Whether you are just renting a home or thinking about buying your first home there is a good chance that you have probably heard about duct cleanings. Heck, your mailbox or e-mail is probably sitting full of advertisements right now.
This is because more and more companies are starting to pop up. These companies are starting to pop up because the industry is so lucrative. More and more homeowners are starting to understand and value the true essence of maintaining good indoor air quality.
Of course, this is not to say that all duct cleaning companies are going to provide you with the utmost in service. That being said, if you want to make sure that you are getting the most out of your duct cleaning, you need to fully understand how the process works.
Sending Out An Inspector
The first thing that you need to know is that Pure Airways will never make the assumption that your ducts need to be cleaned. They will always dispatch out an inspector to assess the ducts and their cleanliness. Not only will this give the inspector a good idea of the type of system that you have, but it will allow them to also check for leaks. Cleaning a leaky duct system pretty much just defeats the purpose of a duct cleaning in the first place.
Checking For Leaks
The inspector will use what is known as a smoke test to test the system for leaks. He or she will basically place a smoke stick in the ducts that will emit steam. This steam will travel through the system and seep out of the leaks and cracks.
The inspector will then make note of these leaks and cracks so that the techs can repair them before starting the cleaning. Keep in mind that this is an extremely important part of the cleaning process and should by no means be skipped. If you have a company that comes out to the home and doesn’t test for leaks before starting the cleaning, you may want to seek out a different company.
Hooking Into The Supply Side
The inspector will more than likely not be the same individual to clean your ducts. A duct cleaning team usually consist of two or three qualified and certified individuals. After arriving at the home and making the proper introductions they will start the cleaning process.
It will first begin by sealing all the leaks and cracks in the system. Once those leaks and cracks are sealed the techs will tap into the supply side of the system. This is the side that forces air into the home. These vents are either located in the walls, floor, or ceiling. The techs will hook a HEPA machine to the supply side of the ducts. A HEPA machine like this is nothing more than a huge vacuum cleaner with a HEPA rated filter.
Blocking Off The Supply Ducts
The purposes of tapping into the supply side with the HEPA vac is to create a negative pressure on the duct system. The theory is that you are going to force everything through the duct system back to where the HEPA vacuum is located.
So, once the techs tie into the system they will then come into the home and block off all the supply vents with plastic. They will block them all off except for the furthest one away from the system itself. The idea is that they are going to force air through the system and blow everything from the beginning to the end of the trunk line where the HEPA vac is located. The process is similar to a raindrop falling down the side of a building. As it rolls down the side of the building it will collect dirt and debris along with it until it reaches the bottom.
Simply put, this is the most effective way to clean duct thoroughly. After blowing out the vent furthest from the unit the techs will move to the next vent. They will continue this entire process until they have covered all the vents. Just remember that the techs should be working in a uniform manner. They should be working from the vent furthest out to the vents closet to the unit.
Attaching To The Return Side
Once the supply side is all cleaned and sealed back up the tech will basically just do the same thing to the return side. The return side is the side where your filters are located and they are the one that creates suction when the system is running. There are usually only one or two of then vents in a standard home, but this side might take even longer to clean because it will without a doubt be the dirtier of the two. Once the return vents are all cleaned the techs will go ahead and patch everything back up the way that they found it.
Utilizing Microbial Solution
Some companies are different and like to do things a little differently, but most will wait until the HEPA vac is unhooked before sanitizing the vents and registers. Some will do it as they go along blowing out each vent. There is nothing wrong with either method.
Some companies just think it is more effective to sanitize the vents as they go, while others think it is better to wait until the end. Whatever the situation is, you want to make sure that the company cleaning the vents is utilizing a microbial solution. This solution is not only great for killing germs and the like, but it can actually help prevent the growth of mold spores. It should be noted that this spray or cleaner isn’t harmful to animals or humans, so you do not have to worry about evacuating the home or taking special precautions.
Why Duct Cleanings Are Important
So, now you pretty much know how a duct cleaning works. However, this still does not really explain the importance of duct cleanings. In fact, there are still a number of individuals that deem this as a useless cause. This is not entirely the case at all, as a proper duct cleaning from a quality company like Pure Airways can come back with tons of benefits.
- Duct cleanings ensure that your unit and system are in top running condition
- You also get those pesky energy-wasting leaks and creaks sealed
- Duct cleanings kill out mold spores and growth
- Makes your system more efficient
- Improves the overall quality of life in the home
- Improves indoor air quality
- Saves you money on your electric bills