Does cleaning your air ducts work? What does cleaning your air ducts actually do? Will air duct cleaning help you breathe more easily? As allergy season approaches, these are some questions you may be asking and some companies make bold promises to improve your health by reducing allergens in your home. Should you believe them?
Allergies and Your HVAC System
Nearly 25 million American adults and children suffer from asthma and approximately 50 million have allergic rhinitis, or hay fever because the symptoms of both can be triggered by dust mites, mold, and other allergens often found in air ducts and elsewhere in the home. Allergies, according to the CDC, are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. Unfortunately, there hasn´t been any sort of extensive testing regarding the improvement of indoor air quality caused by the removal of dust from within the air duct system. However, according to allergist Anthony Montanaro, MD, ¨...If you’re sensitive to what’s found in dust, it’s to your best advantage to minimize exposure to it¨. Montanaro, a professor of medicine and chief of the allergy and clinical immunology division at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, talks with patients about their heating, ventilation, and cooling systems (HVAC) as he investigates the possible environmental triggers of their allergies. “If they have forced air, that’s part of the conversation,” he says.
The HVAC system pulls the air into the furnace through the intake vent which then pushes air through ducts that run throughout your home. Mark Zarzeczny, who sits on the board of directors of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), calls ducts the "lungs of the home."
How can you tell whether your air ducts need to be cleaned?
Visual clues, like signs of mold and excessive dust around the air vents, can point to a need for cleaning. However, there are other signs that could mean the need to clean your air ducts as well, which include:
If your house is more than 10 years old, have your ducts ever been cleaned?
Does your house constantly collect dust no matter how much you clean it?
Do you notice allergy symptoms when you turn on your heating/cooling system?
Do you have asthma that’s not well controlled even though you’re taking your medicine?
Answering yes to any of these questions should encourage you to consider cleaning your ducts. “It’s better safe than sorry for people who have underlying asthma or allergies or breathing issues,” says Elliott, a spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and chief medical officer of EHE International, a healthcare management company that focuses on preventive medicine.
Cleaning Your Air Ducts
Before cleaning begins, have an HVAC or air duct professional inspect your HVAC and/or air duct system for triggers related to allergy or other respiratory-related health issues. Some companies are dependent on chemical fixes that can cause more problems than solutions. The best companies are those that tend to stray away from chemicals unless it is absolutely necessary to remove and treat specific areas due to mold or mildew being present. The presence of mold likely means a buildup of moisture somewhere in the system. If you don’t correct that problem before cleaning, the mold will return. If there is an increased level of dust, poor air filtration may be to blame and solutions such as our A/C filter replacement plans may help prevent the excess collection of dust in your air ducts. Critters like mice and cockroaches also can contribute to debris in your air ducts. You’ll want to learn how they get in and plug up any entry points before you clean.
Once the air ducts and system have been inspected, our Fresh Air Matters technician can get to work. We use a high-powered Rotobrush vacuum cleaner with attached hoses and a rotating brush to agitate and remove debris. We truly believe in the intention of our name, Fresh Air Matters, by only using chemicals when absolutely necessary. Our service consists of a deep clean. The deep clean we offer removes the allergens and pollutants from within 6-7 feet of the air duct, depending on the access and overall condition of the ducts themselves. However, the only time chemicals will be used is if the presence of mold or mildew is present and treatment and removal are necessary. Although this is rare, it does happen.
How often should you clean your air ducts?
Accordingly to numerous specialists and professionals, you should have your air ducts cleaned every 3-5 years. However, there are numerous factors that have lead those specialists and professionals to recommend that number. The most common reason or poor indoor air quality and HVAC malfunction is restricted airflow and poor air filtration caused by the failure to regularly replace the A/C filters. Allergens and pollutants that escape the filtration of the A/C filters collect within the furnace and air duct system and release back into the air you breathe. Fresh Air Matters offers options to help reduce and eliminate the circulation and collection of indoor airborne allergens that includes dust, dirt, mold, and much more.
One such option is our A/C filter replacement plans. When you schedule your filter replacement plan not only does a Fresh Air Matters technician provide the filters, but we also repalce them for you and clean your return vents every 30, 60, or 90 days. With a Fresh Air Matters A/C filter replacement plan you will never have to worry about replacing your filters again because we do it for you! We also create peace of mind for you knowing that you will always have maximum air filtration and maximum HVAC efficiency.
Time and Cost
The time it takes to complete our air duct cleaning service depends on the number of vents, number of units, and the condition of your air ducts. Generally, it takes around an hour to an hour and a half per unit. Most companies charge up to $35 per vent and hide fees and other costs for the use of chemicals and connection fees. Unlike most companies, Fresh Air Matters does not charge per vent. Our service is priced per unit (condenser/outdoor). That price includes unlimited vents and there aren´t any hidden fees. You will receive the invoice before a technician arrives in order for you to know what you are paying and the invoice can be paid before, during, or even immediately after the service has been completed. Our price for a Fresh Air Matters air duct cleaning is normally $650 per unit, but follow us on our social media, and sign up to become a member at www.freshairmatters.com to receive information on our discounts that includes 20% off air duct cleaning.
Contact Fresh Air Matters to receive pricing and other information.