Improving Your Indoor Air Quality By Having Your Ducts Cleaned
People always are wondering the facts about Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and if duct cleaning will improve the quality of the air we breathe, they want to be informed. The facts below should help you understand that while air vent cleaning is not a “cure-all,” it is an important step in improving IAQ. Think of it as preventive maintenance. Duct cleaners across the USA agree that cleaning ducts help to significantly reduce the source of contaminants and various pollutants which may trigger reactions in your health. Reduction is always a benefit of being PROACTIVE instead of reactive.
Heating and air conditioning ducts are dark, damp and rich in “nutrients” which in turn makes for a breeding ground for mold, fungi and dust mites. These allergens can spread rapidly since the ducts are used to spread air around the house. You can also prevent these allergens from spreading by improving your ventilation and changing your filters regularly. Mold and fungi can cause disease, infections and most commonly trigger allergic reactions.
Duct cleaning alone won’t solve the problems of Asthma and allergies in your home of course, but it does play a significant role in the prevention of these things. By cleaning your HVAC system you will remove allergens like dust and mold from the duct work as well as residue from cigarette smoke. There is no EPA-recommended timeline for how often you should clean your ducts, but most furnace manufacturers say that the furnace itself should be cleaned once a year.
Think about this:
Your home’s air duct network acts as a respiratory system. It collects viruses, mold, pollen, bacteria, dirt, dust, debris, and microbial growth that are hidden from view. This debris “congests” the system and makes it difficult for the house to “breathe” properly and function efficiently. The heating and cooling industry has stated that over seventy-five percent of repair work needed on furnace systems is a result of dirty mechanical components. Reduced air supply can be the cause of premature failure of expensive heating, ventilation & air conditioning components.
New Home Construction
If you have recently built a new home, most likely there was quite a lapse of time between the installation of the duct work and the completion of your home. There was plenty of opportunity for dust and dirt to have gotten in, along with foreign objects such as rocks, sticks and other objects that children may have dropped down the register openings while the house was being built. Building materials such as drywall dust and hardwood floor dust are the worst. Most filters are not dense enough to keep this type of dust from finding its way into your duct system. Some clean up crews even use your register openings as a garbage shoot. We have also found some workmen’s unfinished lunches in the ducts.
Here Are Some Interesting Facts To Consider:
INDOOR AIR QUALITY FACTS
Indoor air pollution is ranked among the top 5 environmental dangers to the public. (EPA) Studies have shown that two out of three indoor air quality problems involve the HVAC/Duct System.
Children and the elderly are especially affected by polluted indoor air. (Department of Consumer Affairs) Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in indoor air can be 2 to 5 times greater than in outdoor air. (EPA) 20% of all illnesses are either caused by or aggravated by, polluted indoor air. (American College of Allergists)
The levels of some hazardous pollutants in indoor air have been found to be up to 70 times greater than in outdoor air. (USEPA) Most people spend 60% to 90% of their time indoors. (American Lung Association & EPA)
FACTS ABOUT ALLERGIES
More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies.
One out of six people who suffer from allergies do so because of the direct relationship to fungi and bacteria in air duct systems. (Total Health and Better Health Magazines)
10-12 million Americans suffer from Asthma. (American College of Allergists)
Over 7.6 million children (5-17 years) and over 12.7 million young adults (18-44 years) suffer from asthma. (National Center for Health Statistics)
FACTS ABOUT DUST MITES
Each person can shed up to 700,000 skin scales per day creating an abundant food source for dust mites. About 40,000 dust mites can “thrive” in only one ounce of dust
Approximately 10 to 15 percent of the population suffers from an allergy related to dust mites.
HEATING AND COOLING FACTS
Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent. (energystar.gov) A buildup of .042 inches of dirt on a heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease in efficiency of 21%. (EPA) Most commercially available fiberglass furnace filters are less than 7% efficient. (ASHRAE) Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment. (energystar.gov) Too much or too little refrigerant will make your system less efficient, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment. (energystar.gov) 9 out of 10 system failures are caused by dirt and dust.
CLOTHES DRYER SAFETY
A full load of wet clothes placed in a dryer contains about one half gallon of water. As water is removed, lint is created from the clothes. (UL – Underwriters Laboratories)
Lack of maintenance is a contributing factor of clothes dryer fires. People aren’t cleaning lint traps as often as they should nor are they checking and cleaning vent systems on a periodic basis. (UL) The U.S. Fire Administration’s most recent study reports residential clothes dryer fires were associated with 12,700 fires nationally, resulting in 15 deaths and 300 injuries annually.
TYPES OF DUCT PIPE
Round metal pipe is one of the most popular types of ductwork. Round pipe comes in a variety of sizes and shapes to route the air in many different directions. This type of pipe features one crimped end so it is easy to fit into an adjoining piece.
Rectangular pipe is also available in a variety of lengths. Sizes of the material are often short and narrow to allow it to fit in spaces such as wall cavities (wall stack), or between floor joists and rafters.
Oval pipe combines the benefits of both rectangular duct and round pipe. Like round pipe, oval pipe features one crimped end so it is easy to connect to the adjoining piece of pipe. Its shape is similar to a rectangular duct with a shorter height so it can also fit in narrow sections, like between walls, rafters and floor joists.
Spiral pipe has the same shape as round pipe, but it features a spiral seam. This type of duct’s spiral design makes it more leak-proof and lightweight than other types of duct. The spiral design also allows air to move through the duct more quietly, and when left exposed, it can give a building a contemporary look.
Insulated Flexible Duct
Unlike the other types of duct which are made of metal, flexible duct is made from a unique plastic material. Flexible duct has a shape similar to an accordion, and can bend in any direction. Because it can be difficult to seal, flexible ductwork is recommended for updating existing ductwork in your home.
To narrow down your local contractors you might ask them the following questions:
- Do you SPECIALIZE in Air Duct Cleaning?
- Will you COME TO MY HOUSE to quote the job?
- What is INCLUDED in the TOTAL QUOTED PRICE?
- Do you provide a WRITTEN QUOTE prior to the start of the job?
- Are your workers FULL TIME EMPLOYEES of YOUR company?
- Are the workers you send out FULL TIME Duct Cleaners?
- Do your technicians bring PHOTO IDENTIFICATION?
- Do your workers PROTECT MY FLOORS?
- Will my REGISTERS & RETURN COVERS be REMOVED and cleaned?
- Do you use 18″ BRUSHES in the Main Ducts (SUPPLY & RETURN)?
- Will you provide proof of LIABILITY INSURANCE?
- How LONG has the company been in business?
- Is the company in good standing with our local Better Business Bureau?
- May I make a VISUAL INSPECTION after the system has been cleaned?
- Do you SUB-CONTRACT your Duct Cleaning work?
REQUEST SERVICE TODAY!
If your furnace needs to be cleaned annually, why not get your air ducts cleaned at the same
time? Call now and speak with one of our certified technicians. We’ll work with you to get your
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Kyle’s knowledge of residential & commercial duct cleaning has been a huge advantage to me as a Homeowner.Simone G – Homeowner
I enjoyed working with Kyle and have come to know him as a valuable asset to meJeff H – Homeowner