These days people are very aware about the air that we breathe and how air quality can have a real impact on our health. It’s no wonder that as a result there are loads of companies selling products and services claiming to help with this.
Do you really need to clean your air ducts?
When it comes to air ducts in your home it can be pretty confusing to know whether you really need to clean it out or not. Salespeople can be very convincing and leave you feeling that if you don’t get your air ducts cleaned you are somehow a really bad person who isn’t looking after their family well enough.
Is anyone in your home suffering from allergies?
First of all, if nobody in your home is actually suffering from any kind of allergies then chances are your air ducts are going to be perfectly fine. The return registers can get quite dusty but more often than not all that’s required is a good cleaning. You can do this with a vacuum cleaner or you can remove it a give it a clean.
Can you see any mold in your air duct?
However, if on the other hand you have people in your home with allergies, having a look at cleaning your air duct could be a very good option to consider. If you look into the duct you might be able to see a large build-up of dirt and even mold. You should be able to see and smell the mold if it’s a problem you are experiencing.
How can you tell for sure there’s mold in your air duct?
Although when it comes to an issue such as mold they only way to determine for sure is to have a professional in to look at it. You might also need to have a sample sent off for analysis which can cost about $50.
What’s the best way to clean your air ducts?
The problem is actually knowing who to get in to clean the ducts. There are so many people setting up companies these days offering all sorts of services and you never can be quite sure if they are to be trusted. They might not necessarily try to rip you off but they might not have had the training or experience to adequately clean mold and other dirt from your air duct.
Are they qualified for the job?
Make sure the company you hire for the job of cleaning your air ducts is qualified for the job and that they clean all parts of the system. If parts of the system are not cleaned then you could risk having the rest of your system re-contaminated.
Make sure the correct equipment is used?
There are different techniques used in the cleaning of air ducts and it involves tools to dislodge the dirt and other debris that has made its way into the system. They also use a very special high powered vacuum cleaner.
What about the insulation?
If you have insulation on your ducts and this insulation gets wet and moldy then you need to have it removed and replaced with new insulation. If you don’t replace it then the mold will simply come back because the conditions are perfect for it to thrive.
What about chemicals?
Chemical biocides can also be used to kill bacteria and germs. They say that it will kill the bacteria and germs and prevent them from coming back. However the EPA have not approved chemical biocides for the use on fiberglass duct board or fiberglass lined ducts because it has not been fully proven. Also, there are concerns that some people can have a negative reaction towards these chemicals.
Why you need to check the label
If you are going to allow a service provider to use biocide, make sure that you have been shown the biocide label which will list the range of uses as approved by the EPA. Biocide should also only be applied to areas of the ducting which haven’t been insulated. It should also only be applied to areas which have been thoroughly cleaned before hand. The instruction on the biocide label should always been followed.
Properly research the company you use to clean your air ducts
It’s important that you don’t get your air duct cleaned on a whim. Instead you should do as much research as possible, especially if there are those in your family with health problems. Do a search for National Air Duct Cleaners Association and contact about 3 contractors to get a feel for which company you think you can trust. They should also provide a written quotation for the work.
Remember: only get them cleaned if you really need to
Be very wary about companies who over play the damage that dirty ducts can cause to your home and to your family. Air duct cleaning should not simply be something you do on a semi-regular basis. It something you do if you have a serious problem with mold and your family is getting ill because of it. If you are thinking of using a particular company you should also check them up via the Better Business Bureau to see if they are trust-worthy.
What about sealants?
In addition to the cleaning of your ducts, there are companies who push you into having sealants. Again, organization such as EPA, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA), NADCA and NAIMA say that sealants shouldn’t be used routinely for the purpose of encapsulating contaminants. The sealants should only be used if there has been some damage caused to the ducting. Sealants are also not meant for the purpose of covering mold and other such debris. It should only ever be used on clean ducts.