It’s Back to School Time and We’re Here to Educate Homeowners on All Things Duct Cleaning!
With kiddos heading back to the classroom this month, pencils are sharpened and back-to-school shopping is done (including that never-ending list of school supplies), and students across the globe are ready to learn. That’s why your friends here at NADCA think it’s a great time to educate homeowners on everything you need to know about air duct cleaning!
First, you’re probably wondering why you should get your air ducts cleaned. It’s actually pretty simple. Because they get dirty! Even with the proper use of filters, your home’s heating and cooling system gets really dirty through normal, everyday use, and just as surfaces in your home get dirty and dusty over time, the same can be said for your air ducts!
All sorts of contaminants and air pollutants are common in our homes, like bacteria, pet dander, dust, skin cells, mold, tobacco smoke, and even chemicals. And when all those contaminants get pulled into your home’s HVAC system, they travel through a system of air ducts, and recirculate through your home an average of five to seven times per day. Over time, all that recirculation can cause a major build-up of contaminants in the ductwork and other system components.
Worse, rodents and insects can take up residence in ductwork by chewing their way in or finding an unsealed access route. Once they move in, your home’s ductwork becomes their personal highway for traveling all around your home. Plus, when rodents find their way into ductwork, they make nests and leave droppings behind, as well as some other telltale signs like chewed materials, unpleasant smells, and a variety of bacteria. All those tiny fecal spores and bacteria can then make their way through the ducts and right into your home, eventually contaminating the quality of the air you breathe.
You might be asking ‘So what?’ Well, dirty air ducts can contribute to poor indoor air quality and major health issues, especially for those with respiratory conditions, auto-immune disorders, asthma, or allergies. In fact, according to the EPA, poor indoor air quality can aggravate conditions like asthma, and increase a person’s risk of developing pneumonia and other upper respiratory problems. Even for someone without chronic respiratory problems, all those indoor air pollutants can lead to irritated eyes, nose, and throat, as well as headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.
It doesn’t stop there. As mentioned above, even with the proper use of filters, heating and cooling systems get really dirty. Contaminants in your home’s HVAC system cause it to work a lot harder, and ultimately shorten the life of your furnace and/or air conditioner. When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire, and as a result, less energy is used, leading to lower electric bills.
The bottom line is that having your air ducts cleaned properly can greatly improve indoor air quality, reduce the potential for health problems, save energy, and increase the life of your HVAC system!
About Those Duct Cleaning Scams
As long as we’re educating you on all things air duct cleaning, it’s important to talk about an all-too-common issue in the industry. Scams. Unfortunately, the HVAC system cleaning industry is plagued with fraudulent ‘duct cleaners’ eager to cheat homeowners. Worse, with all the talk about indoor air quality these days, more and more households are exploring options for HVAC system cleaning, which just opens the door for scammers to pounce on homeowners who are already concerned about the health and safety of their families.
When it comes to air duct cleaning specifically, homeowners should beware of what we like to call ‘blow-and-go’ companies. These scammers are known to hook unsuspecting homeowners with bargain-basement prices, then do an inferior job, only cleaning what the homeowner can see, and leaving dirt and contaminants deep within the system. These types of contractors can actually cause more harm than good by agitating rather than removing dust, debris, and pollutants in air ducts (and all those pollutants then circulate throughout the ductwork and make their way into the air that you and your family breathe).
Another common tactic of deceitful contractors is to up-sell add-on services and persuade homeowners to pay for unneeded services. For instance, they may falsely lead homeowners to believe they have mold or other toxic substances in their HVAC system, or use scare tactics to convince a homeowner that urgent repairs are necessary.
As duct cleaning scams continue to run rampant, posts targeting homeowners on social media neighborhood groups are on the rise. In fact, it seems we see multiple posts for super-cheap air duct cleaning on various social media sites every single day, with air duct cleaning scams on Facebook and Nextdoor being the biggest offenders. Learn how to avoid being a victim of scams on social media here.
It’s important to know the signs of a scam, and as a homeowner, you can take steps to ensure you don’t fall prey to dishonest tactics. CLICK HERE to learn how to spot common home improvement schemes.
These days, families are trying to save money wherever they can. But even the best bargain hunters know that some deals are simply too good to be true. While you can skimp on some household services, for others it makes sense to invest a little more.
For duct cleaning, our advice is to always be cautious before jumping into something that seems like a great bargain. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Ready to Get Started?
While many homeowners love a good DIY project, cleaning your air ducts isn’t something you should ever attempt on your own. Sure, you can vacuum dust and debris from around the air intakes and outtakes for aesthetic purposes, but getting deep into the system for thorough cleaning is a complex process that requires advanced knowledge of HVAC systems, as well as highly specialized tools.
It's truly a shame that you can't trust just anybody when it comes to your indoor air quality. But you CAN trust members of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). NADCA members have technicians on staff with advanced training and certification in HVAC system cleaning, and they’re required to follow higher standards, ensuring that contaminants are removed at the source.
NADCA members will ensure your air duct cleaning job is done right, every time.
NADCA makes it really easy for homeowners to find qualified and certified air duct cleaning professionals. All it takes is a zip code to search our online directory to find a NADCA member in your area.