services. Although the U.S Department of Energy quotes a 25-40% energy waste in homes, it is misleading to say it comes from dirty HVAC systems.

If anything, energy loss is mostly caused by drafty windows, faulty insulation, inefficient equipment, and unsealed ductwork.

4. Issues that Warrant Cleaning

Instead of rushing to have your ducts cleaned, consider the EPA’s recommendation of such cleaning. A few exemptions for duct cleaning include when:

  • There is evidence of significant mold growth
  • There are rodent and insect infestation
  • There are vast deposits of dust or debris

In most cases, people living with loved ones with airborne allergies are quick to conclude it has everything to do with the air particles when the allergy activates. However, before you start cleaning, it is advisable to talk to your physician. They can help look at the cause of the reaction, which mostly does not have anything to do with your HVAC system.

5. Are You Worried About Mold?

You can tell there is a mold problem in your home when you start having a consistent musty smell from the supplier vents, or it is clearly visible. Often, the problem comes from the evaporator coils from the cooling system. These are easy to inspect and maintain when a professional company is used. However, experts discard this action citing that:

  • Mold is only problematic when there exists a moisture problem
  • The general cost of mold testing is not worth. The most efficient method is taking care of the moisture problem.

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