Duct Cleaning: What You Need to Know in Mobile ALPublished on: July 20, 2012
Most modern residential and commercial buildings have cooling and heating delivered from a furnace or central heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit directed to various areas via a duct system. Over time, dust, dirt and other debris begins to collect within these systems both from indoors and outdoors. It isn’t just recommended, but required, to perform a duct cleaning as part of routine air conditioner maintenance in order to safely remove these unwanted particles from the system.
Prevention can be the Key
There’s not much more unpleasant for a Mobile, AL resident than turning on the air conditioner after not using it for awhile and watching tufts of dust, pet hair and other particles shoot out of the openings. These particles can also serve as contaminates that cause a slew of health issues for the home’s inhabitants.
The first defense in keeping ventilation ducts from getting clogged with potential contaminates is preventing these particles from entering in the first place. Proper air conditioner maintenance and regularly changing filters can definitely help. However, sometimes filters get damaged or we forget to routinely change them. There is there a guarantee a filter will capture all particles, which is why duct cleaning is so important to prevent build-up within the system.
Duct Cleaning Benefits
Ventilation ducts are typically dark, damp, and can provide an assortment of microbes and nutrients that make it an ideal breeding place for dust mites, fungi, and mold. These types of elements can cause severe allergen issues and spread throughout the living environment with the help of the blowers. While duct cleaning is not a cure-all solution to better health, it’s a crucial step in order to improve indoor air quality.
Air conditioner maintenance professionals across the U.S. agree that periodic air duct cleaning is not only an effective way to dramatically improve indoor air quality, but it also alleviates the environment of various pollutants and contaminants. Such contaminants can trigger an array of adverse reactions with people that have sensitivities to these elements. The added benefit is that clean ducts will allow your HVAC system to run much more efficiently, which can reduce energy costs.
When Duct Cleaning is a Must
Although cleaning your ducts hasn’t been proven with any hard data that it will prevent specific health problems, cleaning them will emphatically wipe out dust, pollen, mold, and other particles that have been known to aggravate allergies and asthma. An inspection is highly recommended if the following is true – if there is:
• Visible mold in any part of the components of the heating and cooling system
• An unusual musty odor not noticed before
• An infestation of rodents, bugs or insects
• An increased level of indoor dust buildup
• Pets in the home
• If you’ve done recent home remodeling
• An increase in energy bill costs
A cleaning is essential in the event of a flood or water damage that could have affected the air duct system. A rodent or insect infestation also makes a cleaning important, as their droppings can be potentially hazardous. An air conditioner maintenance inspection is also important if you’ve never had the ducts cleaned or you don’t know when the last cleaning was performed.
When a Professional is Needed
Air conditioner maintenance is required from time to time because they are mechanical devices that can break down or not function correctly. A leak or excess moisture that happens to get into the duct system can provide a perfect environment for mold to form and grow. Once mold begins to form, it can rapidly spread airborne as the vent system blows constant air over the spores. A professional air conditioner maintenance expert can detect and remove these substances even in areas that can’t be seen or are inaccessible. Typical HVAC cleaning equipment includes:
• Contact cleaning – utilizes a specialized vacuum to collect all particles from inside the ducts
• Air sweep cleaning – utilizes both a vacuum and compressed air, which separates particles from inside the duct walls, while the vacuum collects the particles
• Mechanical brush – scrubs the areas with a rotary brush
With proper inspection, a professional cleaning expert will not only clean ducts and other components, such as coils and the central system itself, but it will also etect deficiencies or damaged points in the system. A system’s inability to heat or cool your home efficiently can also lead to higher energy costs.
What Mobile AL Residents Should Know
If you decide to have your ducts cleaned by a professional, it’s important to know that cleaning prices will likely vary depending on the size of the indoor space and the condition of the HVAC system. Although an air duct cleaning is at times crucial, a company with integrity will first do an inspection and inform you if cleaning is necessary. They will also inform you of which areas are essential, the choices you have, and what the estimates are before the cleaning is performed.