Your HVAC equipment should be regularly inspected, cleaned, serviced, and maintained. This is why many homeowners contract with HVAC companies to have their HVAC equipment serviced annually by qualified technicians. If you don’t maintain your HVAC equipment properly, you could experience decreased efficiency in heating and cooling. This can lead to potential damage and additional costs.
Although your furnace and AC units may require maintenance at a lower frequency, your ducts could still be affected by dust, polluting, or mold buildup. Your HVAC technician should inspect your ducts during each annual visit.
Although some homeowners are capable of handling air duct cleaning by themselves, there are some things you need to know before you open up your ductwork. These are some basic duct cleaning tips to help you get started.
When to Clean
Some people suggest that you clean your ducts once every three to five years, while others recommend that you never clean them. The frequency and need for cleaning ducts will indeed vary from one household to the next.
It is a good idea to have your HVAC technician inspect the ducts as part of an annual inspection. This will allow you to track any buildup and other issues that might need cleaning. The EPA states that there are a few circumstances in which duct cleaning is necessary.
You should be aware of potential health hazards such as visible mold and materials left behind by pests (e.g., nests, feces or dead insects, rodents or rodents). You should make sure that ducts don’t become blocked with dirt and other debris. A blocked duct can not only affect the air quality of your home but also reduce your energy efficiency which leads to high energy bills.
What you’ll need
You can clean your ducts by making a dent. However, you will need the right tools if you want to clean by yourself. To access the ducts you will need a screwdriver and a vacuum with a hose attachment. You also need regular cleaning supplies such as rags, solvents (possibly bleach), and a scrubbing brush to remove any dirt, dust and debris.
Because you never know what you might come across, you may want to have some protective gear such as gloves, goggles and even a mask made of paper. Even dust can irritate your skin and lungs. If you come across pollutants, mold, or animal waste, you will be thankful you have protective gear.
How to Clean
Begin by vacuuming the ducts. Then, remove them. Next, clean as deep as possible with the tools you have. You can use mirrors or your smartphone camera to see further into the ducts.
Check for debris in the ductwork, and be on the lookout for loose connections. Check exposed ductwork in basements or attics if you are able. This could provide valuable information about hidden ducts.
There’s a chance that you will need to clean the ductwork more deeply if you see a lot of dirt or debris. If this is the case, you should contact a residential air duct cleaning company to complete the job.
Get professional help
You may feel competent in cleaning your air ducts, but you might not be able to do this labor-intensive task on your own. Luckily, you can hire professionals who specialize in commercial and residential duct cleaning.
Your annual HVAC inspection, cleaning, and maintenance company may also offer related services like dryer vent cleaning, trash chute clean, and air duct cleaning. Sometimes, it’s better to hire professional help.
For example, if you find mold in your ducts while cleaning them, it is best to call a professional. While HVAC technicians can handle a wide range of issues with air ducts, you might also need to hire a mold remediation specialist.
A professional can clean your ductwork. They are trained and ready for the job. Not only do they have the experience and training to handle any ductwork issues (dust, mold or pest infestations), but also the equipment that will allow them to reach deeper into your ductwork than you could.
Although there are many things a homeowner can do to keep their house in good condition, you may not be able to do the job properly. An experienced technician is often the best option if you want to get the job done right.
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