While duct cleaning isn't something you'll need often, there are times when it's worth the investment. In some homes, Northeastern Ohio's high humidity levels contribute to mold growth in the ducts. In older homes, the ducts may have accumulated an unhealthy level of dust and other debris.
Here are some issues that might make duct cleaning work consideration:
- Airborne dust: If you notice dust or debris particles coming out of your registers, chances are your ducts could benefit from a cleaning. Try vacuuming your register grates and the visible part of the duct. If dust still blows out into the air, it's likely coming from the ducts.
- Mold and pests: Visible mold or pests such as rodents or insects are both issues that warrant cleaning. If an HVAC technician suggests your ducts are moldy, but you haven't noticed a musty odor or seen mold in your ducts, ask the technician to show you the mold.
- Health concerns: Dust and other allergens in the ductwork may, in theory, aggravate allergies or asthma. Before you schedule duct cleaning for health reasons, talk with a doctor to confirm that cleaner indoor air may help. Avoid technicians who promise health benefits from duct cleaning. Cleaning ducts has never been proven to prevent or alleviate any health problem.
- After a major construction or remodeling project: Once the sawdust and plaster dust phase is complete, it is often a good idea to then clean the ductwork. It is usually best to not run the HVAC system in the affected area and use supplemental heating in the construction area in lieu of the regular system. Make a point to the general contractor that debris is not to be swept into the HVAC openings in the floor (all too common).
Unless you have one of these problems, you probably don't need duct cleaning. If you do have dirty ducts, an duct cleaning technician can clean them with specialized equipment. The technician will use vacuuming equipment that sends the dust and other debris outside your home or through a HEPA (very high efficiency) filter. This equipment is used along with a brush that breaks up debris for easier removal without damaging your ducts.
The technician should also help you resolve the cause of the debris buildup to prevent future problems. In some cases the cause of the dirt stems from house construction problems. Often a Home Performance Assessment is a good idea prior to having duct cleaning performed. This will make sure that you are not simply treating the problem and ignoring the underlying problem.
For guidance on deciding whether or not to clean your ducts or for other HVAC related issues, contact us at P.K. Wadsworth Heating Cooling. For more than 75 years, we've been providing reliable HVAC care throughout the Greater Cleveland area, including Beachwood, Twinsburg and Pepper Pike.
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Paul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.