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Keep Your (Air Conditioner) Ducts in a Row

 In Air Ducts, Air Quality, System Maintenance

Your air ducts are an important part of your home comfort system. Ductwork typically isn’t visible inside the home; it runs through the attic, walls and other spaces to carry heated or cooled air around your home. Keeping these invisible arteries clean is key to a clean, efficient climate control system.

What is Air Duct Cleaning?

The EPA says that air duct cleaning usually refers to cleaning the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers; heat exchanger coils; drain or drip pans; the fan motor and housing; and the air handling unit housing. If not kept clean, these components are magnets for dust, pollen and, if there’s moisture around, mold. These contaminants can cause allergic reactions and other adverse health conditions.

When to Have Your Ducts Cleaned

If someone in your home has allergies or suffers from an unexplained illness, first talk to your doctor. If environmental pollutants seem to be at fault, call a professional to have your air ducts examined and cleaned — and this is a professional’s job. The EPA stresses that not only must all components be cleaned properly, but some specialized equipment may be needed, as well as advanced testing if there’s mold found.

Consider having your air ducts cleaned if:

  • There’s mold growing inside the hard surface ductwork or other components of your heating and air system. If there’s mold on your insulation, it cannot be cleaned and must be removed and replaced, the EPA says. You should also correct the conditions that cause the mold in the first place, otherwise it’ll just grow back.
  • There’s vermin in your air ducts.
  • Air ducts are clogged with dust and debris or if particles are released into your home from the registers.

Finding a Professional

NADCA: The HVAC Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Association recommends hiring a certified professional, such as Barineau Heating & Air, to clean your system. Certified professionals have training specific to your system, maintain appropriate insurance and comply with NADCA’s code of ethics. When talking to potential contractors, the association says, ask some of the following questions.

  • Can you show proof of certification and insurance?
  • Will you clean, at minimum, the air ducts, coils, drain, registers, grills, air plenum, blower motor and assembly, heat exchanger, air filter and air cleaner?
  • Can you limit the dust, dirt and debris that will get into my home during cleaning?
  • Will you use both agitation and vacuum collection while cleaning?
  • Can you give me a list of chemicals used as part of the cleaning and provide a safety data sheet for the products used?

Barineau can examine your system and provide you with a free estimate of how much it will cost to get your air ducts in order. Schedule an appointment today and save 15 percent on air duct cleaning when you sign up for the Total Comfort Service Program.

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