When neglected, air ducts can accumulate dust particles, pollen, mold and other debris. Once you turn on the HVAC system, it recirculates pollutants, affecting the comfort of your home and affecting the health of your family members. Therefore, it is necessary to clean the ducts frequently to avoid the accumulation of contaminants. You may consider cleaning the air ducts simply because it seems logical that the air ducts become dirty over time and be cleaned from time to time.
As long as cleaning is done correctly, there is no evidence to suggest that such cleaning is harmful. EPA does not recommend that air ducts be cleaned routinely, but only when necessary. However, the EPA recommends that if you have a furnace, stove, or fireplace that burns fuel, it be inspected for proper operation and serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. While duct cleaning operations may insist that duct cleaning is essential to your health, the evidence does not support their claims.
Companies that perform duct cleaning often advertise health benefits or suggest that duct cleaning will lower your energy bills by improving the efficiency of your system. Some ads even use language such as “Studies have shown. but there is no data to support these claims. Even if your ducts are dirty, cleaning them probably won't provide any measurable benefit.
In fact, the little independent research done on duct cleaning indicates that the process removes so much dust that it creates a bigger problem than it solves. Did you know that your home generates approximately 40 pounds of dust each year? If you are wondering where that dust is going, the answer lies in the air ducts and in the cold or warm air that is pumped into each and every room in your house. The dirtier the duct system becomes, the more difficult the HVAC unit must work to push air through the ducts and keep it circulating evenly throughout the house. The engine of your HVAC system will experience less wear and tear if its work is facilitated by clean ducts.
This tragic situation can be avoided simply by ensuring that the ducts in your home are cleaned and maintained as needed. If no one in your household suffers from allergies or unexplained symptoms or illnesses and if, after a visual inspection of the inside of the ducts, you see no indication that your air ducts are contaminated with large deposits of dust or mold (no musty smell or visible mold growth), clean the air ducts probably is unnecessary. Air ducts may be contaminated with mold, bacteria, pollen, dust mites, chemical waste and other household contaminants. However, there is little evidence that cleaning just the ducts will improve system efficiency.
In addition, the sealants have not yet been evaluated for resistance to deterioration over time, which could add particulates to the duct air. Cleaning of ducts and HVAC systems by a person who is trained and certified by the National Air Duct Cleaning Association (NADCA) has the best chance of being done safely. Keep in mind that duct cleaning uses specialized tools to stir and dislodge dirt in ducts and cause dirt and other contaminants to become increasingly loose and airborne before vacuuming them. An air duct cleaning technician will be able to identify and fix any mold issues, and will also help prevent their return.
But the reality is that ducts only need to be cleaned in exceptional cases when there is serious contamination. These practices have not yet been fully investigated and you should be fully informed before deciding to allow the use of biocidal products or chemical treatments in your air ducts. If you or someone in your family has asthma or allergies, you may be considering cleaning the heating and air conditioning ducts in your home. The EPA does not recommend that air ducts be cleaned except as necessary due to ongoing uncertainty about the benefits of duct cleaning in most circumstances.
When done correctly, duct cleaning can be useful in limited situations, such as if the ducts are dirty or infested with mice or other vermin. . .