Does cleaning air ducts really make a difference?

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). If you or someone in your family has asthma or allergies, you may be considering cleaning your home's heating and air conditioning ducts. But even if you don't have special health problems, cleaning your ducts may appeal to you on an intuitive level.

After all, if the ducts are clean, all the air coming out of the vents should also come out clean, right? While duct cleaning operations may insist that duct cleaning is essential to health, the evidence doesn't support their claims. Companies that clean ducts often announce health benefits or suggest that cleaning ducts will reduce energy bills by improving system efficiency. Some ads even use phrases such as: “Studies have shown that.but there is no data to support these claims. Even if the ducts are dirty, cleaning them probably won't provide any measurable benefit.

In fact, the few independent research conducted on duct cleaning indicates that the process accumulates so much dust that it creates a greater problem than it solves. After all, it makes sense to clean the ducts intuitively, but the rest of the house is dusted off and the rest of the house is cleaned. The truth is that the dust that settles in the ventilation system usually stays where it is and is unlikely to reach the air unless it changes. Under most circumstances, dust is inert and harmless, and removing it with cleaning equipment actually creates major problems.

Little research has been done on the effects of duct cleaning. Studies conducted by the governments of the United States and Canada and health professionals who have researched duct cleaning go so far as to recommend its use, but neither do they support it as a routine measure. EPA and CMHC researchers used different methodologies. The CMHC study used several duct cleaning services.

The companies were not informed that they were part of a study and the researchers did not control the time spent or the methods used. The EPA study prescribed and controlled the methods used in a smaller number of homes. While the duct cleaning industry maintains that both studies are flawed, no other research has questioned the findings. And while the equipment and methods used by duct cleaning companies have changed since these studies were conducted, household air ducts haven't.

Changing air filters frequently is the best way to keep dust, allergens, and other particles out of the home. With a newly installed system or one in a house you just moved into, check the filter once a month to determine how quickly it gets dirty at different times of the year. Most should be replaced every two to three months. Although not always part of their basic cleaning services, many duct cleaning companies also tend to clean heating and cooling equipment (heat exchangers, cooling coils, condensate drain pans, fan motors, fan blades and fan housings). While much of the energy used to power heating and cooling equipment is wasted, that waste is due to equipment inefficiency, poor insulation, leaks around doors and windows, and unsealed ductwork.

While there are some benefits to cleaning and maintaining heating and air conditioning equipment, these benefits are relatively small and little energy waste is attributed to dirty ducts or equipment. The CMHC researchers found that, when duct cleaners also cleaned the fan blades, there was a small reduction of particles suspended in the air. Cleaning the fan could also slightly improve the energy efficiency of the system. The same goes for the evaporator coils in your home cooling system.

Evaporator coils cause condensation and dehumidify air before it circulates around the house. Condensed moisture can cause dust and other particles to adhere to the coils and accumulate in them. In addition, by cleaning the collector tray (and the draining nozzle of the tray) located under the coils, it is ensured that dirt does not accumulate and enter the system. It also prevents water from accumulating in and under the coils, which can cause mold problems.

Also consider inspecting your duct system for leaks, as leaking ducts reduce efficiency and introduce air quality problems. If any member of your household has specific health problems, such as allergies or asthma, consult your doctor first. It is important to identify the problem so that the doctor can suggest alternatives to cleaning the ducts. Start by identifying if the ducts are part of the problem (they probably aren't) and if cleaning them will help (it probably isn't).

If you suspect that you have a mold problem, either because of visible growth or because of a musty smell that constantly comes out of the supply grilles, cleaning the ducts won't do much good if it doesn't get rid of the mold. Mold starts with a moisture problem, and the ducts themselves are unlikely to be the cause. The most likely culprits are the cooling system's evaporator coils, which your heating and air conditioning contractor and most duct cleaning companies can inspect and maintain. Leaky return ducts can also introduce moisture.

Once again, if you suspect a mold problem, consider having a service company inspect the duct system for leaks. Ordering things only helps to a certain extent if, in the first place, you keep buying too much. Duct cleaning isn't necessarily a bad idea, but the truth is that it's not necessary in most cases. In fact, cleaning normally dusty ducts provides no real value.

If done properly, duct cleaning can be useful in limited situations. With growing concern about indoor air quality, it's easy to convince homeowners that their ducts need to be cleaned. You want good air quality for you and your family, so it seems to make sense to clean your home's ducts. Untrained technicians or fraudsters who lack adequate vacuuming equipment to safely clean ducts can dislodge dust that was previously attached to the inside of the ducts and expel it inside your home. When it comes to cleaning air ducts to improve household health, the government branch of the EPA disagrees with medical research and studies that yield different results.

The general recommendation of the NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association) is to perform professional air duct cleaning every three to five years. If your ducts are dirty enough to require cleaning, then you should clean the entire HVAC system (we'll talk about this later), not just the ducts themselves. If you're thinking about doing professional air duct cleaning, be sure to ask how the company cleans air ducts. When cleaning air ducts, specialized equipment and tools are used to remove debris, dirt, dust and other contaminants that enter your home through the air duct system.

This includes changing the filter every 30 days and professionally cleaning the air ducts once a year. A malfunctioning HVAC system, ineffective air filters, poorly installed ducts, and moisture build-up can cause contamination in air ducts. If you don't have any mold problems in your ducts and they aren't infested, the air in your home is likely to work well without cleaning the ducts. Air duct systems accumulate debris and dust, attracting insects, rodents, and sometimes small bugs such as squirrels.

Air duct cleaning has become popular in recent years, with the emergence of commercial cleaning services everywhere.

Estelle Bookhart
Estelle Bookhart

Unapologetic zombie advocate. Award-winning zombie enthusiast. Passionate internet scholar. Hardcore web specialist. Total web trailblazer. Evil twitter junkie.

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