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Important Myths About Air Duct Cleaning You Need to Know

Jul 27

Ductwork: The Real Work

It may seem that air duct cleaning is an effective way to maintain cost-effective heating and cooling and avoid costly repairs. In reality, it is often the reverse.

Let's take a look at what duct cleaning is and what myths it doesn't.

  • Debris from pest damage, home reconstruction, or lack of routine maintenance can cause clogging in the air ducts.
  • While ductwork cleaning is necessary to remove any debris, it's not essential for ongoing preventative maintenance. Routine cleaning is not necessary.
  • Cleaning ductwork does not improve airflow, although it can help to impede it. It does not permanently remove mold and odors. And, depending on what type of ductwork is used, may actually cause damage.
  • To determine the best way to maintain your ductwork, consult an HVAC specialist.

What is a Duct? And Why Should I Care?

The duct is the pipe that runs through your home to allow for forced air transport. The airflow can come from within your house from your furnace, air conditioner, or outside. It could also take in air from the outside or exhaust it out. Ducts are typically made of metal, flexible plastics, or fiberglass. Although ducts are usually round, they can be made into any shape you need.

Air ducts are unlikely to be seen in any exposed ceilings or walls. This is most likely your basement or attic. Out of sight is out of mind. Dirty ductwork can lead to problems.

Your HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning system) can become clogged with dirt, dust, debris, and other particulates if it isn't maintained properly over time. A typical six-room house can produce up to 40 pounds of dust annually from everyday living. Dirty air conduits can cause your cooling and heating system to work harder and use less energy. Any of the following can make this problem worse:

  • Rodent nests, and other insect or animal pest damage
  • Inadequacy of routine maintenance
  • Remodels or home renovations that make existing ductwork insufficient
  • Inadequately sealed ductwork, floor supply registers
  • Sealants and tapes adhesive deterioration

A duct cleaning service can be used if you notice significant mold growth, rodent, or insect infestations in your HVAC system, and/or dust coming out of your vents.

Clean Your Ducts

Some homeowners may think that they can clean the ducts by themselves using a vacuum and a long brush. This is a bad idea. It is not possible to clean air ducts yourself. Only hire a professional technician with the proper tools and equipment.

Air duct cleaning can be done using a high-end brush machine and a vacuum. It uses a HEPA filter (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter. The brush is used to run the ductwork several times starting at the furnace's furthest duct.

To remove dirt and debris, the technician starts at the farthest duct runs from the system. To ensure that all particulates are removed, it is a good idea to do a furnace and indoor coil cleaning.

If you want your HVAC system's cost efficiency to continue, it is a smart idea to have periodic air duct cleaning.

But not necessarily.

The Truth About Duct Cleansing

When the situation calls for it, Duct Cleaning Miami can perform air duct cleaning. There are many myths surrounding duct cleaning. Before you decide whether a duct clean is the best way to maintain your HVAC system in peak condition, it's important to understand these facts.

1. Duct Cleaning Increases Air Flow

False. Duct cleaning is the temporary solution if you have problems with airflow, heating or cooling in your home. Duct cleaning removes tiny particles that have settled in your duct system over the years. Duct cleaning will not alter the layout of your system, increase airflow or balance your duct system. Cleaning your ducts will not seal any leaks.

Adequately addressing air flow issues requires a professionally-conducted Flow Hood test to measure the volume of air that is pushed through your HVAC system and a complete duct inspection. There are many possible solutions, but some of them may include:

  • Airflow balancing damper
  • Expanding a portion or all of the duct system
  • A complete duct system redesign

2. Ducts need to be cleaned every 3 to 5 years

Not at all. Although air duct cleaning is necessary to remove particulates from HVAC equipment that have accumulated, it should not be an ongoing problem. Regular HVAC maintenance does not include duct cleaning. You don't need to clean ductwork if it is well sealed.

One exception is if your recent remodeling or new construction project created lots of dust. You might consider duct cleaning. Once the ducts have been cleaned, you should not need to clean them again.

You can save money on HVAC operations by performing simple maintenance tasks yourself. It also prevents costly repairs in the future and the need for frequent cleaning of ducts.

3. Ducts Cleaning Removes Odors and Mold

Absolutely not. Duct cleaning by itself will not remove odors from your HVAC system. This is only temporary. You will soon smell the same odors again!

Spraying on odors will not get rid of the source. You must eliminate the source of the odors to get rid of them completely. This includes, but isn't limited to:

  • Rodents
  • Pet droppings or fur deposits
  • Incorrectly sealed ductwork can allow in the air from outside your crawl space or attic.
  • Moisture buildup or mold growth

Air duct cleaning removes particulate deposits. However, it doesn't remove the underlying causes. You can upgrade or add an air purifier to your home once the odors have been eliminated. This will help you keep your home clean and healthy.

4. Duct cleaning does not damage your air duct work

Yes, it can. Some types of ductwork are more susceptible to damage. Before you clean ductwork, it is important to determine whether you have any of the following:

  • Flexible Ductwork - Flex ducts are made up of a spring wrapped in a thin layer of plastic. This thin layer of plastic is covered by insulation that blocks heat from entering or leaving the duct. The duct's exterior cover is located around it. The fragile plastic layer around the spring can crack over time due to heat buildup in your attic or walls. This type of ductwork can be most easily damaged during cleaning. The greater the chance of damage, the older the ductwork.
  • Alumaflex Ductwork: This ductwork has a corrugated interior that is covered with insulation underneath the exterior cover. Because the ductwork has a more rigid structure, it is easier to clean and less likely to cause damage.
  • Rigid (also known as Solid Sheet Metal or KD Ducting): Rigid is made from solid sheet metal and is typically rated between 28-24 Gauge. If it is properly installed with the correct sealant and insulation, this ducting will have the highest integrity of all ductwork. This ducting is more likely to cause additional damage and provides the best results when it comes to duct cleaning.

These types of ductwork have sheet metal distribution wires that direct airflow to various areas of your home. They also include balancing dampers to distribute airflow, sealant, and duct tape to secure the ducts.

A qualified HVAC specialist will inspect your ductwork and determine whether it is suitable for you. Failing to do this could cause damage to your ductwork and increase the cost of future repairs. The rotobrush can get stuck in the balancing dampers. This could cause damage to your ductwork.

It is equally important to inspect ducts before cleaning them. Asbestos is a serious problem in older installations. Before duct cleaning, asbestos must be removed. You will inhale asbestos, which is known to cause cancer.


Duct Cleaning Miami

Miami, FL

(305) 290 3290