How do I know if my duct work needs cleaning?
- If you don’t remember ever having your ductwork cleaned or if you haven’t within the past 5 years, it’s probably time. If your ductwork has been cleaned in the past, you will typically find access doors installed on the supply and return plenums.
- Remove a register grill – ones on the floor or near the floor are easiest to remove (often no screws) and peer inside with a flashlight – check several areas for a representative sample.
- Do people in the house suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems?
- Do you experience nausea, headaches, itchy eyes, etc. while at home?
- Do you have pets in the home and/or excessive dust on furniture and horizontal surfaces?
Watch this video from the President BILL LUNQUIST of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association.
If I answered yes….
- Never cleaning your ductwork is like changing your oil filter without changing your oil.
- Mold needs three things to survive: Moisture, Nutrients (such as dirt, dust, animal dander, cellulose construction debris from building), and a Surface to grow on. Your ductwork can become an unknown breeding ground for fungi, germs, and mold.
- Studies have confirmed that contaminated air ducts spread some disease, including salmonella, strep, and legionnaires disease.
- The Environmental Protection Agency claims that indoor air has been found up to 70 times more polluted than outdoor air. We spend 60% to 90% of our time indoors.
- Better Health Magazine states “1 out of 6 people who suffer from allergies do so as a direct result of the fungi and bacteria in the air duct systems.”
- Reduced energy bills? Research by the EPA had demonstrated that HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to run more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical components. Clean, efficient systems generally operate more efficiently than dirty systems.
It is recommended by the EPA that the ducts in a home be cleaned when they start to show mold, or are infested with vermin. Duct cleaning costs can vary depending on the amount of duct work, and the construction of the home.
In the duct cleaning industry most homes are put in one of two categories. A single-zone home has one furnace, and can cost anywhere from $400 to $600 to clean. A two-zone home has two furnaces, and can cost anywhere from $600 to $1,000 to clean (prices as of 2009).
According to Real-Estate-Agents.com, some duct cleaning companies charge by the hour for their services and the charges can run from $90 per hour up to $125 per hour.
A proper duct cleaning includes cleaning the duct work along with the fans and heating coils. Cleaning the furnace registers is also part of a proper cleaning and should be included in the cost.
The cost of cleaning duct work will be increased significantly if it is found that there is asbestos on or in the ducts. Asbestos removal requires the services of a specialized contractor, and asbestos must be removed before duct cleaning can begin.
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association warns home owners to be suspicious of duct cleaning companies that offer extremely low cost services and use low quality equipment.