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Have you ever looked out the window in your home on a sunny day and in the sunlight coming through the window seen tons of particles floating in the air?  These particles are in the air that we breathe in.  And these are only the particles you can see; there are many contaminants in the air you aren’t even aware of.  According to the EPA, the indoor air we are exposed to is 70% more polluted than the outdoor air. 
 
Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system acts as a collection source for a variety of contaminants that have the potential to affect health, such as mold, fungi, bacteria and very small particles of dust.  Air passes through your duct system at an average speed of 1000 feet per minute!  Air moving at that speed kicks up harmful contamination and sends it back into your living and breathing space.  Having your air ducts cleaned professionally will remove these contaminates, improve air quality in your home, increase system efficiency and allow you and your family to breathe easier. asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, and allergic respiratory disease, excessive mold, bacteria, dust, dirt and smoke, and unpleasant fumes and odors.  Removing these contaminants from your duct is an important component to improving your indoor air quality and the health of your family.

When looking for a company to clean the ductwork in your home, take into consideration the following factors: Is the company properly licensed and adequately insured?  Is the company certified to perform HVAC system cleaning?  Will they clean and visually inspect the air ducts and related system components? Find out if the company has done homes similar to yours and ask for references.  When you are interviewing contractors ask them to come to your home and perform a system inspections and give you a quote.  Also check to make sure they are in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.

Next, what should you expect with a duct cleaning?  A thorough duct cleaning should involve specialized tools that will dislodge dirt and debris in the airflow systems followed by a thorough sanitizing process.  Duct cleaning also includes the cleansing of various heating and cooling components of forces air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grills and diffusers, heat exchangers and cooling coils.

How often should you clean your ducts?  The frequency of having your ducts cleaned depends on several factors, not the least of which is the preference of the homeowner.  If you live in a home where the following factors are present, however, you may want to consider more frequent cleaning:  smokers in the home, pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander, water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system, residents with allergies or asthma who might benefits from a reduction in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system, after home renovations or remodeling, and prior to occupancy in a new home (you won’t have any idea how the prior owners lived or if they ever had their ducts cleaned – just imagine the potential build-up of dirt and dust!).Another problem with dirty ductwork is the decreased efficiency of your system.  Dirty ductwork will quickly clog up a heating system filter and cause your heating system or air conditioner to work harder.  And a system that has to work harder means higher utility bills for you.  This dirt build-up will also affect the longevity and performance of your equipment.  As your system works harder it will also work less efficiently, breakdown more frequently and cause more wear and tear on the equipment, decreasing the life of your equipment.

Everyone worries about air quality these days and keeping the duct system in your home clean is an important part of improving your indoor air quality.  Duct cleaning allows the air that is passing through the system to be free of contaminants, while improving the health of your family, increasing the efficiency of your system, and allowing us all to just breathe easier!

Sources:
www.lindstromair.com
www.energysaver.gov
www.energystar.gov
www.nadca.com

March 3, 2010