When it comes to the heart of the matter, cleaning the air ducts is not a DIY job. It requires tools, such as a high-powered vacuum and rotating brushes, that you don't have lying around in the garage. In addition, improper cleaning work could damage the ducts, resulting in costly repairs. If you think you have found mold, have it tested for mold.
Call a professional if you have a mold problem. HVAC Duct Cleaning Services Have the Expertise Needed to Remove Dangerous Mold. They also have the equipment to reach hard-to-reach areas that your home vacuum cleaner cannot. So where do you start? A good place to start improving indoor air is to clean the vent covers as dust and other fine particles build up around the grilles.
This step is absolutely safe to do it yourself and you can add it to your weekly or monthly cleaning list. Sealants should never be used on wet duct lining, to cover actively growing mold or to cover debris in ducts, and should only be applied after cleaning in accordance with NADCA or other appropriate guidelines or standards. Although not always part of their basic cleaning services, many duct cleaning companies often also clean heating and cooling equipment (heat exchangers, cooling coils, condensate drain trays, fan motors, fan blades and fan housings). A duct cleaning can't hurt and I also run my oven fan about 340 days a year, which keeps the air moving through my filter, thus trapping more dust and hair (and of course it means I change my filter a little more often than most), but that's all you can do.
If you suspect a mold problem due to visible growth or a musty smell constantly coming from the supply grilles, the cleaning ducts won't do much good if they don't remove the mold. But even if you do not have special health problems, cleaning the ducts can be attractive to you on an intuitive level. Not cleaning the air ducts means that most of this dirt does not leak out of your house and stays in constant circulation throughout it, which is especially infernal for someone in your family who suffers from allergies. There are many different designs of duct systems, such as attic systems and underground systems, but the theory of cleaning these systems is the same.
However, cleaning the ducts does not usually change the quality of the air you breathe, nor will it significantly affect air flows or heating costs. If you or any other family member is dealing with allergies, asthma or other unpleasant effects at home, it is worth trying to clean the ducts. Also consider inspecting your duct system for leaks, as leaky ducts reduce efficiency and introduce air quality issues. Since the conditions in each home are different, it is impossible to generalize whether cleaning the air ducts in your home would be beneficial or not.
When service providers arrive at your home, ask them to show you the contamination that would justify cleaning the ducts. However, there is little evidence that cleaning just the ducts will improve system efficiency. Whether or not you decide to clean your air ducts, it's important to commit to a good preventive maintenance program to minimize duct contamination. They filter out most of the bad things that could be circulating through the ducts in your home, they do a great job of keeping the ducts clean in the long run, and they aren't such a tight filter that it needs to be replaced too often (like the MPR 1500, for example).