At Duct Cleaning Bellevue, we believe that there is no such thing as a silly question. We really like to help people understand more about duct cleaning and prolong the life of their heating, air-conditioning, or HVAC system. Here are a few of the most common questions we receive from our WA customers and potential customers:
What is air duct cleaning?
Air duct cleaning is a much more thorough process than what the name entails. While some companies might be concerned with vacuuming out the supply and return air ducts and registers of a particular cooling or heating system, a quality certified duct cleaning should include a cleaning of all components like heating and cooling coils, diffusers and grilles, drip pans, fan housing and motor, and air handling unit housing. If a service provider leaves out the cleaning of any of the system's components, then the duct system will simply be re-contaminated again as the dirt and dust continue to be moved around inside.
The service provider uses a variety of specialty tools and gentle brushes to dislodge dirt, dust and debris from the heating or cooling system, then the team will vacuum this debris with a high powered vacuum with a special filter. It is extremely important that this step is done correctly too and that the service provider uses the proper tools. An everyday vacuum, even a commercial one, can push more dirt inside of the air ducts and system than what it sucks out!
Finally, the service provider should also check the system for signs of mold on air vents and mildew, and implement the proper removal techniques if needed. The team should seal any entrance points to the heating or cooling system to make sure that excess dust and grime, moisture, and potential rodents and insects do not have a way to get inside of the freshly cleaned system.
Are there any health benefits that come from HVAC system cleaning?
HVAC duct cleaning can be the answer you've been searching for if you are someone who suffers from allergies or asthma. While some people are not sensitive or bothered by indoor pollutants like dust and dander, these things can make others have symptoms like itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, coughing and wheezing, and in severe cases the lungs might even struggle to work at full capacity.
The dirt and dust that accumulates inside of an HVAC system is much more intense than the kind you regularly remove from your end table. Things like dead skin flakes and pet dander attach themselves to the dust particles, and the result is a layer of grime that is almost matted together in appearance. In climates like WA, where many cities experience so much damp weather, moisture can mix with this layer of matted grime and it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. For those with allergies, this can make a home like a prison. It's not like they can simply remove themselves from the area when their symptoms become too strong the way they could if they were outdoors. These indoor pollutants are being blown out of their vents and onto surfaces of seating areas, pillows, and even on children's toys. An HVAC duct cleaning can eliminate a lot of these allergens and bacteria, easing symptoms especially for those who are most vulnerable like elderly people and young children.
If your HVAC system is near a wood burning stove or fireplace, carbon deposits can attach themselves to dust and parts of the system. Air duct cleaning removes these potentially harmful deposits and protects you and your family from the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Why is it important to maintain clean air ducts?
Besides giving allergy sufferers good quality air to breathe, air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning help you to maintain the quality of your systems and appliances. HVAC systems and dryers are designed to move air around inside of them in very specific ways. When dust, dirt, and other forms of grime get in the pathway, they limit the airflow. Parts of the machine systems are forced to work twice or three times as hard to overcompensate, and other parts risk overheating because they are not receiving the ventilation they need. Not to mention the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or fire that clogged or dirty ducts can present!
If you have to run your HVAC system for double the amount of time just to get the air to be the temperature you want, or you have to run your dryer for multiple cycles just to get the laundry fully dry, you will be paying for all of that extra use when you get your energy bill! All of that extra wear and tear on your HVAC system or appliance can also cut its life short prematurely, or might require you to replace individual parts as they burn out.
Basically, clean air ducts equal lower energy bills, longer and more efficient appliance life, cleaner air, and a safer environment!
How often should I have my air duct system cleaned?
The answer to this can vary since all building environments are different, but generally every 3-5 years. Cleanings could be necessary more often if someone smokes indoors or if there is a wood burning fireplace. Of course, your gap between cleanings might not be as long if your home or business has undergone a recent renovation or had a recent problem with insects or rodents, since it is wise to have your air ducts cleaned after these events.
It is important however to have your HVAC system inspected once a year to determine if a cleaning is necessary and to make sure that you are not at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. If you can see physical dust coming out of your vents or have other concerns, it can never hurt to get a free estimate!
You can expect dryer vent cleaning to take on a similar schedule. Inspection is especially critical for dryer vents, since dirt and lint build-up can cause the lint or the clothing inside of the dryer to catch on fire if air is restricted from flowing the way it is intended to with your dryer's design. Like air duct cleaning, dryer vent cleaning may be required more frequently based on your environment. For example, if your garage where you do laundry doubles as a woodshop, your dryer could be more susceptible to debris. Once again, if you have any worries or doubts, it's always great to be proactive and there's never any harm in getting a free estimate.
Are there different methods of cleaning an air duct system?
Yes. Cleaning methods continue to evolve as air duct cleaning is still a relatively new field. There are three most common methods that will give you the most safe, precise results:
- Power Vacuum or Air Sweep - This is one of the latest methods, and it is very precise. This method uses streams of air to scrape away the dirt and another powerful vacuum to remove the debris.
- Point of Contact - This method uses a spinning brush to clean the ducts in combination with a vacuum. It is a little less precise, but safer than the air sweep method because the dust particles are not moved around at such a high speed.
- Removing the Source - For this method, mechanical agitation is used to loosen up dirt and debris and they are safely vacuumed away. This is a very commonly used method because it is very precise and also very safe for the air ducts when performed by a talented professional