Caring for the HVAC equipment in your Roseville, CA home is an ongoing and multi-pronged effort. All homeowners should inspect their HVAC air filters monthly and change them every 30 to 90 days. It’s also important to schedule annual heater and AC tune-up services and annual HVAC air duct maintenance. However, according to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), you should additionally have your ducting professionally cleaned every two to three years. Read on to find out whether the need for air duct cleaning is a well-supported fact or a mere myth.

What to Know About the Requirements for HVAC Air Duct Cleaning

While NADCA recommends scheduling professional air duct cleaning every two to three years, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has an entirely different outlook. As per the EPA, homeowners should only schedule these services on an as-needed basis. For instance, you might need air ducts cleaned if you:

  • Have recently battled or are currently battling mold
  • Just eradicated a major pest infestation
  • Are increasingly experiencing indoor air quality-related symptoms
  • Have noticeable build-ups of dust and other debris on indoor surfaces

Duct cleaning is also great for eliminating smoke and smoke odors. It’s a worthwhile treatment after battling an indoor fire and after running your heat pump or air conditioner in recirculate mode when local wildfire smoke is heavy.

HVAC Air Duct Cleaning and Mold Problems

Dirty, damaged air ducts can harbor mildew and mold indefinitely. Worse still, when your heater and air conditioner are running, your HVAC system can distribute these pathogens all throughout your living area. In-duct build-ups of dirt, dander, hair, and other particulate matter give micro-sized organisms like bacteria and fungi plenty to thrive on. They also inhibit the movement of air and negatively impact HVAC humidity regulation. If you’re currently battling mold problems and to no avail, cleaning your HVAC air ducts could be a critical part of mold remediation. This is one of several times when both NADCA and the EPA recommend scheduling air duct cleaning service.

Cleaning Your HVAC Air Ducts After Pest Infestation

HVAC air ducts are a common target for insects, rodents, and other critters. Air ducts provide comfortable, concealed shelter. They also serve as major transit highways that offer easy access to food and water throughout buildings. The physical presence of pests in your ducting can lead to structural damage, airflow problems, and all-around poor HVAC performance. However, pests also leave pathogenic detritus behind that can greatly diminish indoor air quality (IAQ), including:

  • Shed exoskeletons and wings
  • Feces
  • Food
  • Carcasses
  • Fur

Professional duct cleaning will eliminate this waste and combat all related odors and bacteria.

In some instances, professional duct cleaning can additionally prevent pest infestations from recurring. For example, mice and rats often leave fragrant pheromones behind by rubbing their oily bodies against duct walls. As powerful, long-lasting attractants, these chemicals draw additional rodents to the area. During duct cleaning, we apply commercial-grade deodorizing and sanitizing agents that eliminate these scents entirely. We also use powerful suction equipment to extract insect eggs, larvae, and other threats.

How Professional Duct Cleaning Improves Indoor Air Quality

Duct cleaning removes trapped debris from all parts of your HVAC air distribution system. If you have thick build-ups of gray, lint-like material on and behind your HVAC air vents, you likely have similar accumulations throughout your air handling unit, on your AC or heat pump coils, and within your AC condensate line.

Duct cleaning extracts loose debris that has blown off dirty air filters, entered ducting via loose connections or leaks, or been brought in by insects and small animals. It also removes tough, tacky build-ups on various HVAC system components that might otherwise attract and retain textile and carpet fibers, hair, dust, pollen, and more. These measures improve humidity regulation, optimize airflow, and limit the presence of odor-causing bacteria. More importantly, they reduce the amount of harmful particulates floating through the indoor air.

How Is HVAC Air Duct Cleaning Performed?

Professional air duct cleaning services use mechanical agitation, negative air pressure, and vacuum suction to loosen, dislodge, and extract built-up debris. We take a needs-specific approach to these treatments and can include manual carcass removal, the application of deodorizing and sanitizing agents, and other measures to restore ducting to a clean and like-new condition as required. Whether you’ve had a sick or dying animal wander into your ducting and get trapped or your home has taken wildfire smoke in, we’ll use the appropriate tools and methods for restoring an acceptably high indoor air quality and protecting resident health.

During these appointments, we clean:

  • AC and heat pump evaporator and condenser coils
  • AC and heat pump condensate drains and drain lines
  • Indoor air handling units
  • Ducts and duct dampers
  • HVAC air registers, vents, and grilles

Whether performed every two to three years or only after major events, duct cleaning promotes optimum HVAC performance and efficiency.

How to Make the Most of HVAC Air Duct Cleaning

You can extend and enhance the benefits of professional air duct cleaning by taking good care of your ductwork in between these visits. With regular filter changes, you’ll prevent build-ups of blown-off filter debris from collecting in hidden areas, keep your AC or heat pump coils and condensate drain clear, and limit accumulations of lint, dust, and hair within your indoor air handler.

During regular AC, heater, and heat pump maintenance services, we check the integrity of HVAC ducting by looking for crushed or perforated sections and other air leaks. However, you still need to have your HVAC air ducts professionally maintained once each year and replaced every 12 to 15 years. You can extend the lifespan of your ducting, minimize HVAC-related energy waste, and keep the interior of your air ducts cleaner by additionally having these features professionally insulated and sealed. Duct sealing and insulation limit the loss of heated and cooled air and keep air ducts from taking unfiltered air in from dusty, low-lying areas like basements and crawlspaces.

Is It Time to Clean Your HVAC Air Ducts?

If you’ve never had your HVAC air ducts cleaned before, now is a good time to schedule your first appointment. Following NADCA’s recommended schedule for duct cleaning of every two to three years will minimize HVAC system stress and promote even air delivery. If you prefer cleaning your air ducts on an as-needed basis only, be on the lookout for these signs of heavy buildups:

  • Hot and cold spots throughout the building
  • Rising humidity and muggy, oppressive conditions
  • Soaring energy bills
  • Thick buildups of biofilm and algae in the condensate drain

Dirty air ducts can also shorten filter lifespans by increasing the amount of allergens and contaminants circulating throughout your home. If your HVAC air filters last just one month when they used to last two to three months instead, cleaning your air ducts could make these important components last a bit longer.

Your Trusted Professionals

We help residents of Roseville, CA maintain efficient, high-performing HVAC systems. We offer outstanding heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services. We also provide new ductwork, plumbing services, carbon monoxide (CO) detection, and HVAC air duct cleaning, sealing, and insulation. To schedule an appointment or request a hassle-free quote, get in touch with Environmental Heating & Air Solutions now.

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