Winter will be over before you know it and spring will be well on its way. Well, with spring comes that dreaded spring-cleaning. Many people are starting to wonder if they should put their air ducts on their spring-cleaning lists because there are numerous duct cleaning companies out there making bold statements about duct cleaning.
These companies are claiming that a duct cleaning could improve your overall health by reducing the number of allergens in the home. These statements are very appealing to the 25 million Americans that suffer from asthma and the other 50 million that have allergic rhinitis or hay fever because it is the dust mites, mold, and other allergens that trigger symptoms for these conditions.
So, what’s the truth? Can these services really improve your health and should you add duct cleaning to your spring-cleaning list?
What Do The Studies Say?
It is true that there never has been a great study that proves that duct cleanings could improve asthma or hay fever symptoms. However, if you are sensitive to dust and the particles in dust don’t it seem like common sense that you would want to eliminate as much of it from the home as possible? And, since your ducts can build up dust over the years they are going to be a huge contributing factor to dust in the home.
In fact, a professor of medicine and clinical immunology at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland commonly speaks to his patients about their heating and air systems.
Visual Inspection Of The Ducts
One way to determine if you should add a duct cleaning to your spring-cleaning list is by visually inspecting the ducts yourself. This doesn’t mean that you have to go straight to the unit and start tearing away at the ducts. You can simply go to your vents and remove the vent covers and look inside the ducts.
Take a damp cloth and wipe it around the duct. If you remove a god-awful amount of dust then this is a good indication that you need a duct cleaning. Also, take a flashlight and visually look around the boot and duct. You might be able to actually see mold growth. Now, just because you don’t see any dust or mold it doesn’t mean that you are home free. There could actually be mold present somewhere else within the system or coils of the unit itself.
In these situations, it would be best to get in touch with a professional duct cleaning company like Pure Airways and ask them to inspect your ducts. Most companies are willing to do this for free.
The Age Of Your Home
If your home is ten years or older and you have never had a duct cleaning now would be the time. Any heating and air contractor is going to recommend cleaning the ducts at least once every ten years. And, this is because heating and air systems push air through the ducts.
Every time the system comes on it is basically circulating air through the home. If there is dust present in the home or in the ducts it is basically just doing to be circulating that dust throughout the home over and over again.
Understanding The Cleaning Process
A duct cleaning is not only important because it removes mold and dust from the system, but the cleaners will identify and fix the underlying cause for that mold and dust. If your system is full of mold and dust there is a reason for it. or instance, dust is often times contributed to poor air filtration, whereas mold is contributed to excess moisture build-up.
It is also possible that you might have leaks in the duct. This is not only going to cost you money, but it is going to cause even more asthmatic and allergy problems. Once the cleaners have identified and corrected all the underlying problem within the system they will begin will the cleaning process.
They will simply hook up a high-powered vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to the ductwork and block off all the ducts to prevent anything from escaping and then they will use air tools and brushes to dislodge and debris within the system.
Once the debris is dislodged it will be sucked into that high-powered vacuum cleaner that is hooked into the ductwork. The techs might even have to utilize chemicals and pesticides to kill off mold or any other harmful microbes that are present within the system.
What You Can Expect And What You Should Avoid
The cost of a duct cleaning is going to vary from system to system and home to home. It really is going to depend on the size of the home and the intricacies of the ductwork. Some ductwork system can be quite extensive with many twists and turns.
The cost can also vary depending on the amount of prep work that has to be done. For instance, how much does the system need to be sealed? What needs to be done to stop the excessive build-up of moisture? It should not take any professional duct cleaning crew more than three or five hours to do a full duct cleaning on a 2,000 square-foot property.
That being said when you are shopping around for duct cleaning companies, you want to make sure that you avoid the ones with offers that seem too good to be true. This is because their offers are usually too good to be true. Any company that claims they can do the job for less than a few hundred dollars isn’t going to deliver quality results. They will either do a half-hearted job or tack on prices and leave you holding a $4,000 bill.
Learn To Protect Yourself
It is true that a duct system cannot be cleaned properly without special equipment and intricate knowledge of how that system works, but there are things the common homeowners can do to protect themselves. Make sure that you are changing the filter on a monthly basis and reduce the likelihood that allergens will develop in the home in the first place. You can do this by keeping the house below 50% humidity.