What could possibly be in my air ducts?
What could be in your air ducts is the same things that are in your vacuum cleaner bag. Picture a full vacuum cleaner bag. This bag may contain any or all of the following debris: carpet fibers, skin scale and hair, dust mites and their feces, food crumbs, pet food and cat liter, mold and mildew, drywall dust and new construction debris, insect and rodent excrements and remains, bacteria and viruses, pet hair and dander.
Now picture 2-4 grocery bags full of this same material. This is an accurate picture of how much debris B&F vacuums out of an average sized home’s air duct system. Then consider that a standard fiberglass filter is less than 7% effective at stopping this debris from eventually breaking down, passing through your filter, and back into the air you and your family breathes.
How do I know if my system needs to be cleaned?
Smoker(s) in the house? Have pets? Have “dust trails” or discoloring coming out of your registers? Constantly dusting furniture? Does anyone in your family suffer from allergies, asthma, headaches, sinus or nasal congestion? Do you have young or elderly family members that tend to be more susceptible to respiratory illness? Have a furnace that uses a standard disposable filter? Does it seem like there is not enough airflow coming from your registers? Has it been two years or longer since your system has been cleaned?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it may be time for you to consider having your air duct system professionally cleaned!
Even if you are the best housekeeper in the world, what about the person that lived there before you? New home? In almost every case pieces of sheetrock and sheetrock dust, dirt, nails, pop cans, and other debris fall into your registers during the construction of your home.
I vacuum down each register, isn’t that enough?
What you see down each of your registers is just a small portion of what lurks in the main trunk line of your ductwork. Your ductwork consists of register boots and laterals that all tie into a main trunk line. The next question How is My System Cleaned? gives you a complete description of the cleaning process. Be aware of companies that only vacuum down each register and do not even touch your main trunk line. You are paying them a lot of money for a partial job.
How is my system cleaned?
The most effective way to clean air ducts is to use “source removal” techniques. This process is the highest standard in the industry and is the only method endorsed by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, NADCA.
Using the B&F Power Vac state-of-the-art truck-mounted vacuum, your system is placed under negative pressure. While the vacuum draws air through the system, various tools are inserted into the return and supply register boots to dislodge contaminants and debris. The powerful vacuum pulls the contaminants out of the air ducts, removing them from the system and your home with no mess left behind. The technician will also hand wash each of your registers. The final steps are to clean the plenum, furnace, heat exchanger, evaporator coil, condensate drain pan, and the blower housing, motor & wheel.
How long should it take to clean a typical residential system?
A typical three to four bedroom home will require 4 to 8 man hours for cleaning.
What’s the benefits of air duct cleaning?
Clean systems are less likely to breakdown. Nine out of 10 A/C system failures are caused by dirt and dust.
Savings on monthly heating/cooling bills. Research by the U.S. EPA shows that buildup of .042 inches of dirt on a heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease in efficiency by 21%. Clean systems restore capacity and lessen running time.
Dust on furniture is reduced. Dust is made up of dirt, pollen, fibers, mold spores, hair and other allergy causing particles. About 95% of these particles will pass through your filter and back into your home.
Maximum airflow possible from your registers. The dust that stays in your system will accumulate on the fan blades of the blower motor, the grills, or the inside of your ductwork. This build0up in your air ducts can reduce the flow of air up to 40%
Allergy sufferers may find relief. Now acknowledged as a major allergy and disease-causing problem by leading medical authorities, poor indoor air quality has prompted doctors and allergists to commonly prescribe furnace and air duct cleaning as one of the ways to reduce allergy problems.
To ensure good indoor air quality in your environment. The EPA states that indoor air is up to 70 times more polluted than outdoor air, now consider that according to the American Lung Association most people spend 90% of their time indoors.
How do I choose an air duct cleaner? (This is according to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, NADCA.)
1. Make sure the company uses “source removal” cleaning methods designed to extract the debris within your ductwork. The routine application of encapsulate (also known as “duct sealing”) is not recommended.
2. See if the company has been in business long enough to have adequate experience.
3. Verify that the company is certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) to perform Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system cleaning. B&F Power Vac is proud to be a member of NADCA and employ certified NADCA Air Systems Cleaning Specialists.
4. Inquire whether the company is in good standing with your local Better Business Bureau. B&F Power Vac is proud to be a member of the Better Business Bureau.
5. Make sure the company is properly licensed and insured.
6. Make sure the company is a member in good standing with (NADCA). Choosing a NADCA member to perform the work will ensure that your home receives a thorough “source removal” cleaning in accordance with the association’s mandatory performance standard.
7. An EPA report says watch out for the so-called $99 (or less) whole house specials” and other sales gimmicks. An inadequate job can cause more problems than it solves. Make sure you have the scope of work and the total cost before work begins. Beware of add on sales. Wise consumers will know what they are getting for their money.
Why should I choose a NADCA certified company?
Why should you, the consumer, choose a National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) Certified Company to clean your HVAC system over a non-certified company? There are several reasons.
Every NADCA Certified company must adhere to NADCA’s Standards. NADCA continuously develops and researches the HVAC hygiene industry, resulting in the production of industry-wide standards. Since NADCA Certified companies adhere to NADCA Standards, they are staying abreast of new equipment, technology, and the most cutting-edge cleaning procedures.
Each and every NADCA Certified company has at least one Air Systems Cleaning Specialist (ASCS) on staff who have taken and passed the NADCA Certification Examination. Passing the exam demonstrates extensive knowledge in HVAC design and cleaning methodologies. ASCS’s are also required to further their industry education by attending seminars in order to maintain their NADCA certification status.
Perhaps the most important reason that you should choose a NADCA Certified company to perform your HVAC cleaning is that NADCA members only apply source removal methods. NADCA Certified companies do not perform, suggest, or recommend, “encapsulation” or otherwise known as “internal duct sealing” as a HVAC cleaning method. (This is the process where a glue-like substance is used to make contaminants adhere to the HVAC system.) Source removal is the most effective and thorough HVAC cleaning method.
For more information, click here to read the article “Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned?” by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.