Have you noticed little wisps of dust puffing out from an air duct every time you turn on your home's heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system? Have you seen dust or pet hair trapped in a vent? Is there dust coating the grill on the return air registers? These might be indications that your home's duct work might be due for a thorough cleaning.
Inside your HVAC system, fine dust collects on air duct surfaces, vents, motors and coils. Flakes of dead skin, hair and pet dander catch onto the dust, and before too long this process creates a dense, mat-like environment where bacteria, mold, dust mites and allergens can flourish. Air filters remove most of these from the air stream, but not for all parts of the HVAC system. That's why it's important to periodically check the condition of your air ducts to see if they could use air duct cleaning services.
Any of these indicators show that your HVAC system and ductwork is being adversely affected by too much dust and dirt:
So what trouble's in a little dirt and dust? Plenty. There are a number of problems caused by dirty ducts, ranging from increased energy costs to health problems:
A visit from a professional air duct cleaning service every 3 to 5 years can prevent many maintenance and health problems before they start. Plus, you'll start saving money on heating and cooling:
A proper cleaning of your HVAC ducts is not a do-it-yourself project, nor a job for a cheap guy with an air compressor in a minivan, either. A thorough cleaning can only be performed by using industry-standard equipment designed to handle the size and volume of all kinds of homes.
While portable cleaning systems cost less and are convenient, they lack the suction power to clean out dust and debris that gets trapped in residential duct work. On average, a portable system uses a small compressor to move 250 cubic feet of air per minute (CFM).
Larger duct cleaning systems mounted in trailers or vans usually rely on low horsepower engine compressors and generate more suction, usually 400 - 1,000 CFM. While that's an improvement over a portable system and might perform adequately for smaller homes, they are too underpowered for the average residential system.
Truck-mounted systems are best suited for most residential as well as commercial duct cleaning. These systems are powered by the truck's engine and develop up to 16,000 CFM. That kind of air flow provides A LOT of suction. You remove dust, dirt and debris from the toughest residential duct systems. Truck mounted systems are also equipped with larger vacuum bags to capture all that dust. The bags fill the back of the truck. On some powerful units, the ceiling is retracted to allow the vacuum bags to expand above the roof. Truck mounted cleaning systems are clearly superior to the other two options. The sheer power produces greater cleaning pressures that work consistently throughout the cleaning process.
The result is an improved and more thorough cleaning that reduces harmful airborne contaminants and increases ventilation efficiency.