Duct cleaning can be a disaster if not done professionally. Remember that duct cleaning involves removing dirt from ducts and taking it elsewhere to safely remove it. If the process is carried out professionally, air contaminants accumulated in the air ducts will be properly removed. An official website of the United States government.
Use of official websites.gov A. The gov website is owned by an official United States government organization. Knowledge about cleaning air ducts is in its early stages, so a general recommendation cannot be given as to whether air ducts in the house should be cleaned. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urges you to read this document in its entirety, as it provides important information on the subject. Duct cleaning has never been proven to actually prevent health problems.
Nor do studies conclusively show that particles (e.g., this is because much of the dirt in the air ducts adheres to the surface of the ducts and does not necessarily enter the living space). It's important to keep in mind that dirty air ducts are just one of many possible sources of particulate matter in homes. Contaminants that enter the home from both outdoor and indoor activities, such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, or simply moving around, can cause greater exposure to contaminants than dirty air ducts. In addition, there is no evidence that a small amount of household dust or other particles in air ducts poses a health risk.
If any of the conditions identified above exist, it usually suggests one or more underlying causes. Before cleaning, modernizing, or replacing ducts, the cause or causes must be corrected, or else the problem is likely to recur. Some research suggests that cleaning the components of the heating and cooling system (e.g., however, there is little evidence that cleaning only the ducts) improves system efficiency. You may consider cleaning air ducts simply because it seems logical that air ducts get dirty over time and should be cleaned from time to time.
As long as cleaning is done properly, there is no evidence to suggest that such cleaning could be harmful. The EPA does not recommend that air ducts be cleaned routinely, but only when necessary. However, the EPA recommends that if you have an oven, stove, or chimney that burns fuel, they be inspected to make sure they are working properly and serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. If you decide to clean your air ducts, take the same consumer precautions you would normally take when evaluating the competence and reliability of the service provider. Whether or not you decide to clean your home's air ducts, preventing water and dirt from entering the system is the most effective way to prevent contamination (see How to Prevent Duct Contamination).If you decide to clean your heating and cooling system, it's important to ensure that the service provider agrees to clean all components of the system and is qualified to do so.
In addition, the service provider can propose the application of chemical biocides, designed to eliminate microbiological contaminants, inside the ducts and in other components of the system. Some service providers may also suggest the application of chemical treatments (sealants or other encapsulants) to encapsulate or cover the interior surfaces of air ducts and equipment housings, as they believe this will control mold growth or prevent the release of dirt particles or fibers through the ducts. These practices have not yet been thoroughly researched and you must be well informed before deciding to allow the use of biocidal products or chemical treatments in the ducts of air. They should only be applied, if at all, after having properly cleaned the system of any visible dust or dirt.
Knowledge about the potential benefits and potential problems of cleaning air ducts is limited. Since every home's conditions are different, it's impossible to generalize about whether cleaning your home's air ducts would be beneficial or not. On the other hand, if your family members have unusual or unexplained symptoms or illnesses that you think might be related to your home environment, you should discuss the situation with your doctor. The EPA has published the following publications as a guide to identifying potential indoor air quality problems and ways to prevent or solve them.
You may consider cleaning the air ducts simply because it seems logical that the air ducts get dirty over time and that they should be cleaned from time to time. While the debate over the usefulness of regular duct cleaning continues, there is no evidence to suggest that such cleaning is harmful, as long as it is done properly. On the other hand, if a service provider doesn't follow proper duct cleaning procedures, duct cleaning can cause indoor air problems. For example, an inadequate vacuum collection system can release more dust, dirt, and other contaminants than if it had left the ducts alone. A careless or inadequately trained service provider can damage ductwork or the heating and cooling system, potentially increasing heating and air conditioning costs or requiring difficult and costly repairs or replacements.
This is because much of the dirt that can accumulate inside air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space. In addition, there is no evidence that a small amount of household dust or other particles in air ducts poses a risk to health. The EPA does not recommend that air ducts be cleaned, except when necessary, due to continuing uncertainty about the benefits of duct cleaning under most circumstances. However, the EPA recommends that if you have an oven, stove, or chimney that burns fuel, they be inspected to make sure they are working properly and serviced before each heating season to protect them against carbon monoxide poisoning.
Some research also suggests that cleaning dirty cooling coils, fans, and heat exchangers can improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems. However, there is little evidence to indicate that simply cleaning the duct system will increase the efficiency of the system. If you think that cleaning your ducts might be a good idea for your home, but you're not sure, talk to a professional. The company that maintains your heating and cooling system can be a good source of advice.
You can also contact professional duct cleaning service providers and ask them about the services they offer. Remember that they are trying to sell you a service, so ask questions and insist on comprehensive, well-informed answers. A thorough visual inspection is the best way to verify the cleanliness of your heating and cooling system. Some service providers use remote photographs to document the conditions inside the ducts. All parts of the system must be visibly clean; you should not be able to detect any debris with the naked eye.
Show the service provider the consumer checklist after cleaning before work begins. After completing the work, ask the service provider to show you each component of your system to verify that the work was done successfully. Whether or not you decide to clean your home's air ducts, it's essential to commit to a good preventive maintenance program to minimize duct pollution. Whether or not you decide to clean your home's air ducts, it's essential to commit to a good preventive maintenance program to minimize duct contamination.
There should be no moisture in the ducts. Controlling humidity is the most effective way to prevent biological growth in air ducts. You may be familiar with air ducts made of sheet metal. However, many modern residential air duct systems are built with fiberglass panels or sheet metal ducts lined inside with a fiberglass coating. Since the early 1970s, there has been a significant increase in the use of flexible ducts, which are generally internally lined with plastic or some other type of material. Experts agree that moisture should not be present in the ducts and, if there is moisture and dirt, there is a possibility that biological contaminants will grow and be distributed throughout the house.
Controlling humidity is the most effective way to prevent biological growth in all types of air ducts. Providers of air duct cleaning services may tell you that they should apply a chemical biocide inside the ducts to kill bacteria (germs) and fungi (mold) and prevent their biological growth in the future. Some duct cleaning service providers may propose introducing ozone to remove biological contaminants. Ozone is a highly reactive gas that regulates itself in outdoor air as a lung irritant.
However, there remains considerable controversy over the need and advisability of introducing chemical biocides or ozone into pipelines. While some low-toxicity products can be legally applied while the occupants of the house are present, you may want to consider leaving the facility while the biocide is being applied as an additional precautionary measure. Manufacturers of products marketed to coat and encapsulate duct surfaces state that these sealants prevent dust and dirt particles inside air ducts from being released. to the air.
As with biocides, a sealant is often applied by spraying it into the operating duct system. Laboratory tests indicate that materials introduced in this way tend not to completely cover the surface of the duct. The application of sealants can also affect the acoustic (noise) and fire retardant characteristics of ducts lined or constructed with fiberglass and may void the manufacturer's warranty. Most organizations dealing with duct cleaning, including the EPA, NADCA, NAIMA, and the National Association of Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors (SMACNA), currently do not recommend the routine use of sealants to encapsulate contaminants in any type of duct.
Cases in which the use of sealants to encapsulate duct surfaces may be appropriate include repairing damaged fiberglass insulation or combating fire damage inside ducts. Sealants should never be used on wet duct lining, to cover actively growing mold, or to cover duct debris, and should only be applied after cleaning in accordance with NADCA or other appropriate guidelines or standards. Indoor Environment Division Office of Radiation and Indoor Air (6609J) 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N, W. In most communities, there are legitimate, reputable duct cleaning services, often offered by professional HVAC contractors, but unfortunately, this service also attracts a lot of scammers. These products are specifically designed for use in ducts or as ducts themselves, and are tested in accordance with standards established by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Unless a family member is allergic to dust and you want to take special precautions in addition to using a HEPA vacuum, cleaning ducts may not make a difference, from a health point of view, to indoor air quality. You've probably seen an advertisement, received a coupon in the mail, or been contacted directly by a company offering to clean the air ducts in your home as a way to improve indoor air quality in your home. By understanding the causes of a complicated situation and taking appropriate measures beforehand, you can ensure that your air duct cleaning session goes smoothly and without major problems occurring in your home. When service providers arrive at your home, ask them to show you the contamination that would justify cleaning the ducts.