Furnace Duct Cleaning
For the most part, people who choose to have their furnace ducts cleaned do so because their children or other family members are suffering from allergies. Like all air ducts, furnace ducts, when uncleaned, can breed mold and mildew, and lead to poor air quality. Furnace duct cleaning can also improve the efficiency of your furnace.
Furnace duct cleaning requires cleaning not only of the ducts themselves, but of the entire furnace system: the blower, heat exchangers, cooling coils, and condensate pan. When all these parts are clean, air flows more efficiently through the entire furnace system.
If you or someone in your household is experiencing health problems, and you suspect your furnace air ducts might be the problem, call a duct cleaning company. They can inspect your furnace ducts, and will most likely use robotic video equipment to show you how dirty the ducts actually are. If the video surveillance reveals mold is present anywhere in the duct system, clean your furnace ducts.
Sometimes, dust and mold can appear almost identical on a video scan of the furnace ducts. If you and the furnace cleaning professionals are unsure, touch a piece of tape to the inside of a furnace duct, and have a lab analyze it for you. The test will likely cost you around $50.
Methods of Cleaning Furnance Ducts
There are several ways to clean furnace ducts. One way is to use an extremely powerful vacuum, which remains in a truck outside. A long hose runs to the furnace area and attaches to the furnace ducts. From the rooms, mechanical brushes, air jet brushes or air snakes pull the dust loose within the furnace ducts.
Another way to clean furnace ducts is with smaller vacuum unit located inside your house, in the vicinity of the furnace. This vacuum should contain a HEPA exhaust filter to ensure that the dust from the furnace ducts does not fill the air in the room.
A third way of cleaning furnace ducts is to run a rotating brush that is attached to a vacuum nozzle through the furnace ducts.
Remember, when selecting methods and services for your furnace duct cleaning, look for quality over cost. A poor-quality furnace cleaning job can leave you worse off than before, as it can pull the dust off the furnace duct walls without sucking it all in. Companies certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association tend to offer the highest quality.
Remember, furnace duct cleaning costs money, so before you sign a service contract, ensure that the company has given you sufficient visual evidence that furnace duct cleaning is necessary. Also, make sure your furnace duct cleaning provider can explain to you in detail how he/she will clean the entire system, not just the ducts. If one component of the system is left uncleaned, it may recontaminate the entire system—defeating the purpose of having put out the cash for the cleaning in the first place. Ask that your furnace duct cleaning provider give you a full-duct-length visual inspection after the cleaning is complete, preferably with a camera inside the ducts.