Most people now are aware that indoor air pollution is an issue of growing concern. As an answer to these problems, many of us are seeking out whole-house duct cleaning.
My opinion on duct cleaning? If you’re considering having your ductwork cleaned to reduce the dust and potential allergens in your home, forget about it! That’s the job of your furnace system’s air cleaner or filter.
Once dirt enters into your duct system, the only way it can get out of there is to get it past your filter system. As long as you have your filters, or better yet, high-efficiency air cleaners in place, that problem is solved. What duct cleaning is good for is an overall healthy home approach to cleaner living.
After even as short a period as 10 years, your ductwork may become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen or other debris. If moisture is present, the potential for microbiological growth (e.g., mold) is increased, and spores from such growth may be released into the home’s living space.
Some of these contaminants may cause allergic reactions or other symptoms in people and can become an extreme health hazard.
You may want to consider having the air ducts in your home cleaned if:
•There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system.
•Ducts are infested with vermin, e.g., rodents or insects.
•Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are actually released into the home from your supply registers due to an inefficient air cleaning system.
After your ductwork has been properly scrubbed clean, a sealing solution should be used to prevent any uncollected dust from re-entering the air stream. In many cases, an anti-microbial sanitizing solution also may be applied.
Depending on your duct system’s air filtration equipment, duct cleaning in many cases will promote a cleaner and healthier environment for you and your family.
Joel Wensley is a licensed mechanical contractor in the state of Michigan, a member of the Comfort Institute, and is also the president of Mechanical Heating & Cooling in Dearborn Heights.