Most residential homes and commercial premises rely on a vent system to move cool and warm air throughout the interior spaces. While keeping the vent system is crucial to your comfort, it is only half the story. Homes and commercial spaces with clean air ducts are healthier, easier to keep clean and have reduced heating and cooling bills. If you have an air duct system installed and have never had it cleaned even once, it might be time to consider air duct cleaning.
Pure Eco Inc. is a reputable company that is dedicated to providing competent insulation and energy efficiency services in the Los Angeles area. We not only strive to keep indoor temperatures at tolerable levels, but we also help to maintain the airways as clean and healthy as possible. The dedication of our highly skilled, experienced and professional experts has made us an industry leader in insulation, attic cleaning, and duct & Vent services.
What is Air Duct Cleaning?
Air duct cleaning generally means the cleaning of certain heating and cooling components of forced air systems. These components include the air handling unit housing, fan housing, and motor, condensate drain pans, heating, and cooling coils, heat exchanges, diffusers and grilles, supply and return air ducts and registers.
If not well maintained, these components may become contaminated with dirt, dust, pollen, and other debris. If you think that that air duct cleaning might be a good idea for your home or commercial building, but are not sure, talk to us and we will advise accordingly.
Signs that your Air Ducts need Cleaning
Many are the tasks you know you need to handle without ado. There are others that can be put off until later. And then there are some tasks you tend to put off the longest simply because you don’t even know they need doing. Air duct cleaning tends to fall into this latter category.
Most people pay little attention to their vent systems until something has gone terribly (and expensively) wrong with it. Luckily, air ducts can get creative in alerting you that they need your attention. If you have observed any of the following signs manifesting in your home or office, it’s probably your air ducts sending you an SOS:
- A decline in air quality
In our day-to-day lives, we, our pets, and the environment generates a lot of air pollutants and contaminants, such as dander, chemicals, dust, etc. Your HVAC system, on the other hand, is the lungs of your home – it takes air in and out throughout its functional life. In so doing, it pulls in the air pollutants and contaminants and re-circulates them. Over time, the re-circulation leads to a build-up of contaminants in the ductwork.
If you see a puff of dust coming out of your air registers when your HVAC system kicks on, this is a good sign that there is more filth where that puff came from. High levels of dirt and contaminants circulating through your HVAC system can lower the quality of indoor air and exacerbate respiratory problems and allergies.
Aside from visible dust, another telltale sign of poor air quality due to debris lurking inside your air ducts is an odor. If something smells off and you can’t find anything amiss after looking every possible place, the culprit might just be inside your air ducts. So, it is well worth your while to consider air duct cleaning if you notice a decline in indoor air quality.
- Unexplained health problems
If you or your loved ones are having unexplained health problems, ranging from asthma, sinus, allergy, wheezing, sneezing, or other respiratory problems, the problem could be excessive dirt and debris that is circulating through your air ducts. With high concentrations of dust and bad odors in the air, respiratory problems are bound to occur. It is, therefore, best to call an air conditioning maintenance company to perform air duct cleaning.
- Abnormal spikes in your energy bills
Have your energy bills been rising without any good explanation, such as mechanical problems with your unit or increased usage? If you have answered in the affirmative, that is another sign right there. Leaks or clogs in your air ducts tend to reduce the system’s efficacy, making it work harder than it should. The harder your system works, the more energy it consumes and the higher your energy bills. Before you accuse your utility company of larceny, you might want to hire an air duct cleaning company to inspect and clean your ducts.
How Often Should You Clean Your Air Ducts?
Air duct cleaning is undoubtedly an important component of HVAC maintenance. It gives you the peace of mind knowing that your home or office space is filled with fresh clean air. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends cleaning your air ducts every 3 to 5 years. How soon you’ll need to have yours cleaned will depend on where you live.
Tips on How to Choose a Professional Air Duct Cleaning Service
With so many duct cleaning companies out there, how do you know which one is the right one for the job? Well, follow the following tips to narrow down your search:
- Ask if the company carries all the necessary professional and business licenses
Some states have statutes that require air duct cleaning companies to hold air conditioning contractors’ licenses or similar licenses. It is, therefore, important to contact a government official to find out if your local area or state requires air duct cleaners to have a business or professional license. If it does, ensure that the air duct cleaning company you hire is licensed.
- Ensure the company is NADCA certified
Air duct cleaning companies that are certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association are adequately trained and in compliance to appropriately and safely inspect, clean, and restore HVAC systems. Moreover, NADCA certified companies adhere to a strict code of ethics.
In other words, air duct companies that are certified by NADCA are most reliable. So, be sure to visit NADCA’s website to see if the air duct cleaning company you want to hire is in good standing.
- Check whether the company has insurance
Regardless of how skilled or experienced the professionals doing the air duct cleaning are, mishaps can still occur. You need to speak to the air duct cleaner about insurance and reimbursement costs if your personal property is damaged during the air duct cleaning process.
NADCA certified companies are required to carry liability insurance in order to maintain their membership. So, if you choose a service provider that is certified, you will not have to worry.
- Research the background and experience of the company
It is important to ask how long an air duct cleaning company has been in business to establish their experience with cleaning air ducts. Ensure that they have worked on HVAC systems similar to yours to ensure that they will be capable of doing the job effectively and quickly. In case the company is new in the industry, you can find out about the employee’s prior experience.
It is also important to ask for referrals from past customers to see if they were contented with their service. You may also want to visit the company’s website to check out customer feedback and testimonials.
- Determine what kinds of cleaning products a company uses
Some air duct companies use chemical bio-acids and chemical treatments to prevent the future growth of mold. While such chemicals help to get rid of mold and prevent its future growth, they may pose some health risk. To prevent any health risks, you should ensure that any chemicals used by the air duct cleaning company are EPA registered for the intended application.
You do not have to do any atypical house cleaning after the air duct cleaning job. So, find out whether the air duct cleaning company takes measures to protect your home and belongings during the cleaning process to ensure that you won’t have to clean up after they are done.
- Verify all fees charged by the company
Before agreeing to the air duct cleaning service, you should call up the company and get an estimate. This will enable you to determine if you will be charged by the procedure or by the hour. It is best to have them print out your agreement highlighting all fees associated with the cleaning service to avoid potential discrepancies over price.
- Find out how long it will take the company to do the cleaning
It is best to inquire whether the cleaning process will take a few hours or several days. Some companies split up the service over a couple of days. Asking beforehand how long it will take a company to complete the job will enable you to make special arrangements or make plans to leave the house if the process will take longer.
- Compare services offered by different companies
Air duct cleaning is not just about removing dust and debris. A good company should inspect your system for existing asbestos as its presence poses some risk. A good company should also take measures to safeguard you and your pets from contamination by covering your household belongings before getting down to work. A good company should also insulate and seal any holes they may create during the cleaning process.
While one company may go out of its way to offer a comprehensive air duct cleaning services, another one may only scratch the surface and call it a day. It is, therefore, advisable for you to compare different services offered by different companies to find the one that offers wide-ranging services. Also, be sure to compare their rates so you can find the one that offers the services you are looking for at a price that is within your budget.
What to Look for When the Air Duct Cleaning Company is on the Job
- Labels on cleaning products
A duct cleaning may claim to use safe cleaning products on their website or over the phone, but their employees may show up with completely different products. Before they start their job, ask to see the labels on the cleaning products they are using to ensure that they are safe.
Note that EPA and NADCA do not approve the utilization of chemical biocides and sealants. The EPA advises against making use of sealants except when there are no other options available. In the same way, the EPA does not recommend the application of chemical biocides, unless they are needed for the mold control.
- Tools used for cleaning
Air duct cleaning companies commonly use brushes and vacuums. It is important that the air duct cleaning company make use of a fully-functional vacuum collection system. This is to ensure that they won’t leave more dirt and dust in your air ducts than they found. If you have flex-ducts made from a plastic material, it is best to ensure that the cleaning company does not make use of brushes to scrape the ducts.
- Method of cleaning
One of the methods of air duct cleaning is steam-cleaning. While it gets the job done, it also introduces moisture into the system. The moisture re-circulates into the air and ultimately promotes the growth of mold, which can bring about a number of health problems. If you notice that the company uses steam cleaning, ask them to use an alternative cleaning method.
- Comprehensiveness of the cleaning
Check to see that the cleaning company cleans more than the air ducts. They should also clean the registers, grilles, and the other HVAC system components, including the fans, motors, and coils. Some companies will also go as far as fixing the source of moisture to prevent further growth of mold. Others won’t.
Finding an Air Duct Cleaning Company Near Me
Are the signs that you need air duct cleaning too obvious to ignore? Pure Eco Inc. is a professional company that has all the qualities you look for in a good air duct cleaning company. We are always committed to ensuring that all our esteemed customers enjoy our professional service. We strive to deliver our promise of excellence by using NADCA- and EPA certified cleaning products and providing a 100% guarantee.