Your HVAC system is the primary feature in your home that maintains the desirable level of temperature in your household. It also plays an important role in the cleanliness, healthiness, and safety of the air circulating in your home.
Making sure that your ducts are free from damage and contaminants will improve the air quality and the overall efficiency of your HVAC system. In addition, catching small issues before they become larger problems will save you money in repair work and keep professional inspections to a minimum in the long run. As such, HVAC experts recommend that your air ducts be inspected at least once a year.
If you think you can or you simply want to do the inspection yourself, open the vents. They are usually found in most rooms of a home, either directly on the floor or on the upper half of a wall. Unscrew the vent and using a flashlight, investigate the inside of the ducts. If you can’t see very far into the ducts, use a digital camera with a flash to capture greater depth.
During inspection, you have to be on the lookout for signs that your air ducts need to be cleaned. These signs include the following:
• Visible or excessive growth of molds inside ducts or other HVAC components.
• Excessive amounts of dust or dirt.
• The presence of insects or pests or their feces or droppings in the ducts.
In general, DIY duct cleaning isn’t feasible for the average homeowner. This is because this task isn’t as simple as it sounds; you can’t just use a vacuum or brush to clean the duct.
Providers of air duct cleaning services will have the right tools, equipment, and supplies to properly clean the ducts. They are also knowledgeable and trained to use the right methods of air duct cleanings – approaches that are deemed safe and effective.
The most common methods professional cleaners will employ to properly clean air ducts are:
1. Air sweep cleaning. This method makes use of a larger vacuum and compressed air. The compressed air separates the dirt, dust, and debris from the walls of the ductwork and the vacuum collects these airborne particles. This method is thorough but also time-consuming.
2. Mechanical brush cleaning. This method utilizes a vacuum and rotary brush. The rotary brush scrapes and loosens dust, dirt, and debris from the walls of ductwork while the vacuum collects these airborne particles. Many consider this method the most effective but it can be time-consuming.
3. Contact cleaning. Lastly, a conventional vacuum is used to clean dirt, dust, and debris from inside the ductwork. The drawback with this method is that the vacuum won’t be able to reach everywhere within ductwork; as such, the area cleaned is limited by the length of the hose. Areas too far away won’t be cleaned since they are inaccessible.