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Should I Have The Air Ducts In My Home Cleaned?

Jun. 30, 2011

The quality of the air our families breathe is important to everyone.  With studies showing that most people spend over 70% of their time indoors, it’s easy to see why indoor air quality has become a high priority.  Duct cleaning is an effective method that helps reduce indoor air quality problems with the added benefit of improving the performance and efficiency of your HVAC (heating, cooling & ventilation) system.

The Role Your Air Ducts Play in Air Quality
If not properly maintained, the components of your air ducts along with your heating and cooling system may become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen, or other debris.  These particles, traveling through your air duct system, get re-circulated throughout your entire home.  If moisture is present, the potential for microbiological growth (i.e. mold) is increased and spores from such growth may be released into the home’s living space.  Some of these contaminants may cause allergic reactions or other symptoms in people who are exposed to them.  

Health and environmental effects of poor air quality

  • Asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, and allergic respiratory disease
  • Excessive mold, bacteria, dust, dirt, and smoke
  • Increased utility bills (decreased air flow)
  • Unpleasant fumes and odors

What Exactly is Air Duct Cleaning?
Air duct cleaning is the physical cleaning of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system components including ducts, air terminals (supply and return), heat exchangers (heating and cooling coils), condensate drains and pans, fan motors and housings, system filters, and air handling unit housing.  Typically a service provider will use specialized tools to dislodge dirt and other debris in ducts, and then vacuum them out with a high-powered vacuum cleaner.

Benefits of air duct cleaning for your home & family

  • Kills germs and bacteria
  • Helps remove dust in your home
  • Improves your system’s efficiency
  • Makes your home smell clean and fresh
  • Recommended by doctors and allergists

Important Questions For Your Service Provider
When having your air ducts cleaned make sure that your service provider cleans the whole air handling system not just the ducts.  Failure to clean a component of a contaminated system can result in re-contamination of the entire system, thus negating any potential benefits. 

When you're shopping for duct cleaning, remember the adage "you get what you pay for." Some companies are marketing services that only claim to clean your ducts but are less effective than true cleaning. Some helpful questions to ask:

  • Does your service include the removal and cleaning of all grills?
  • Do you remove particles in the duct work using a Sealed HEPA removal system?
  • How long should the cleaning take?

Cleaning your air ducts improves the quality of the indoor air you and your family breathe, while contributing to better performance and efficiency of your heating and cooling system.

Contact a Thornton & Grooms professional today to have your air ducts cleaned.

Have more questions?  Contact us on our Ask An Expert page.

Sources:  www.epa.gov

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Thornton & Grooms
24565 Hallwood Ct
Farmington Hills, MI 48335
(248) 644-7810
MI Plumbing Lic. #: 8106666
MI Contractors Lic. #: 7100232
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