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What are the Best Tips for Duct Cleaning?

Article Details
  • Written By: Henry Gaudet
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 13 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Air duct cleaning companies recommend their service to improve air quality and remove dust, pollen and allergens from the atmosphere. After determining that duct cleaning is in fact needed, homeowners or building operators will most often need to find a reputable cleaning service for the job. Some people might also choose to clean the ducts themselves, but without professional equipment, the cleaning will not be as thorough.

The first step is determining whether the service is needed. There is no evidence to suggest that regular duct cleaning is effective in improving air quality. Removing the vent covers is likely to reveal dust that has collected inside the duct. This is normal and not a sign that duct cleaning is required. Normal cleaning and vacuuming of the rooms in the building is more likely to reduce the amount of dust in the air.

If one or more people in a home or building experience unexplained allergic symptoms, or if a musty odor is noticed coming from the registers, then professional duct cleaning might prove helpful. When inspection of the ducts reveals mold growth, heavy collection of dust or debris that slows the airflow or signs of insect or vermin infestation, a professional cleaner will be able to help. If the underlying causes are not addressed and repaired, however, the ducts will return to their previous condition.

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This inspection is referring to the inside of the duct. Mold discovered on insulation surrounding the ducts cannot be treated with duct cleaning. Instead, the insulation should be removed and replaced.

After the need for duct cleaning has been established, the search can begin for a skilled cleaner. One should be wary of sweeping claims regarding these services and any health benefits and should avoid cleaners who recommend regular servicing as well. Anyone seeking these services should look for references and compare prices with at least three companies to find the best deal.

Many professional cleaners will recommend chemical treatments of air ducts as part of the cleaning process. Most often, these are used to kill mold and prevent future growth. One must fully understand the benefits and potential risks of any recommended chemicals before allowing their use.

For a thorough cleaning, specialized professional equipment is required, but unless a specific problem within the ducts has been identified, simple cleaning can remove significant amounts of dust and dirt and should be sufficient. After one removes the grill with a screwdriver, the area inside can be wiped and vacuumed clean. To prevent vacuum attachments falling off and getting lost inside the duct, duct tape can be used to hold them securely to the vacuum extension.

Even with professional duct cleaning, there is no evidence to support claims of health benefits. Most of the dirt and particles removed during cleaning was already settled on the walls of the duct and was not being released into the air. Particles in the air are more likely to come from the building occupants' activities than from the ducts.

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