People usually understand why they should have a professional come out and work on their air conditioners, even if it’s just a preventative maintenance call. A/C units are intricate and complex, and skimping on maintenance can lead to big problems later - in the middle of the hottest night of the summer, for example.
But a lot of people overlook the need to have their air conditioning ductwork cleaned. Frankly, this makes no sense at all. The ducts are the passageways that carry the air your family breathes. Whatever is in those ducts will end up in your lungs - and if there’s dirt and grime in the ducts, it can make you sick. Why wouldn’t you want to ensure your home’s indoor air is as clean as possible?
When should I get my ducts cleaned?
Most professionals agree that ducts should be thoroughly cleaned every two to seven years. Whether your ducts need a cleaning after two or seven depends on a number of factors:
- Are you or your family members having trouble breathing, or is anyone in the household experiencing allergy problems that weren’t there until fairly recently?
- Does the air coming out of the vents smell musty? Can you see particles of dust in it?
- Is there visible mold in your vents?
- Is there evidence that rodents or insects may be living in your vents?
- Are your air return vents covered with dust and pet hair?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it’s probably time for a cleaning.
What to expect from your duct cleaners
Obviously, different companies will have different ways of doing things. But there is still a minimum baseline of service that you should expect from any professional duct cleaning service.
- Conduct an asbestos inspection.
- Open access ports or doors, in order to clean the entire system (and not just the parts that are easy to reach).
- Use only HEPA vacuum equipment, or make sure the vacuum exhausts all particulate matter outside your home.
- Take steps to protect your carpet, furniture and belongings from damage.
- Ensuring the ductwork itself is protected and intact, to include sealing any gaps or holes the technicians may have had to make themselves.
If the company you hire isn’t doing at least this much, ask them why not. If you’re not satisfied with their answer, call someone else.
Bad cleaning jobs can be dangerous
Sometimes, a sloppy or ineffective cleaning is worse than doing nothing at all. Taking a slapdash approach to cleaning your air ducts can actually raise even more particles and dump them into the air. In extreme cases, a poor cleaning job can even result in serious damage to your HVAC system.
That’s why it’s important to make sure your air conditioning duct cleaners know what they’re doing. Make sure the company you choose has plenty of experience with this sort of work, as well as a long list of satisfied customers - a company like Easy A/C, for example.