Air ducts inside of room.

Maintaining your HVAC unit by requesting professional cleaning services is crucial to preserving its efficiency. For people who have undergone major renovations, have mold in the ducts, or have experienced a recent infestation, air duct cleaning—a service that entails cleaning an HVAC unit’s passageways—is an optional service many HVAC owners choose to take advantage of.

In this blog post, Hoffner Heating and Air, a family-owned and operated HVAC company, discusses duct cleaning, how to pick your duct cleaning service, and identifies the service’s potential benefits.

What is Duct Cleaning?

To understand what duct cleaning is, it’s important to know what ducts are. Ducts are the passages in your HVAC system which provide either warm or cool air circulation. Without ducts, HVAC systems would not serve their purpose. There are two main categories of ductwork, such as:

  • Flexible Ductwork: tube-shaped ducts made from wire coils, often covered in a bendable but durable plastic as well as fiberglass insulation; crafted using cheaper materials
  • Rigid Ductwork: durable ducts that are made out of more expensive materials, including steel; ducts can be rectangular or cylindrical and are often easier to clean

Clean Air Duct

Now that you know what ducts are, let’s talk about air duct cleaning. This is the process of cleaning the unit’s supply, intake, and return vents using professional cleaning equipment. While the same people may choose to clean their HVAC ducts on their own, it is not advised. If the air ducts are cleaned incorrectly, debris, allergens, and other contaminants may be spread throughout the home and cause a number of complications.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends calling a professional to clean your HVAC air ducts if the ducts are:

  • Growing mold
  • Infested with rodents or insects
  • Clogged by excessive amounts of dust and debris

It’s important to note that more research is still needed to determine the specific benefits of duct cleaning. If you have an HVAC service making outlandish claims about the perks of duct cleaning, it can be a warning sign about their services. Ultimately, it is crucial that you consult a certified HVAC professional regarding the status of your HVAC system before making any decisions.

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What to Expect From an Air Duct Cleaning Service Provider

Recording an air duct cleaning.

Should you choose to have your air ducts cleaned, there are several expectations you should have regarding an HVAC professional’s services. Ideally, the service provider should:

  • Provide proof of their licenses
  • Inspect the unit prior to making any decisions about cleaning
  • Use high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) equipment
  • Protect all household furnishings
  • Follow the National Air Duct Cleaners Association’s (NADCA) guide to cleaning
  • Offer a breakdown of all expenses
  • Provide visual proof of service

Potential Benefits of Duct Cleaning

While health claims regarding air duct cleaning need more research, there are still a number of benefits associated with having an HVAC professional clean your air ducts, specifically if your home is undergoing renovations or you have pets.

1. Improved Air Quality and Efficiency

Clean air ducts are not the sole cause for an increase in your HVAC unit’s efficiency, but they may help give your unit a boost and extend the life of your air ducts. The EPA has stated that in addition to cleaning the air ducts, “cleaning dirty cooling coils, fans, and heat exchangers can improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems.” You may also improve a unit’s efficiency by changing the air filters.

And, when an HVAC unit reaches its peak efficiency, you may see an increase in both energy and, therefore, financial savings. A clean unit will have to work less to produce warm or cool air, saving energy in the process that would otherwise be expended if the unit were clogged.

More importantly, routine maintenance is required to ensure that your HVAC unit is running as efficiently as it should. However, keep in mind that these improvements will not be made by cleaning the air ducts alone.

Circular air vent.

2. Odor and Allergen Removal

Due to the nature of air ducts and the way that they operate, the air is recirculated—this means that allergens, contaminants, and odors can be spread throughout the home if the ducts are dirty or plagued by insects.

By hiring a professional to clean your air ducts, you may potentially reduce the number of odors and allergens in your home, especially if there is moisture, mildew, and mold present. Excess moisture, and therefore odors, are caused by high humidity levels and drainage leaks. If you are noticing any unpleasant smells, contact an HVAC professional to investigate.

If cleaned by a certified professional, one of the main benefits of air duct cleaning is a cleaner home due to the elimination of debris circulation. Hiring an HVAC professional is crucial, as an inadequately trained service provider can damage your ducts as well as the entire HVAC unit, in addition to spreading more dust and dirt throughout your home.

Getting Your Ducts in a Row

Hoffner Heating and Air, a family-owned and operated HVAC company, now offers air duct cleaning services. When you request our services, we’ll communicate with you every step of the way, even going as far as to provide camera footage of the duct cleaning process for proof of competition and cleanliness. For more information on what services we offer, contact us today.