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HVAC Air Duct Cleaning Explained: What You Need to Know


According to the National Air Duct Cleaner’s Association (NADCA), you should have the ductwork in your Harker Heights, TX home professionally cleaned every two to three years. Even the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lauds the merits of these services and suggests cleaning your ductwork on an as-needed basis. Duct cleaning removes built-up particulates that have bypassed HVAC air filters or entered air distribution systems via gaps, cracks, perforations, or other air leaks. It improves indoor air quality (IAQ), optimizes airflow, and contributes to better and more efficient heater and AC performance. The following is everything you need to know about these treatments.

Duct Cleaning Eliminates Harmful Pathogens

Whether you adhere to the recommendations of NADCA or clean your ductwork on an as-needed basis, these services are essential for combatting HVAC pest infestations. If you’ve ever had mice, rats, raccoons, or insects moving around in your ducts, you can be certain that these pests have left plenty of detritus behind. Wings, exoskeletons, feces, food, and carcasses are just a few of the most common. Having professionals extract these remains and apply sanitizing solutions will keep residents protected from dangerous bacteria and other germs.

Increase Your Odds of Winning the Battle Against Mold

Having your HVAC air ducts cleaned is also important when battling mold. Dirty air ducts create the ideal environment for fungi by supplying plenty of moisture and food. This is especially true when built-up debris inhibits airflow and causes a rise in indoor humidity. When mold and mildew proliferate in ducting, they’re constantly circulated throughout homes. Following professional duct cleaning services, you’ll find it much easier to eliminate stubborn and recurring patches of mold in other areas.

Some Duct Cleaning Methods Aren’t Ideal for All HVAC Air Ducts

HVAC duct cleaning is performed in a variety of ways. Some companies use mechanical agitation to slough off tough or tacky build-ups. Others use high-power suction equipment to pull all trapped contaminants out without scraping or scrubbing the interior of ducting. There are even companies that combine mechanical agitation and suction and then finish their work by applying sanitizing and deodorizing solutions.

Unfortunately, aging air ducts aren’t always able to stand up to the high forces and jarring movements of certain duct cleaning methods. If your ducting already has patched sections or sections that are riddled with perforations or rips, replacing these structures entirely could prove to be the most cost-effective solution.

Different Options in HVAC Air Duct Cleaning

As per NADCA, the two primary goals of air duct cleaning are breaking contaminants up and extracting them. While some contractors only focus on ducts themselves, it’s best to make this an all-inclusive effort by additionally cleaning:

  • Air registers, vents, and grilles
  • Heat exchangers
  • Blower motors and assemblies
  • Condenser and evaporator coils
  • The air plenum

The vacuum and brush method is a popular technique that works well for ducting with tacky, stuck-on debris at its interior. Mechanical brushes scour away tough accumulations and medium-power vacuums suction the resulting waste up. The biggest drawback of the vacuum and brush method is that it often lacks sufficient suction for lifting out heavy debris, including much of the detritus that gets left behind by trapped animals.

High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuuming offers greater suction but eliminates the scouring action of mechanical brushes. With this method, a powerful HEPA vacuum is attached to ducting to create negative air pressure. When build-ups at air registers and vents are heavy, small-sized, hand-held tools can be used to push these blockages free and force them closer to the vacuum’s hose.

While the EPA asserts that duct cleaning is unlikely to cause duct damage when performed properly, many HVAC experts disagree. These services must be streamlined to suit the materials, layout, age, and needs of each duct system. When HVAC ductwork is nearing the end of its lifespan, both mechanical agitation and negative air pressure could lead to structural problems or outright collapse. Given that HVAC air ducts typically last between 10 and 15 years, if you have dirty air ducts that already have supplied close to two decades of service, now is probably the best time to have them replaced.

We’ve been serving Harker Heights, TX and the surrounding communities since 1997. We offer top-notch AC, furnace, and heat pump installation, maintenance, and repairs. You can also turn to us for HVAC air duct cleaning, smart thermostats, and advanced indoor air quality solutions. To sign up for our HVAC preventative maintenance plan or schedule duct cleaning service, contact Kane Heating And Air Conditioning now.

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