What is Ductwork Cleaning?

Mary Lougee

Ductwork cleaning is the process of removing dust and allergens from the air conditioning ducts and heating ducts in a home or business. Cleaning ducts can reduce the presence of these items in the air inside a building or home and it can greatly improve the air quality. Duct cleaning can also improve the productivity of a heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

An air return duct is an important part of most air conditioning HVAC systems.
An air return duct is an important part of most air conditioning HVAC systems.

Duct servicing can cover all ductwork and HVAC cleaning, including heating and cooling coils, drip pans, fan housings, and motors, as well as the return air ducts and air supply ducts. Pet dander from inside a home, as well as allergens that are introduced from outside, are sucked into the return air vent and thereby enter a HVAC system. This is a sealed system, so the contaminants have no way to escape, and the treated air is forced over the contaminants entering a living space.

A ductwork cleaning service may use one or more procedures to clean a complete HVAC system. One method enlists a long brush called a duct brush that is fed inside the ductwork. The brush spins and attracts the dust and debris to itself to remove them. Another procedure uses a camera with a wireless controller that travels inside the ducts and sucks the dust and allergens out. Some ductwork cleaning companies also offer a deodorizer that can be sprayed inside the ducts to eliminate stale odors and leave a fresh clean scent.

It is a good idea to have a duct cleaner service an HVAC system at least once per year. These services not only clean the system, but will also inspect ductwork to make sure that there are no breaks or holes in the lines. Breaks and holes lead to outside allergens and dust being pulled into a system and distributed throughout the home. This can also result in increased electrical costs due to untreated air, which requires additional heating or cooling, entering the system.

Another type of ductwork cleaning service is a chimney sweep. Before lighting the first fire of the year in a fireplace is it important that the flue is open and there is nothing in the chimney that may combust. Small animals, like squirrels and birds, often make nests in chimneys. The nest material is highly combustible and can result in a fire inside the chimney, which may downdraft into the fireplace and into a home. Some woods may also leave a soot buildup that the chimney sweep can remove.

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Discussion Comments


Tips to maintain clean air: Using a time release spray deodorizer will keep your indoor air free of odor for months at a time.

Be sure to change your air filter every month. Vacuum once a week for every person or pet living in the home. Use a HEPA certified vacuum. Always check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Do not smoke indoors.

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