When servicing air conditioners, we are sometimes asked, how often should you clean your air ducts? Those of you who have read our articles, know that we are a small, U.S. Veteran-Owned HVAC company and pride ourselves on giving people honest, straight answers. Cleaning air ducts is a hot topic in recent times because people are concerned for their health, and indoor air quality is an important part of that. To be perfectly honest though, the real question you need tobe asking is,should I have my air ducts cleaned at all? The answer to this depends on who you ask and there is an entire industry that has popped-up (almost overnight) that is based on air duct cleaning and indoor air quality. I will tell you that All Systems Mechanical HVACdoes not offer residential air duct cleaning for a couple of very important reasons: the most noteworthy of which is that, in our experience, if your air ducts actuallyneeda cleaning, then something biggerhas already gone wrong with your system; secondly, cleaning your air ducts isnt all that effective and can damage them. So, is AC duct cleaning necessary? The short answer is no, but to answer this question more in-depth, this article will discuss what air duct cleaning is, thepros and cons of having your air ducts cleaned, whether or not you should spend the money, and if not, what you should be doinginstead.

Indoor air pollution is a hot topic these days and like every new industry, everyone is trying to get their piece of the pie. Air duct cleaning is just one part of a broader industry aimed at increasing indoor air quality and promoting good health. Duct cleaning is a service provided by some companies who utilize vacuums, brushes and chemical cleaning compounds to scrub the inside of your air conditioning ducts and HVAC coils, including supply and return air ducts, heat exchangers and evaporator coils. The claim is that this will increase the health of you and your family by decreasing the number of contaminants in your air. If we are being completely objective, however, I think it is important to point out at this point that according to the CDC, there is no evidence that duct cleaning increases your health. More from the CDC can be found under:CDC Air Duct Cleaning.

The cost of an air duct cleaning can vary, but it ranges anywhere from around $300 to over $1000 for a full cleaning of your ductwork. Be wary of anyone who claims that they will do it for the bargain price of $75! If you are going to get your air ductscleaned, do it right. Anyone claiming that they will do it for less than $300 is either going to do a poor job, or has hidden fees. Remember the old adage: if its too good to be true, then it probably is. Be careful.

Gratuitous Rant: First, Ill be honest with youI think this is all a bunch of voodoo. If you properly replace your air conditioning filters, on the proper interval of every three months, then having your air ducts cleanedwouldnt be necessary in the first place. Second, having replaced a lot of ductwork in my day, let me tell you that if you have flex-duct, which you probably do, having your air ducts cleaned is going to tear them all up on the inside. On the inside, they are plastic about as thick as a disposable tupperware container. They are meant to maintain proper air flow over a 10-20 year lifespan, NOT to be scraped with a brush and vacuum. Weve had to replace a lot of ductwork in our day from people having their ducts cleaned. That being said, you are here because you are interested in having your air ducts cleaned, so Ill be nice from here on outbut now you know my thoughts.

But Tim, just because there is no evidence to support the claim that cleaning your air ducts improves the health of you and your family does not mean that it doesnt!

The most appealing argument that can be made is that cleaning your central air conditioning ductwork gives you peace of mind. Think about it, you have no idea what is hidden in the depths of your AC ducts so it can be comforting to know that a professional has inspected them and taken a good look inside. If you do decide to take this route, take some time to research your local contractors and only choose a reputable duct cleaner. For more tips on how to choose an HVAC contractor, take a look at: How to Choose a Contractor: 5 HVAC Tips You Must Know. Here are some possible advantages to having your AC ducts cleaned:

According to NADCA, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, strong consideration should be given to having your air ducts cleaned if you fall into one of the following categories:

I have a problem with most of these statements which I will discuss in more detail in the next section, but of the above reasons to clean your ducts I would have to say that there isonly onethat I would take seriously: Prior to occupancy of a new home. Everything else will be addressed in our next section.

Even though there is no evidence to support the claim that duct cleaning benefits your health, there is also no evidence that it harms your health if done properly. So if you have just had your ducts cleaned, dont fret about it. It wasnt a bad investment in your health and overall it definitely helped more than it hurt.

In my opinion, you should never get to the point where a duct cleaning is necessary, and it is completely preventable. Instead, you should rely on preventative maintenance to ensure the health and welfare of you and your family. In other words, treat the causes, not the symptoms! Here are some tips to keep your air conditioning system running cleanly and efficiently:

If you follow the above foursteps, then you will never need to clean your AC ducting. But what about the conditions recommendedby the NADCA for the use of a duct cleaning company? Ill spare youmy typical, cynical rant about the role that lobbyists play in swaying such organizations, and get to the list. Lets take a look at each:

What if you just moved into a new house but the air conditioner is not due for a replacement? This is the only circumstance in which I would consider having your ducts cleaned. I would also recommend that the cleaner you choose be an HVAC contractor as well so they cancheck your ductwork for leaks.

Be Careful of Misleading Advertisements or Claims. If its too good to be true, it probably is.

If you have your heart set on the peace of mind in having your air conditioning ducts cleaned, then that is fine. Id start though by taking the preventative measures listed above in order to ensure that your problem doesnt return after theyve been cleaned. Then, Id make the following recommendations:

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Cleaning your air conditioning ducts sounds like a good idea, but to be perfectly honest it is mostly marketing and hype, in my not-so-humble opinion. I wouldnt go as far as to call it a scam, per se, but I would tell you to be careful with your money when you start askingyourself, should Ihave myair ducts cleaned? If you follow proper preventative HVAC maintenance practices, then you really shouldnt have to have your AC ducts cleaned, and if you do decide to do it, then it should only be a one-time thing. If you do decide to go through with it, thats okay, but Id recommend you follow the tips above and try not to buy into the hype too much. For more information on other related air conditioning topics, visit the ASM Air Conditioning Blog. If you live in Santa Clarita and the Southern California area, give us a call and wed be happy to help you: Contact All Systems Mechanical.

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November 7, 2018 at 11:47 am by admin
Category: Air Duct Cleaning