Air Duct Cleaning: How to Ensure the Job is Done Right

Posted on 03/25/2019

Clean indoor air is very important, considering the average American spends 90 percent of their time inside. Unlike the causes of outdoor pollution (think cars, trucks, buses, etc.), the causes of indoor pollution are less obvious. People may think they’re safe from air pollution while indoors, but according to the EPA, indoor air can be two-to-five times more polluted than the air outside!

While indoor air pollution awareness and concern have grown, many still don’t realize that everyday activities can be contributing to poor indoor air. Cleaning products, craft supplies, hair sprays and yes, even candles can be polluting your home. These and other similar household products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can be released into the air when you are using them, and, to some degree, when they are stored.

Luckily, you can combat these contaminants and refresh your indoor air quality with air duct cleaning. So, what exactly does air duct cleaning do?

Woman checking indoor air quality

The Process

The air ducts in your home are part of the HVAC system, which also includes coils, an air filter, blower motor and assembly, grills, and heat exchanger.

There are two main components to proper air duct cleaning: breaking contaminants loose and contaminant collection. Before cleaning begins, the entire HVAC system is placed under negative pressure to prevent debris from spreading around your home. Then a professional will use specially designed devices, such as brushes, air whips or compressed air nozzles, to loosen the contaminants present in your air ducts. Once the debris and fine particles are airborne, they can be removed from the system.

There is a wide variety of equipment available to air duct cleaning professionals. Both truck-mounted and portable vacuums can be used to stop the spread of contaminants and get the system cleaned to the NADCA Standard.

Finding a Qualified Contractor

To avoid air duct cleaning scams and ensure your air ducts are cleaned correctly by a reputable company, it’s important to hire a NADCA-certified professional.

NADCA members have completed advanced training in HVAC system cleaning and follow a higher standard. They have a thorough understanding of how to clean different types of ductwork and verify your air ducts are clean after the job is done.

The be a NADCA member, the company must:

  • Have at least one Air Systems Cleaning Specialist (ASCS) on staff
  • Maintain general liability insurance
  • Agree to clean your home according to NADCA Standards
  • Comply with NADCA's Code of Ethics

These requirements were established to provide a higher level of assurance to homeowners like yourself. Check out NADCA’s Find a Professional page to locate a reputable air duct cleaning company near you.

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