WHEN DUCT CLEANING IS DUE
Scheduled Supplies and manufacturers of HVAC equipment sometimes provide instructions on when and how cleaning should be done. Cleaning schedules usually depend on equipment operating schedules, climate, filtration used, air contaminants, occupant costs, and expectations.
New conduits When installing new systems or upgrading older systems, suppliers must provide access to cleaning system components that can be cleaned or replaced when they are contaminated. New equipment must be kept sealed until installed. If not, new builds or upgrades to older equipment should always include duct cleaning. New ducts often contain oil, tools, construction debris and dirt, sometimes even discarded lunch bags, beverage cups, etc. They must be cleaned from the ducts before being connected to the air handling system.
Older Ducts Over time, ducts can be contaminated by dust, dirt, debris, mold, mud, dead rodents, dead insects and other contaminants. The presence of these materials does not necessarily mean that IAQ problems or complaints will occur. Most ducts have small amounts of dry dust accumulated on their surfaces … a common occurrence that sometimes requires duct cleaning.
The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that the conduit be cleaned only as needed, rather than as part of a routine maintenance contract. Remember to have your ducts cleaned every three to five years or whenever serious problems develop. If any of the following situations occur, there are usually one or more underlying causes that you must address, or the situation may reoccur:
- Excess dust and dirt: Ductwork and vents can become so clogged that dust is blown out of your vents when you turn on your HVAC system. Sometimes dust becomes visible when coming out of the supply registers when the system is turned on. Have the ducts cleaned, then dust and vacuum more often to prevent debris from building up in the ducts.
- Mold: Mold grows quickly in the damp dust that is usually found in ducts. Mold can lead to several health problems. It is therefore important to call in a professional if you think that your ducts are developing. Removing mold from the ducts is not enough. Whatever the cause of the problem, such as stagnant water, must be rectified parallel to the de-molding operation.
- You have pets: having pets can cause hair and scalp build-up in the ducts of your home. This can potentially reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system and cause breathing problems if hair and dander are released into the air of your home.
- Pest Infestation: No one wants to think of insects and rodents living at home, but your air ducts are the perfect place for their home. If you see insects, mice or other vermin in your ducts, it’s time to call on the pros for thorough cleaning of the ducts. Rodents, insects and other pests can seep into the duct system and build nests blocking the flow of air. In addition to eliminating nests, feces and other evidence of their stay, you must find the access point of the vermin and seal it.