How Air Ducts Are Cleaned and Why You Shouldn’t DIY
Alaskan air ducts can perform at their best for up to 10 years, with a maximum lifespan of 25 years, if they have proper care. To help keep your air ducts operating at their best, they’ll need maintenance including inspections and cleaning. But that doesn’t mean they need yearly cleanings. (Contrary to popular belief, your air ducts aren’t the dustiest place in your home… that’s behind your fridge.)
When the air feels dry or you notice a new smell in your home, this doesn’t always mean cleaning is in store. Because of the nature of HVAC systems, it could mean a variety of things—none of which are easily diagnosed by untrained eyes.
Air duct cleanings are most important for high-risk homes, such as families with asthma or allergies. Clogged or dusty air duct systems can cause reactions to flare and sometimes as extreme as nausea to occur. If it’s been some time and you’ve ruled out the possibility of pests or mold, the best next step to call your local HVAC professionals.
Think you need your ducts cleaned? Moore Heating can help.
What is air duct cleaning?
We’ve already covered this topic extensively, so we’ll keep this section short. Duct cleaning is the process of cleaning your entire HVAC system of debris, including your:
- Air ducts
- Drain pan
- Air plenum
- Blower motor and assembly
- Heat exchanger
- Air filter
- Air cleaner
The methods of cleaning vary, but here in Alaska, we recommend using negative pressure technology to effectively remove not only free-floating particles but the sources of dust buildup, too. Negative pressure ocurs when the air pressure inside your home is lower than the air pressure outside. This phenomenon is what causes doors to slam shut seemingly on their own.
When used in air duct cleanings, it ensures all the “old air” is being replaced by “new air”, which brings dust particles and debris along with it. To find out more about the process of air duct cleaning, schedule your free video examination today.
How do you decide to clean your air ducts?
As we mentioned earlier, cleaning isn’t for everybody. You should really only consider having your ducts cleaned if:
- There is substantial visible mold
- Your ducts are infested
- The ducts or vents are clogged
- Your family is struggling to breathe comfortably at home
The best way to keep dust, allergens, and debris out of your home by yourself is by simply changing your air filters every 90 days. If you’re particularly worried about mold, though, you should know that your ducts will need deep cleaning. Consult your professionals to learn more about HVAC mold.
How does air duct cleaning work?
Now that we’ve covered everything you need to know before deciding to get your ducts cleaned, here’s what you can expect from a service:
Step 1: Inspecting the ducts
HVAC professionals use a variety of tools to inspect the intricate inner workings of your duct systems. Alongside leveraging their five senses to test for mold and buildup, they’ll use access and imaging tools such as vacuum pumps, pipe wrenches, and multi-meters to get a full picture of the state of your HVAC system.
Step 2: Create negative pressure
Once they have an understanding of where to clean, the service provider will turn on the vacuums. This negative pressure pulls the air through your HVAC system, grabbing the floating particles in the process.
Negative pressure can have lasting effects on your HVAC system and home if done improperly. This is why it is essential to have professionals do your air duct cleaning—so your home can stay comfortable after the service.
Step 3: Agitate the dust
With the loose particles out of the way, the next step in the cleaning process is agitating the dust and debris that’s built up. At this stage, it gets a little messy, so consider leaving your home while the professionals do the dirty work.
Step 4: Clean the rest of the system
Air duct cleaning should address your entire HVAC system—not just the ducts. Because your home’s HVAC system has many compartments, ensure whoever you hire mentions cleaning drain pans, filters, and cooling coils, too, as these can all create perfect environments for future buildups and even mold.
Preventing future duct contamination
At Moore, we’re big believers in preventative maintenance. While we don’t recommend cleaning your air ducts yourself, there’s a lot you can do to prevent future dust buildup and the frequency of service.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the best thing to do for your HVAC system is to change your air filter every 90 days. On top of that, we recommend using the highest efficiency filters and keeping an eye on your vents, cooling coils, and drain pans.
If you ever notice your ducts becoming wet, call us immediately. Promptly repairing leaks prevents further water damage that could mean complete replacements needed.
The bottom line is no one can DIY their air duct cleaning. It’s not a necessary service for every household annually, but if it’s been five or more years, it’s time to start considering it. Remember to keep an eye on your system as best as possible, and if your family is showing signs of sickness at home, call your local HVAC professionals immediately for an assessment and cleaning.
Ready for sparkling clean air ducts? Give our friendly team a call.