When it comes to cleaning dirty ductwork, people often think that taking care of these pipes periodically will help boost cost-efficiency while avoiding unnecessary repair work. And in some way, that’s true. However, it isn’t always so simple. Duct cleaning, although simple and straightforward, is a bit more complex than meets the eye.
In short, this is what you need to know about it:
- First of all, AC duct cleaning is usually necessary after debris and pest damage clog up the pipes, most often because of not performing regular maintenance. Changing your filters regularly and inspecting the pipe sealings is essential to maintain the health of your ductwork. Air duct cleaning service shouldn’t be your go-to maintenance approach.
- After cleaning the dirty ductwork, regular maintenance is necessary.
- AC duct cleaning won’t improve airflow, and neither will it permanently get rid of mold and odors. When not performed by an experienced professional, cleaning dirty air ducts might even cause damage.
- When opting for air duct cleaning in Miami, always hire a professional. Experts will help you come up with the best maintenance strategy as well.
Below, we’ll discuss all the dos and don’ts of AC duct cleaning and will also debunk the most common myths.
Why Should You Care about Dirty Ductwork?
The ducts in your AC system are the pipes that run through your home, transporting air. In most cases, the ducts are fiberglass, metal, or flexible plastic. They are most often round but can come in different shapes depending on the duct routing.
They are most likely exposed in areas like walls and ceilings in rooms like the attic or the basement.
In most cases, the ductwork is the last thing you worry about in your system, until AC duct cleaning is due. And trust us, dirty pipes can cause a myriad of problems – and having the wrong approach toward them may cause even more.
Dirty air ducts with accumulated debris, dust, dirt, and pet dandruff will force your entire HVAC system to work harder, needing more energy to get the job done but even then, with decreased performance.
The problem can even get worse when:
- Rodents and other pests nest in your ductwork
- You have neglected maintenance
- Home remodeling and reconstruction have made your AC duct pipes inadequate
- Ductwork tape sealants have deteriorated
- You see mold buildup
When you experience even just one of these problems, your best bet is to hire a company with the best air duct cleaning tools to help you clean the pipes.
Proper AC Duct Cleaning Is Essential
Some might think that they can get away with cleaning these pipes themselves with dust brushes and vacuum cleaners. As a matter of fact, when trying to perform the job yourself, you may even cause more damage which may result in additional repair work and costs.
Dirty air ducts should always be cleaned with proper air duct cleaning tools like roto bristol brush machines. The technician runs through the brush the ductwork several times, starting from the furthest pipe from the furnace. Additionally, experts will often also perform indoor coil cleaning to make sure that all debris is out of the AC system.
That being said, one might assume that periodic AC duct cleaning will help with cost-efficiency, right?
Truth be told, not necessarily.
AC Duct Cleaning Myths Debunked
Before hiring an experienced technician to clean your AC’s dirty ducts, there are a couple of things that you should know about. Knowing these can help you decide whether you need to clean the ductwork to keep your AC working properly, or you might need something else done instead.
Cleaning Dirty Air Ducts Increase Airflow
While the air may travel more efficiently when the ducts aren’t clogged, ductwork cleaning won’t necessarily help with airflow issues. It won’t fix any issues with heating issues or cold spots. Cleaning won’t help with your duct system’s layout, and it can’t seal breaches either. Airflow issues need a different approach and need to be measured with flow hood tests. Additionally, you will also need a complete duct inspection.
Most often than not, airflow issues can be resolved by adding a balancing damper. Other times, a complete ductwork redesign is necessary.
Cleaning the Ductwork Will Get rid of Mold and Odors
A simple AC duct cleaning probably won’t be able to permanently eliminate mold and odor problems. Sure, the microbial cleaning some companies offer can be looked at as air duct mold cleaning, but it won’t solve the problem in the long run.
Eliminating mold and odors requires the technicians to assess whether there are fur deposits, pet droppings, and rodents in the system. Additionally, they will need to perform a duct inspection for moisture and mold buildup.
In most cases, poorly sealed ductwork is the main culprit, which won’t be permanently fixed with a simple cleaning.
You Need Regular Duct Cleaning
You will often hear homeowners say that duct cleaning is something that should be necessarily performed every three to five years. The truth is, if your ductwork is sealed properly, you change your filters regularly, clean the floor registers once every six months, you won’t need AC duct cleaning at all.
Instead of periodic cleaning, opt for preventive maintenance. This way, you will be able to save money and will prolong the efficiency of your entire HVAC system.
AC Duct Cleaning Won’t Cause Any Damage
This will depend on several factors. Using the proper air duct cleaning tools is one thing. Knowing how to properly inspect the ducts is another. Lastly, some ductwork types are more susceptible to tear and wear than others during cleaning.
For instance, older flex ducts can become really fragile over time. Technicians will most likely see that the ducts are old and will be extra cautious during the duct inspection and cleaning.
Aluma flex ducts are more durable than simple flex ducts, meaning that cursing any damage during the cleaning process is less likely to be an issue. Lastly, solid sheet metal ducts will be the most rigid and the easiest to clean.
To avoid damage, you will need to hire an experienced technician who will conduct the proper duct inspection before getting started with the cleaning. Damages can cause major malfunctions, which will result in additional repairs and higher expenses.
Again, hiring seasoned professionals is the key when it comes to proper AC duct cleaning. Technicians must also make sure that there’s no asbestos present during the cleaning process, as this cancer-causing compound may become airborne if not taken care of prior.
Don’t Jump to Conclusions
As you can see, duct cleaning isn’t a complicated process, but its main purpose isn’t always obvious to most homeowners.
All in all, ductwork cleaning shouldn’t be a go-to option when you want to get rid of mold buildup, eliminate odors, or improve the airflow of your system. Similarly, duct cleaning shouldn’t be a part of maintenance operations. Instead, opt for regularly changing your filters, checking your purification system, and inspecting pipe sealings regularly.
Lastly, the best way to ensure that your system is running as efficiently as it can is by having a certified specialist take a look at it. As such, if you are experiencing issues with your AC system, feel free to reach out to us. We’ll be happy to help you with the problem.