5 Steps to Getting Your Air Ducts Cleaned

A buildings HVAC system is the Central Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system that transfers air throughout your house via air ducts. Over the years these air ducts fill with dirt, debris, and contaminants that cause your home to feel uncomfortable. If your house is humid due to moisture issues in your attic, basement or crawlspace, then debris in your air ducts could start to form mold (which only takes 24-48 hours to grow). These mold spores will start to spread throughout your living space and potentially get you sick or make you feel unwell. There are a few different ways to clean air ducts, but over the years we have found that the 5 steps listed below have been proved to be the most effective.

1.) Use a variety of agitation tools to dislodge dirt, debris, and contaminants from the returns and supply vents.

Some of these tools include rotary brushes that will spin inside the duct work to loosen debris. This method sometimes causes damage to the duct work, especially if it is insulated flex duct work. The most effective tool to dislodge dirt, debris, and contaminants is an air hose connected to a powerful air compressor. The air hose is inserted into the air ducts in key places to loosen debris.

2.) Use a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner and disinfectant to clean vent covers and furnace.

HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. By using a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner you can insure particles as small as .03 microns will be collected. Most allergens, molds, and dust particles are .03 microns or larger. Once the furnace is opened it is important to clean the dust and debris that’s on the sidewalls, floor and mechanicals inside the unit. After the furnace has been vacuumed it is recommended to use a disinfectant to further clean and sanitize inside the system. Cleaning the registers is typically done at this time as well. Registers should be cleaned with an EPA registered disinfectant.

3.) Collect all debris and contaminants using a powerful truck mounted vacuum.

In order to thoroughly clean a homes HVAC system you need a powerful vacuum. It is the most important tool when it comes to air duct cleaning. This vacuum is typically attached to a truck or trailer, and a 6-8 inch hose attaches it to the return line of your furnace. The suction power of a truck or trailer mount is know to draw over 10,000 (CFM) cubic feet of air per minute compared to only a few thousand CFM with a portable unit. Attaching the vacuum hose to the main return line of the HVAC system causes the system to act like a giant vacuum. This will pull all the debris, mold, or pollutants out of the house and into garbage bags attached to the truck or trailer.

4.) Create an access panel on furnace to clean dust, debris, and mold from A-coil.

A-Coils, also known as evaporative coils, get their name because they are A shaped. These coils absorb heat from the air in your home and are filled with refrigerant, which cools down the house. If your A-Coils are not cleaned often, they can build up with dirt, debris, and even mold growth. Having dirty coils will cause your system to work harder which in return, cost you more money. A-Coils should be cleaned throughly and disinfected with an EPA registered cleaner.

5.) Apply an antimicrobial and antibacterial fog throughout furnace and duct work to eliminate any mold spores and other contaminants and conduct a final Inspection.

The last steps in cleaning your duct work is to have it fogged with an EPA registered disinfectant, preferably an all natural one, and inspected to make sure it has been properly cleaned. Fogging should be done while vacuum is still hooked up to get the most coverage of disinfectant.

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