Frequently Asked Questions about Air Duct Cleaning
Are there any health benefits that come from HVAC system cleaning?
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to act as a collection source for a variety of contaminants that have the potential to affect health, such as mold, fungi, bacteria and very small particles of dust. The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC system can improve indoor air quality.
Will HVAC system cleaning reduce our home energy bills?
Research by the U.S. EPA has demonstrated that HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to run more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical components. Clean, efficient systems are less likely to break down, have a longer life span and generally operate more effectively than dirty systems.
How should a residential HVAC system be cleaned?
The most effective way to clean air ducts and ventilation systems are to employ Source Removal methods of cleaning. This requires a contractor to place the system under negative pressure, through the use of a specialized, powerful vacuum. While the vacuum draws air through the system, devices are inserted into the ducts to dislodge any debris that might be stuck to interior surfaces. The debris can then travel down the ducts to the vacuum, which removes it from the system and the home.
How often should residential HVAC systems be cleaned?
Typically, HVAC systems should be inspected for cleaning around every 5 years. Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors. Some of the things that may lead a home owner to consider more frequent cleaning include:
- Smokers in the household.
- Pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander.
- Water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system.
- Residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in a number of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system.
- After home renovations or remodeling.
- Prior to occupancy of a new home.
What is a normal price range for an air duct cleaning service?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that “duct cleaning services typically – but not always – range in cost from $450 to $1,000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climactic region, and level of contamination” and type of duct material.
What about companies that offer whole house duct cleaning for around $99?
Consumers should be aware of “blow-and-go” air duct cleaning companies. These companies often charge a nominal fee and do a poor job of cleaning the heating and cooling system. These companies may also employ “bait-and-switch” techniques by persuading the consumer into unneeded services.
What criteria should I use in selecting an HVAC system cleaner?
The best HVAC system cleaners have all of the following qualifications:
- Company is a member in good standing with the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA)
- The company has been in business long enough to have adequate experience
- The company is an A+ Accredited Business with your local Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- The company is properly licensed, bonded and insured
- The company is certified by NADCA to perform HVAC system cleaning
- The company is going to clean all the air ducts and equipment
- The company is not advertising “$99 whole house specials” or other sales gimmicks
- The company has the proper equipment to perform the cleaning (such as a Power Vacuum truck)
Why should I choose a NADCA member to clean my HVAC system?
NADCA Members have signed a Code of Ethics stating they will do everything possible to protect the consumer, and follow NADCA Standards for cleaning to the best of their ability. Air duct cleaning companies must meet stringent requirements to become a NADCA Member. Among those requirements, all NADCA Members must have certified Air System Cleaning Specialists (ASCS) on staff, who have taken and passed the NADCA Certification Examination. Passing the exam demonstrates extensive knowledge in HVAC design and cleaning methodologies. ASCSs are also required to further their industry education by attending seminars in order to maintain their NADCA certification status.