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As a homeowner, you fully understand the importance of your residential HVAC system. Without it, your indoor living conditions can be uncomfortable when the temperatures drastically rise or plummet during the summer or winter seasons. For the indoor air in your home to remain cool or warm during such times, your home’s HVAC unit relies on the air ducts for the distribution of the conditioned air.
Although the average American supposedly spends approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, most residential property owners rarely give much thought to their system’s air ducts. Most of them often forget that the air ducts are the components responsible for distributing cold or warm air throughout their residence. Therefore, without proper maintenance, the air ducts may slowly lose their efficiency in keeping your home comfortable.
This is among the main reasons why an air duct cleaning service should be conducted regularly. To ensure you’ve understood the essence of regular duct cleaning, below are some of the few things you should know before contacting your nearest HVAC service provider.
What Does a Duct Cleaning Service Entail?
Although most property owners have seen several multimedia productions advertising duct cleaning services, few of them truly understand what they entail. Essentially, it involves your local HVAC professional removing all the debris that has collected inside your home’s heating and AC unit as it strives to keep your household comfortable.
Both the US Environmental Protection Agency and the National Air Duct Cleaners Association are yet to agree on the impact of duct cleaning on a home’s indoor air quality. However, they have acknowledged that it can be beneficial for homes that have inhabitants struggling with respiratory issues. Duct cleaning can also help improve your unit’s operational efficiency, which can in turn reduce your household’s energy costs. With that in mind, here’s what may happen during a duct cleaning.
Your Fort Worth, TX, duct cleaning service expert will start by conducting an in-depth inspection of your residential heating and cooling system once they’ve arrived on your property. During this time, their main focus will be on the ductwork, checking out its layout while evaluating the extent of dirt accumulation.
Your HVAC professional may use a specialized camera that allows them to see deeper inside the duct. Additionally, their inspection service may entail checking for leaks or any visible signs of damage. If some are present, your heating and AC service provider should offer repair solutions based on the situation.
After assessing every aspect of your unit’s ductwork, they should provide an estimate of how long the duct cleaning process may last. However, a reliable contractor should be able to complete the process within three to five hours or more. The time taken is often determined by how large and complex your system’s ductwork is.
Hooking Up the Vacuum
Your system’s ductwork is pervasive, which is why your duct cleaning service professional will first partition the area. Sometimes the vacuum may lack enough power to pull out all the dust and debris in the ductwork. Therefore, your HVAC service experts may erect zone bags to help distribute the ducts into manageable sections.
Once everything has been set up, they will then mount the vacuum onto the company truck and connect it to the ducts of both the furnace and air conditioning system. Afterward, your professional may create an access hole in one of the ducts located near the air handling unit. They will then insert the hose and seal it tightly to ensure that the vacuum only sucks dust and debris from the ductwork. The registers may also be sealed to facilitate this function.
Applying Negative Pressure
After connecting the vacuum to the ductwork, your technician will switch it on, creating negative pressure. This pressure will loosen the dust and dirt particles while transporting them into a collection bin.
You should always work with a trained, licensed, and certified HVAC professional since this part of the duct cleaning process can go south in many ways. If an untrained individual operates the vacuuming system, they may create excess negative pressure, which can cause structural damage to the ducts.
That said, besides a powerful vacuum, you should also have the knowledge and vocational training needed to clean ducts without compromising their structure. That’s why you should always work with a reputable duct cleaning service professional.
As the negative pressure is being applied, your HVAC contractor will remove the registers, so that they can clean each section of ductwork separately. They will clean each component individually to ensure that all the duct and debris have been removed. This is to complement the work of the negative pressure since it may not be enough to ensure that the ducts are left spotless.
Disrupt the Dust
For the negative pressure to suck out all the dust and debris that’s in the ductwork, the dust should be disrupted. Professional duct cleaning technicians can use various devices to agitate the dust, including compressed air, air whips, and brushes.
Only a well-trained artisan should be left to handle these tools since they can compromise the structure of the ducts if used incorrectly. Your HVAC expert will then agitate the dust in one duct while ensuring that it’s sucked by the vacuum before embarking on dislodging the dust in the next part of the duct.
If you’ve neglected regularly maintaining your residential HVAC unit, the dust buildup may be extensive, causing it to stick on the walls of the ducts. Technicians may have a hard time removing it, and if too much negative pressure is applied, the ducts may be damaged, causing them to develop leaks that may affect your system’s functional efficiency in the future.
Move to the Other Unit
As a Fort Worth, TX, homeowner, you probably rely on a heating and air conditioning system for indoor comfort during the extreme conditions prevalent during the summer or winter. Both the furnace and air conditioner have two sets of ducts that should be cleaned during your home’s duct cleaning service.
Once your technician is done cleaning the supply side, their focus should shift to the supply side of your residential heating and cooling system. Just as before, they’ll cut a hole into one of the supply ducts to find a connection point for the vacuum nozzle. After inserting the nozzle, they will seal it up and connect the collection point.
To ensure that the supply duct cleaning service is comprehensive, your HVAC professional will use air whips, brushes, and compressed air to disturb the dust particles. Both sets of ducts should be comprehensively cleaned to guarantee maximum operational efficiency after the service.
Sanitizing the Ductwork
The next important stage of every duct cleaning service involves sterilizing or sanitizing the ducts to kill any germs, bacteria, or mold spores that may have been thriving inside the system. This may also allow you to get rid of any allergens that may be making your indoors uncomfortable for some of your family members who constantly experience allergic reactions. Just like any other stage of the duct cleaning process, the sanitizing of the ductwork should be exclusively left to a well-trained duct cleaning service professional.
They’re the only individuals with adequate knowledge of which tools to use, the best products that won’t harm your unit’s ducts, and how much of the products to use to prevent the smell of the cleaning chemicals from lingering for days within your house.
Cleaning the Remaining Parts of the System
Duct cleaning goes beyond merely cleaning the ductwork. After the ducts have been comprehensively cleaned, your duct cleaning service provider may then direct their attention to other HVAC components, including the drain pan, blower motor, and evaporator coil. They may also clean or replace the system’s air filter to help improve your unit’s overall efficiency. During this time, the HVAC professional will also block the access holes that had been made earlier to facilitate the vacuuming process.
Needless to say, you should always let a trained duct cleaning service professional clean the other HVAC components. If you try to do so alone, you may apply excessive pressure, which could damage them, or fail to effectively clean all the duct and debris. However, your heating and AC professional may know different chemicals they can use to clean the various components without leaving any damage.
Once everything has been completed, your technician may conduct a post-service inspection to determine if there’s any damage to the ducts and ensure that the ducts have been cleaned properly. During this time, they may provide recommendations regarding when you should schedule your next duct cleaning service.
The Undeniable Benefits of Duct Cleaning
Currently, duct cleaning has not been proven entirely effective in preventing health problems. However, if you’re considering scheduling a duct cleaning service in Fort Worth, TX, below are some of the benefits you may enjoy in the long run.
Improved Airflow Efficiency
Dirt and debris buildup in the air registers and ducts can clog the treated air’s passage, reducing the amount of air that eventually reaches your indoors. Consequently, your indoor comfort may be diminished, especially during extreme weather conditions. An air duct cleaning service will leave your system clean, allowing you and your family to enjoy favorable indoor conditions all year round.
Reduced Concentration of Allergens and Irritants
Bacteria, pollen, and mold spores will thrive inside filthy ducts. If your Fort Worth, TX residence has someone who experiences frequent allergic reactions, they may find the indoor living conditions almost unbearable. Duct cleaning can help get rid of these pollutants, thus ensuring that the air you breathe is clean and safe.
A professional air duct cleaning service can also help remove strange odors that may sometimes originate from the HVAC system. These odors can be quite embarrassing if you have guests within your household. Through regular duct cleaning, you can remove all the potential causes of unpleasant smells, leaving you indoors smelling fresh all the time.
Minimized Energy Costs
Besides improved indoor air quality, air duct cleaning can also help improve the operational efficiency of your residential HVAC system. Consequently, it may consume less power as it works around the clock to keep you and your family comfortable, downsizing your monthly energy utility bills significantly.
Extended HVAC Lifespan
A well-maintained heating and air conditioning unit can remain functional for anywhere between 15 to 25 years. However, this duration may vary based on various factors, including the prevailing climatic conditions of the area you live in, the air quality of your home’s external surroundings, frequency of maintenance services, and usage. Neglecting maintenance is often the leading cause of premature HVAC failure, and duct cleaning is an essential part of HVAC maintenance.
If your Fort Worth, TX, property sits near a natural landmark such as a forest, there’s a higher probability of pest and insect invasion. Pests such as rodents are particularly a menace for any homeowner since they won’t stop digging until they find a passage into your residence. During this time, they may create routes even inside your HVAC’s ductwork.
Your air duct cleaning service professional can help clean the unit to ensure that the rodents and critters don’t create a permanent habitat inside. By doing so, you may also be able to avoid some of the health risks associated with excessive pest infestation.
When to Expect Results After a Duct Cleaning Service
The difference created by duct cleaning depends on your sensitivity to air quality. However, anyone with a history of respiratory issues may notice an immediate change. Duct cleaning could also be a beneficial solution to homeowners who would like to eradicate smoking residue or odors resulting from pest droppings or mold and mildew growth.
Contact a Reputable Duct Cleaning Service Provider Today
If you notice strange odors, pest droppings on the floor, or the uneven distribution of conditioned air, don’t hesitate to contact the Fort Worth, TX, duct cleaning professionals at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Fort Worth. We can inspect your system’s ductwork and the other HVAC components and provide repair or replacement solutions accordingly.