Duct Cleaning: Do You Need It?
Maybe You Do. Maybe You Don’t.
Anything that blows through your AC system — hot or cold— has to go through your ductwork. And if your ductwork is dirty, the contamination and smells coming from the filth will pass through the air you breathe. Especially if you have any dead rodents up in there. … Think about what a dead mouse in your ducts will smell like when hot air is blowing through it. Pretty gross, huh? Let that settle in for a minute …
What the Duct?
Here’s the deal: professional duct cleaning is not an easy process. It involves the use of specialized blowers, vacuums and brushes to clean out the supply, intake and return ducts in your home. Duct cleaning also involves a thorough cleaning of the air handler, registers, grilles, fans, motors, housings and coils of the HVAC system. With dirty ducts, you could be breathing in anything from dust to cobwebs to pet hair and who knows what else! Aside from that, dirty heating and cooling coils, motors and air handlers can make your HVAC unit less efficient. That means it will cost more to operate your AC system.
Well, Do I Need It or What?
We’re not going to B.S. you here: sometimes duct cleaning is not necessary. Regular preventative HVAC system maintenance could spare you the need for duct cleaning. So before you call us to schedule a duct cleaning, we want to make sure you actually need one. But we will say that regular air conditioning inspections and maintenance are necessary. And having these done often helps prevent situations that would lead to the need for duct cleaning service.
When you schedule an inspection and/or maintenance for your AC system, technicians will recommend and implement measures to prevent your ducts from becoming polluted. Duct cleaning is not cheap. And maintenance and inspections are designed to (among other things) prevent your ductwork from becoming infected with mold, allergens and pollution. The EPA recommends professional duct cleaning in the event of mold growth, vermin, recent construction or renovation, indoor smoking and excessive amounts of dirt and debris in your ducts.
Here’s a breakdown of when you will need to schedule a duct cleaning service:
If there’s any visible mold growth inside your ductwork, your ducts and entire HVAC system need to be cleaned. Breathing in these pollutants will have serious negative effects on your health.
If there’s any evidence of animal nesting or breeding in your ducts, you should have a professional animal control service remove them and immediately have your ductwork and HVAC system cleaned out.
Any buildup of debris, pet hair, odors, or other contaminants found in your ducts after the registers have been cleaned and vacuumed will require a full duct cleaning service.
If someone living in your home has an unexplained allergy related illness , you may want to have your air ducts cleaned to help ensure more severe respiratory problems don’t develop over time.
If your home has been renovated, your ductwork needs to be cleaned to remove any asbestos, lead paint or significant dust and debris from construction.
The Rodent Thing
Yes, rodents can crawl up into your ductwork and start nesting in it. So if you hear strange noises coming from your air conditioning system and want to check for yourself if anything is crawling in there, you can do your own inspection. Simply remove the register grill and look around with a flashlight, or attach your phone to a selfie stick and fire off some photos.
This could help you find vermin (dead or alive), as well as droppings and other nastiness like mold. If you find anything in there that shouldn’t be there, you should go ahead and schedule a duct cleaning.
Speaking of Rats
We’ve covered HVAC scams in the past. And these include duct cleaning scams. Some unscrupulous HVAC services will advertise duct cleaning specials with dirt cheap gimmicks. For example, “This Week Only: $49 for an entire duct cleaning service!” Don’t buy it! Again, a full duct cleaning service can’t be done cheap. A routine maintenance, however, can be done inexpensively. And Super Heat & Air advertises a $29.95 maintenance special for first time customers only (cough cough, call us). But an entire home duct cleaning service costs hundreds of dollars. And it requires a lot of time, equipment and manpower that too-good-to-be-true offers cannot cover!
Super Heat & Air offers $100 off duct cleaning service because it costs more than $100 to provide a comprehensive duct cleaning, period! If an HVAC service is offering a super cheap deal on a duct cleaning service, take it as a red flag for a bait-and-switch.
Don’t Get Duped!
By the way, you should only call Super Heat & Air for duct cleaning service! But whether you call us or somebody else, make sure the technician does a full cleaning of the ducts and the entire air conditioning unit. Also make sure the technician shows you the “before and after” of what was cleaned. That means you should always ask to see what needs to be cleaned first and then ask to be shown the end results after. And you should also request and be provided with a full visual inspection after the job is done. Get before and after photos from the technician. And make sure you get an itemized bill of everything that was cleaned too.
Another way to avoid duct cleaning scams is to ensure you check references from other customers who were provided duct cleaning service and what they got for their money. Check online reviews of any air conditioning company you are considering hiring ahead of time. And even though we encourage you to hire us, you should shop around and get written estimates from at least three HVAC companies.
It’s a Huge Undertaking
In case we haven’t already hammered it home, a comprehensive duct cleaning is not a small job! It can take anywhere from 2-5 hours to complete. Or even a couple of days for larger houses with a lot of ductwork. A thorough cleaning isn’t just sweeping the ducts. It also includes cleaning every component that air passes over such as coils and the central system.
Duct cleaning involves at least two workers, several hours or days and costly equipment. This is why you should never trust a service that advertises a duct cleaning service for any less than $300 (and that’s pushing it). The price will depend on the scope of work. But it typically costs hundreds of dollars even for the most basic home duct cleaning service. So if you see a duct cleaning special for a two-digit price, buyer beware!
A professionally handled and comprehensive duct cleaning can yield long-term energy savings. After all, dirty coils and blowers are efficiency killers. And a professional duct cleaning will include cleaning essential components in your HVAC system. Removing dirt and debris from your ductwork and all essential components of your HVAC system prevents it from having to work harder to heat or cool your home, which leads to energy savings.
Any reputable HVAC contractor will offer a ductwork inspection for a nominal fee or even no fee. And depending on the scope of the inspection, Super Heat & Air will charge little to no money to inspect your ductwork. We’ll also provide you with a free quote for the duct cleaning service. And we waive any service fees if work is completed. So give us a call today and let us clean your ductwork the right way!
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