Efficient and robust heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, commonly referred to as HVAC systems, form a vital component of most modern homes and commercial organizations, as they ensure a high degree of comfort in indoor environments. Air is transported through a complex network of ducts and vents in an HVAC system; therefore clean and operational air ducts are essential for the functioning of these systems.

Cleaning the air ducts in an HVAC system is a specialized task wherein even trained and experienced professionals need to exercise great care and caution during the process. Thus, it is highly advisable that you do not try and clean your air ducts yourself.

The most important question you must answer before getting in touch with any cleaning and restoration experts is whether your air ducts really need cleaning. According to the National Air Ducts Cleaners Association, you should seek to get your air ducts cleaned every three to five years, to ensure optimal functioning of your HVAC systems.

Do I need to clean my air ducts?

Here, we have listed a few scenarios wherein air duct cleaning by a team of experienced professionals is recommended. These instances will help you answer the question, “Do I need to clean my air ducts?”

Recent renovations: If your property has undergone a major renovation recently, then you may need to get your air vents and ducts cleaned as debris kicked up during construction work could still be lodged in the ducts and vents of your HVAC system. It is recommended that you seek the help of professionals to thoroughly clean out any residual debris as prolonged exposure to harmful particulate matter can be detrimental to your general health and well-being.

Mould and mildew accumulation: Humid conditions or the presence of moisture can pave the path for mould and mildew to grow and thrive in your home/building’s air ducts. Furthermore, other factors such as inadequate ventilation or even leaks in your water pipelines can trigger the growth of mould in air ducts. However, it is also important to remember that not every type of mould is equally harmful; and thus if you have spotted or have been informed by your local technician that mould has infested your HVAC system, then we would recommend you seek appropriate guidance, preferably from a company with IAQA-certified (Indoor Air Quality Association) experts.

Mounting power bills: An inadequately maintained HVAC system can become inefficient as dust and debris-laden air ducts can restrict the air-flow rate and require your systems to operate more vigorously to adhere to the thermostat’s temperature, as set by you or your family members. As a general rule of thumb, if you notice a significant spike in your power bills, it is advisable to get your HVAC system’s air ducts examined by a qualified expert as increased power consumption by an inefficient HVAC system can be one of the reasons for the rising power bills.

Insect and rodent infestation: The quickest way to ascertain whether you have dead rodents or insects in your air ducts is to look for the presence of blowfly maggots; apart from the obvious odor which often accompanies dead or decaying bodies. Rodents reproduce rapidly, and irrespective of whether they are alive or dead, they bring with themselves a whole host of potential health concerns and diseases, which they spread through direct contact or through their feces. Therefore, a thorough cleaning by professional duct cleaners is critical in this scenario as their commercial-grade tools such as high-powered vacuum machines, advanced and powerful bushes as well as the use of biocides allow them to properly eradicate any potential health hazards or contaminants still lodged in your HVAC system’s air ducts.

Perennially dusty surfaces: If you spot that the surfaces of the furniture, work surfaces in your building are perennially coated with a layer of dust, despite you dusting and cleaning them regularly then you may need to get your air ducts examined by professionals as your HVAC system might be releasing dusty air into your house’s indoor environment through its supply and return vents.

Cost of cleaning air ducts

Professional cleaning services from reputed experts can cost you anywhere between $300 to $625 for a residential project, with the cost depending upon various factors such as the size of your house, the size of the ductwork, and the degree of cleaning and restoration required.

Bear in mind that mould and mildew cleaning and removal charges may be levied separately by cleaning professionals.

It is also important to bear in mind that for commercial projects the cleaning rates of air ducts of commercial buildings vary according to the size, number and complexity as compared to residential HVAC systems.

Choosing the right air duct cleaner

It is recommended that you only opt for a NADCA certified technician or a NADCA member firm to get your HVAC system’s air ducts professionally cleaned; as commercially available vacuum systems are not up to the task, and a lack of prior experience and expertise may result in you actually damaging ductwork instead of cleaning it.

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