Is duct cleaning something you should do for your home?
Do you need to have your air ducts in your home cleaned? It’s an age old question, okay well not really, but it is a question that many homeowners probably don’t even remember to ask.
Duct cleaning is exactly what it sounds like, which is the cleaning of the inside of the air ducts that carry air to and from your heating and cooling components of your HVAC system.
It’s true that air duct cleaning can have health benefits and increase the quality of the air you breathe, but it’s not always a smart or necessary practice. There are certain situations where it’s necessary, but the EPA has clarified that there is no evidence that a light buildup of dust or particulate matter in the ducts has any impact on indoor air quality. This is because buildup usually remains in the duct and doesn’t get carried out of the ducts once it’s become stationary inside. Thus, duct cleaning is only really necessary if there is an excessive amount of buildup, or some other concern such as substantial mold growth or an insect infestation.
According to the EPA, there is no reason for regular duct cleanings. Duct cleanings should be scheduled only as necessary. For reasons described above, there are simply no proven negative effects of slightly dirty ducts.
There is very little risk to not cleaning your ducts on a regular basis. As stated, minor particulate buildup is not proven to have health effects or result in any increase in particulate matter in the air. Significant duct issues such as mold growth or infestation are typically the result of uncommon problems somewhere else in the home that need addressing, and certainly do not occur at a regular cadence that would require regular duct cleanings.
It is possible to clean your ducts yourself, but it is not recommended. It is an extensive job best done by a professional with professional level equipment. You simply cannot achieve the same level of cleanliness without professional level tools. You may also encounter mold, vermin, or other issues that are best dealt with by a professional.
You can expect a professional duct cleaning service to provide a thorough and complete clean in a manner safe for you, your HVAC system, and the rest of the home. This involves inspecting the system prior to beginning for any dangers. Next comes a vacuuming and brushing of the inside of the duct system, as well as HVAC system components, followed by a resealing of any access points used in the duct system. The price for a professional duct cleaning service will depend on the size of your home, but it’s typically between $300 and $500
If you’re experiencing issues with indoor air quality, it’s unlikely that duct cleaning will present a long-term fix. Dirty ducts are the result of some other contributing issue that must be addressed, and even if dirty ducts are contributing to allergies or some other consequence of poor IAQ, a duct cleaning will only serve as a temporary fix until the root cause is addressed.
You might be surprised to learn what the actual number one concern is with chlorine.
Lead is often the number one concern for homeowners about their drinking water.