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Home Improvement: Duct Cleaning, Duct Work Questions

When you enlist the help of professional duct cleaning services to help you clean your duct, there are many questions you must ask. These questions fall under five main categories:


  • Do my ducts really need cleaning?
  • How much of my duct system will you clean?
  • Are you qualified to clean all components of my duct system?
  • How will you clean my ducts?
  • How will I know that my ducts are really clean once you're done?

Do My Ducts Really Need Cleaning?
This question may sound a bit bizarre, but believe it or not, it's perfectly valid. Unlike other parts of your home, you don't have to have your ducts cleaned at specific intervals. Rather, you should clean them whenever they get dirty and full of air-polluting debris. You may hit that point twice in one year or you may not hit it at all for a couple of years. Usually, people suspect poor indoor air quality when a foul odor fills their home or when they suddenly develop allergies or breathing problems within their own home, work space, or other enclosed area in which they spend a lot of time.

However, in some cases, the problem isn't dirt in the ducts, but dust in the ducts-and dust is something you don't need heavy-duty duct cleaning equipment to clean. That's why step number one of professional duct cleaning services is to conduct a robotic videotaped examination of your ducts to figure out what is in there that's causing problems. The duct cleaning services you call up should first conduct this type of investigation to determine if you need your ducts cleaned at all. You should see videotaped evidence of dirty ducts.

How Much Of My Duct System Will You Clean?
There's only one correct answer to this one: all of it. You may have dirt clogging up one vent, but in order to ensure that the air in your home or office is healthy, the duct cleaning services need to tackle the entire system. Otherwise, they risk pushing the debris from the contaminated spot elsewhere into the system, thereby putting the system at risk for re-contamination and increasing the air pollution i your environment. This would, of course, negate the effort and money it took to clean out the ducts in the first place.

Are You Qualified To Clean All Components Of My Duct System?
Again, there's only one possible answer to this question: yes. Any other answer should prompt you to look elsewhere.

How Will You Clean My Ducts?
Different duct cleaning methods are possible. Typically, a duct cleaning services professional will employ specialized tools to remove debris from ducts, then will use a high-powered vacuum cleaner to suck out the dirt. Some duct cleaning services will want to apply chemical treatments to the ducts in order to destroy microbiological contaminants, or to cover the inside surfaces of the air ducts and equipment housings to manage mold growth and/or inhibit the discharge of dirt particles or fibers from ducts.

You should keep in mind that these practices are still being researched and tested for safety and efficiency; it's okay to say no to this if you'd rather wait for the scientific thumbs-up. If you decide to allow your duct cleaning services provider to use these methods, be sure she has first cleaned out all visible dust or debris.

How Will I Know That My Ducts Are Really Clean Once You're Done?
Remember that video footage you saw of your dirty ducts? Well, once the process is over, you should see similar footage only this time, the dirt should be removed. These before and after shots are pretty standard components of the world of duct cleaning services, and you can reasonably expect to be provided with this footage proving that the job has been done.

To get a better idea of just will happen during your duct cleaning, read What to Expect.

Hammer Visit our Heating and Cooling forum to get answers to all your duct cleaning questions