Indoor air quality is a serious issue. Indoor air pollution is a growing problem, and thankfully, awareness about the problem is increasing. Many people mistakenly think that the air quality of their homes will improve by dusting, or having a vent hood over the stove with an exhaust fan that can remove vapors, steam, and food smells. While using an exhaust fan and having a regular dusting routine help a lot, they aren’t enough to eliminate all of the pollutants and particulate matter that circulates through the air every day. We generate all sorts of contaminants just through our presence in our homes. Our pets produce dander, and dirt and dust are inevitable. The everyday household, laundry, and personal care products contain chemicals, some of which are released into the air. The HVAC system recirculates your home’s air and everything in it as many as five to seven times a day. Inevitably, this means that your HVAC system is recirculating pollutants and contaminants. Dirty air ducts may contribute to breathing and other health-related issues, especially for people who have asthma, allergies, and autoimmune diseases and disorders.
Before you decide to have your air ducts cleaned, you should understand what it is, what it involves, and why it is done. The EPA explains that the term “air duct cleaning” is used to describe the process of cleaning the different components that make up the complete forced-air HVAC system. When you have your air ducts cleaned, you should also get a thorough HVAC cleaning at the same time. Air duct cleaning is something that happens when you’re having the entire HVAC system cleaned. This complete cleaning process should include cleaning all of the supply and return air ducts (that you can’t see,) diffusers, grilles, registers, cooling coils, heat exchangers, drip or condensate pans, the fan housing unit, and the fan motor that is inside the unit, and the housing for the air handling unit. There is no point in having your air ducts cleaned unless they are being cleaned as part of a complete HVAC cleaning and maintenance service.
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) advises homeowners to assume that their air ducts are dirty if they look dirty. The organization goes further to recommend that homeowners have their entire HVAC systems evaluated by qualified, licensed, and certified professionals. The EPA stresses the importance of making sure that the company you hire to clean your HVAC system is qualified to clean all of the components in the system. Make sure they are willing to clean every component in the system. If they don’t clean everything, there is a significant likelihood that the entire system will become contaminated again. If that happens, you will have wasted a lot of money for nothing.
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