What is HVAC Cleaning?
HVAC cleaning is the process of cleaning out your HVAC system using specialized blowers, vacuums, and brushes. Duct cleaning should also involve a thorough cleaning of the air handler, registers, grilles, fans, motors, housings, and coils.1 The EPA recommends cleaning your system when: there is substantial visible mold growth, ducts are infested with vermin, or if ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris.2
How is HVAC Cleaning Done?
The correct method uses negative pressure technology. Negative pressure air duct cleaning is a methodical, straightforward process that delivers clear results.
HVAC Cleaning Steps
- Inspect the vents: This allows you to assess the level of buildup in the ducts beforehand.
- Create negative pressure: The technician will simply cut an access hole in the duct, insert the vacuum hose, and seal where they join as tightly as possible.Next, the technician should seal each register with an adhesive cover. The technician will then turn on the machine creating negative pressure.
- Agitate the Dust: Once the system is under negative pressure, the technician will uncover each register and clean the ducts one by one. Legitimate technicians will use rotating brushes, compressed air tools, and simple vacuum cleaners to ensure dust is dislodged and sucked into the vacuum collection device.
- Clean the rest of the system: NADCA recommends cleaning the other components of the HVAC system as well, including the air handler’s blower motor, evaporator coil, and drain pan.
Cleaning these components, along with cleaning or changing the filter, will improve the air quality in your home as well as extend the life and increase the efficiency of your HVAC system.3
Now that you know the steps involved in cleaning your HVAC, we will now go over the list of parts cleaned.
Items Cleaned in the HVAC Cleaning Service
- Clean main supply duct and branch distribution ducts.
- Clean return air ducts.
- Seal all installation access panels in ducts (as needed for tool access) according to NADCA standards.
Grills and Difusers
- Remove and visibly clean supply registers and return air grilles.
- Clean furnace supply plenum and return air plenum.
- Clean furnace heat exchanger.
- Remove, clean and reinstall blower motor; housing & assembly.
- Check humidifier media and drain pan.
- Clean evaporator coil, drain, and pan drain.
- Ensure cooling coil is visibly clean and drain pan is clean and draining properly.
Furnace Air Filter
- Replace air filter or wash permanent media air filter.
Now that we have gone over the different parts cleaned, we will now cover the benefits of having this done.
What Are the Benefits to HVAC Cleaning?
Indoor Air Quality
Indoor air quality is one concern that homeowners have when they decide to investigate air duct cleaning. Your heating and cooling system is the lungs of your home. The system taken air in and breathes air out.
Through normal occupation in a home, we generate a great deal of contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust, and chemicals. Over time, this causes a build-up of contaminants in the duct work.
While dirty ducts don’t necessarily mean unhealthy air in your home, school or workplace, they may be contributing to larger health issues or harboring contaminants that could cause serious problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders or some environmental allergies.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system. When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire.1
Air Duct Cleaning Scams
- Problems emerge when duct cleaning is not performed properly.
- Not being performed properly often results from hiring someone who promises to give you a cheap special.
- They make a sales pitch based on broad generalized claims on the health benefits of duct cleaning.
- Some may even falsely claim to be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which the EPA does not provide. They may say that the EPA recommends duct cleaning, which it again does not recommend.
- They usually accompany an offer to assess or clean your home’s ducts for a very cheap price. As they often work on commission, they will try high-pressure sales techniques to sell you on expensive add-on services (mold testing, etc) or other service upgrades.
- The allure of a low price can be attractive, but do the math before you give in to temptation.2