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The Hood Magazine

Before You Get Your Ducts Clean

Jan 24, 2021 04:05PM ● By Foley’s Heating & AC, Inc.

By: Foley’s Heating & AC, Inc. 

The following statement is sure to raise some eyebrows... According to the EPA, the cleaning of ductwork has never been proven to reduce health risks in a home. Considering what we have all been living through for the past year, many of us have become increasingly aware of the air we breathe. Given that the only air quality we might be able to manage is that which exists in our homes and possibly workplace, it is only natural to consider that duct cleaning might improve air quality. Not so says the EPA. They also state that dirty ducts do not increase the amount of dust accumulation in a home. Studies show that typical household dust and particles adhere to ductwork and do not infiltrate the home. Does that mean that you should NEVER have your ducts cleaned? Of course not, but understanding the legitimate reasons is important and knowing how to improve your home’s air quality other ways is also important. 

Often homeowners are convinced their HVAC ducts harbor mold. Typically, if mold has infiltrated your HVAC system it is because of a specific reason and to simply have ducts cleaned without addressing the reason for the mold will only provide a temporary fix. Also, before you invest in the cleaning of ductwork you might consider having what you believe is mold tested. If a service provider is indicating a presence of mold ask for proof. 

If your ductwork has become home to rodents or insects, it is definitely time to have a professional cleaning of your ductwork performed. Other conditions that warrant the cleaning of ducts would be a buildup of debris or particles due to construction or remodeling that results in substances actually exiting HVAC registers.  

How can you maintain acceptable air quality in the home? Air filtration. You likely encountered instances over the past year where businesses and service facilities touted the use of in-duct air filtration devices. These devices distribute ionized hydroperoxide molecules. The hydroperoxide molecules attack airborne contaminants such as bacteria, mold and dander. It also charges the air particles it comes into contact with and causes them to stick together, making it easier for your air filter to remove the enlarged particles. 

The most common and affordable way to maintain air quality is to use high quality air filters and change them regularly. Be careful to not use a filter with such a high MERV rating that it inhibits air flow through your system. As always, your local HVAC professional can provide valuable insight into the ongoing maintenance of your home’s HVAC system.