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To get a grim picture of what constitutes air duct cleaning services, you must first know what air ducts are and their relevance to your home’s comfort. Air ducts are passages that line your home’s interior side and act as a conduit for heated or cooled air from the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) unit to move into your home.
Apart from maintaining favorable temperatures throughout your dwelling, air ducts play a vital role in removing toxins and contaminants from the air you breathe. Such pollutants, including dirt, dust, slime, and mold, often pose serious health risks to you and your loved ones, hence necessitating professional air duct cleaning services.
What’s air duct cleaning?
It refers to the comprehensive process of cleaning all components of your home’s heating and cooling unit. The cleaning process covers the supply and returns ventilation components, fan motor and fan housing, condensate drip pans, grilles and diffusers, heat exchanger heating and cooling coils, and the air handling unit’s housing.
As time passes, these components accumulate debris and other unwanted materials that comprise the HVAC’s ability to keep you comfortable. As such, when you feel your home needs a thorough air duct cleaning service, ensure that the company you contract for the job is qualified to clean all these components during the service. Failure to do this may result in recontamination of the system, which ultimately compromises the cleaning process’s effectiveness in the first place.
Homeowners need to arm themselves with some knowledge on air duct cleaning services to avoid becoming victims of cleaning scams and know when they need the services.
Air duct cleaning basics
Air duct cleaning refers to cleaning various HVAC components, including the ductwork, registers, plenums, filters, evaporator coils, and air handlers. Supplier HVAC systems often provide instructions on the frequency of air duct cleaning services. However, the cleaning schedules are dependent on various factors, including the home occupant’s expectation and area climate as well as the equipment’s filtration system, operating plans, and air contaminants.
Using guidelines stipulated by the National Air Duct Cleaning Association, technicians employ source removal techniques that involve cleaning the HVAC unit by hand using compressed air tools that remove any debris inside the system.
The air duct cleaning service applies to both new and old heating and cooling systems. When installing or replacing HVAC systems, the heating and cooling specialists should always ensure they’ve installed cleanable or replaceable components when they get contaminated.
During the installation process, they should ensure that the new equipment stays sealed until fitted. Where the installers haven’t observed this specification, they should always include air duct cleaning services. This is because new ductwork may contain construction debris, oils, tools, dirt, and other discarded items such as drink cups, which may pose serious problems if not cleaned up before the system is up and running.
Over time, existing HVAC units may become contaminated with dust, debris, rodents, bugs, mold, and slime. Such materials are commonplace inside HVAC units, and they rarely directly affect your Azle, TX, home’s indoor air quality.
This is because naturally, a good number of HVAC systems have dry dust particles on the surface. However, certain instances warrant the attention of a trusted air duct cleaning company. Such circumstances include debris that substantially restricts airflow or when there’s slime growth, permanent water damage, dust coming from the supply and return registers, or unpleasant odors originating from the ductwork.
How do you know your Azle, TX, home needs air duct cleaning services?
HVAC installers and technicians often run the ductwork through the walls and attic, making it quite difficult to tell when it has a problem. Apart from observing dust coming out of the ventilation components, below are a few more indicators that you need a professional and immediate air duct cleaning service.
- Inflated energy bills
Firstly, an inexplicably high monthly energy utility bill could be a tell-tale sign that you may need an air duct cleaning service. The presence of unwanted debris in the system may lead to an increased usage of the unit or mechanical problems that ultimately reflect on your home’s electric bill.
Clogs and leaks may riddle the ductwork and compromise its efficiency in regulating your indoor air quality. Under such circumstances, it’s advisable to seek the attention of a trusted technician who may comprehensively inspect the ductwork, clean it, and seal any leaks to avoid further inconveniences.
- Dirty vents
Also, if you note a rather substantial amount of dirt and debris accumulating near your HVAC unit’s vents, then this could indicate that you need an air duct cleaning service as soon as possible. The accumulation of waste outside the vents could mean a substantial amount of dirt and dust lodged within the ductwork.
This phenomenon should worry any homeowner since it increases the risk of developing respiratory problems and other allergic reactions when left unchecked. Even though an in-depth cleaning service may fail to yield immediate positive results in terms of your health, you should go for it to avoid costly problems in the future.
- Respiratory health problems
Another indicator that you need an immediate air duct cleaning service involves your family members having unexplained asthma attacks, sinus infections, allergies, and other respiratory problems. This could mean that there’s a lot of dirt or debris circulating through your Azle, TX, home’s ductwork.
Throughout its heating and cooling cycles, HVAC units may dispense the excessive amounts of dust and dirt onto your home, thus significantly compromising your indoor air quality. In this regard, if sneezing, coughing, or wheezing have become the norm in your house, then it could be time to seek professional cleaning services.
- Rodent and pest infestation
This is an indicator that you need a professional air duct cleaning service. You can tell there’s a rodent or bug infestation within the ductwork if there seems to be an unpleasant smell of droppings or urine emanating from the system’s duct network.
This is because a rodent infestation may result in a saturation of urine, feces, and other dangerous contaminants into the fibrous duct. As time passes, the smell from such contaminants becomes quite unbearable, leading to low indoor air quality.
That aside, this saturation into the duct system may also lead to HVAC components’ damage, thus significantly reducing energy consumption efficiency and maintaining the desired indoor air quality. Additionally, paired with insect husks and shells, the droppings may cause infections.
- Mold growth
Visible mold growth should prompt homeowners in Azle, TX, to seek a trusted air duct cleaning provider. Even though you may find mold within your home’s HVAC unit, this doesn’t necessarily imply it originated. Since the unit conditions air throughout your home, it may have sucked mold spores from any room.
From there, mold growth would have been exacerbated by the evaporator coil’s dark and moist conditions, which act as a petri dish. Mold can irritate the throat, skin, and eyes. It can also cause severe respiratory issues and worsen the condition of persons diagnosed with other lung infections.
When there’s substantial mold growth in your HVAC unit, air duct cleaning specialists can clean it off. However, this solution may be futile if the mold spores’ origin is not identified on time.
With that in mind, you can now know when to call a technician to avoid the health-threatening implications of having contaminated HVAC systems.
How do professional air duct cleaning experts go about the whole process?
As mentioned earlier, professional air duct cleaning providers near Azle, TX, employ the National Air Duct Cleaners Association’s standardized cleaning services method. The procedure provides crucial information on the areas that the cleaning experts should focus on.
They provide stipulations on the best practices when it comes to the cleaning HVAC elements. The association prescribes the cleaning technique known as the source-removal method. It involves performing the cleaning service using the hands along with compressed air tools and a vacuum collection apparatus that collects dislodged dust and debris.
Below are a few more pointers on what the air duct cleaning service entails:
When you call a certified air duct service provider, their first course of action often involves a visual and comprehensive inspection of the ductwork near the supply and return vents. Before they’ve arrived, you can conduct a basic assessment beforehand to help you determine if they’ve done a good cleaning job. During the inspection, air duct cleaning service providers with considerable experience in the field may use advanced camera technology to determine the full extent of debris buildup before they’ve begun cleaning. Such technicians may also conduct other inspections to locate leaks and kinks to allow them to execute repairs and replacements accordingly.
- Comprehensive cleaning
After inspecting the ductwork, the professionals use enormous, truck-mounted vacuum collection devices to suck the unwanted materials. However, before beginning the cleaning process, the contractors must hook the collection device’s hose to a duct located near the air handler for starters. In due process, the contractor will create an access hole in the chimney, fix the vacuum hose, and seal where they converge tightly. This process must be done to the return and supply side of the HVAC unit.
Afterward, the technician should seal each register with an adhesive covering. This is important because solid vacuum collection devices may be ineffective where there is a room within your Azle, TX, home, with an uncovered register.
Once this is done, the air duct cleaning service providers may now switch on the vacuum unit, which creates negative pressure to suck any unwanted particles within the ductwork.
After the vacuum has begun its intended job, NADCA-certified air duct technicians will carefully uncover each register, then remove and clean the ducts therein one after another.
You can tell if your contractor is qualified for the job by noting the time they spend on each duct. Fly-by-night air duct cleaners are reputable for hastily moving through the various processes. However, a certified air duct cleaning technician takes their time and uses a simple vacuum cleaner, compressed air tools, and rotating brushes to ensure every unwanted element is dislodged.
Once they are done with this process, NADCA recommends that the technician embarks on cleaning other HVAC components, such as the air handler’s drain pan, blower motor, and evaporator coil. This improves the lifespan of the entire system and its efficiency in terms of energy consumption and performance.
What to look for in a professional air duct cleaning service provider?
With everything laid bare on the various intricacies of air duct cleaning, homeowners need to know what to look for in a professional NADCA-certified air duct cleaning technician. Below are a few pointers to help them down the road:
- Firstly, homeowners should steer clear of duct cleaners who claim to be certified by the EPA. According to the agency, it doesn’t create any duct cleaning standards, and neither does it endorse, authorize, or approve any air duct cleaning companies.
- Homeowners should avoid contractors who make unsubstantiated claims on duct cleaning’s health benefits; especially, those who suggest that air duct cleaning should be a part of routine HVAC maintenance.
- Homeowners should strive to find HVAC contractors who won’t use chemical reagents during the cleaning process. In this regard, you shouldn’t accept the use of such substances unless you fully understand the merits and demerits.
- Also, you may consider going through the online reviews of various air duct cleaning service providers. If you decide to look for a contractor using this method, look for the contractor with a proven track record of ensuring customer satisfaction.
- After you’ve picked a few considerations, run those company names through agencies, such as the Better Business Bureau, to check whether there have been any complaints regarding their quality of service that the company you’ve chosen offers.
Your Air duct cleaning aficionado in Azle, TX
Even though the above information helps homeowners understand how the air duct cleaning process works, it’s pretty much not a DIY task. To ensure constant fresh air within your home and enjoy the HVAC system’s full benefits, you can contact One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth for regular air duct cleaning services. Our licensed technicians assess air ducts in your home and offer comprehensive IAQ services to identify and resolve toxic molds problems. We are just a phone call away.