Air Duct Cleaning FAQs
Air duct cleaning is the process of cleaning the components of the heating and cooling system (HVAC). Typically, air duct cleaning includes the systems:
- Supply and return
- Air ducts and registers
- Grilles and diffusers
- Main trunk line
- Fan motor and fan housing
- Air handling unit housing
Potomac Services provides a full system air duct cleaning for one flat price. We won’t nickel and dime you. It’s just not fair and it’s not our way. Beware of the $89-$159 whole house cleaning deals. You will end up paying more with them then you would with us… or end up having to have your HVAC system cleaned again in a year.
NADCA Members have signed a Code of Ethics stating they will do everything possible to protect the consumer, and follow NADCA Standards for cleaning to the best of their ability, for a list of NADCA members near you, click here. Air duct cleaning companies must meet stringent requirements to become a NADCA Member. Among those requirements, all NADCA Members must have certified Air System Cleaning Specialists (ASCS) on staff, who have taken and passed the NADCA Certification Examination. Passing the exam demonstrates extensive knowledge in HVAC design and cleaning methodologies. ASCSs are also required to further their industry education by attending seminars in order to maintain their NADCA certification status.
• Make sure the company is a member in good standing of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA).
• See if the company has been in business long enough to have adequate experience.
• Get proof that the company is properly licensed and adequately insured.
• Verify that the company is certified by NADCA to perform HVAC system cleaning.
• Make sure that the company is going to clean and visually inspect all of the air ducts and related system components.
• Avoid advertisements for “$99 whole house specials” and other sales gimmicks.
• Ask if the company has the right equipment to effectively perform cleaning, and if the company has done work in homes similar to yours.
Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, not the least of which is the preference of the home owner. Some of the things that may lead a home owner to consider more frequent cleaning include:
• Smokers in the household.
• Pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander.
• Water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system.
• Residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system.
• After home renovations or remodeling.
• Prior to occupancy of a new home.
The most effective way to clean air ducts and ventilation systems is to employ Source Removal methods of cleaning. This requires a contractor to place the system under negative pressure, through the use of a specialized, powerful vacuum. While the vacuum draws air through the system, devices are inserted into the ducts to dislodge any debris that might be stuck to interior surfaces. The debris can then travel down the ducts to the vacuum, which removes it from the system and the home.
The amount of time it takes to clean a residential air system depends on many variables such as the size of the home, the number of systems, the extent of the contamination and the number of air duct cleaners performing the job. When you setup the appointment with the Potomac Services representative, they should be able to give you an estimate time based on the information you provide for the quote.
The best way to determine if the air duct cleaning was effective is to perform a visual inspection of the system before and after cleaning. If any dust or debris can be seen during the visual inspection, the system should not be considered cleaned. While you can perform your own visual inspection using a flash light and mirror, a professional cleaning contractor should be able to allow you better access to system components and perhaps the use of specialized inspection tools.
There are two main types of vacuum collection devices truck or trailer mounted vacuums and portable units.
- Truck/trailer mounted equipment is generally more powerful than portable equipment.
- Portable equipment can often be brought directly into a facility, allowing the vacuum source to be located closer to the ductwork.
- All vacuum units should be attached to a collection device for safe containment prior to disposal.
- A vacuum collection device alone will not get an HVAC system clean. The use of methods and tools designed to agitate debris adhered to the surfaces within the system, in conjunction with the use of the vacuum collection device(s), is required to clean HVAC systems. (For example: brushes, air whips, and “skipper balls.”)
Potomac Services combines the expertise of our technicians with the most powerful tools cleaning and our to monster truck vacuum system to ensure that we pull all the dust and debris from our customer’s air system.
- Poor air quality
- Dust and dirt in the home
- Compromised immune system
- Newly constructed home or after home remodeling or renovations
- Prior to occupancy of a new home.
- Residents with immune system, asthma or allergies issues
- Homes with airflow issues or dust problems
- Smokers in the household or pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander
- Water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
- Air ducts that are not properly installed, maintained or operated may become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen or other debris.
- Air ducts that have moisture in them have the potential for mold growth increase and the spores may be released into air you breathe.
- Contaminants can cause allergic reactions or other illness symptoms if you are exposed to them.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to act as a collection source for a variety of contaminants that have the potential to affect health, such as mold, fungi, bacteria, and very small particles of dust. The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC system and home should be considered as one component in an overall plan to improve indoor air quality.
The Environmental Protection Agency says that “duct cleaning services typically – but not always – range in cost from $450 to $1000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climactic region, and level of contamination” and type of duct material.
Consumers should beware of air duct cleaning companies that making sweeping claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning – such claims are unsubstantiated. Consumers should also beware of “blow-and-go” air duct cleaning companies. These companies often charge a nominal fee and do a poor job of cleaning the heating and cooling system. These companies may also persuade the consumer into unneeded services with and/or without their permission.
(If you have knowledge of a practicing “blow-and-go” air duct cleaner, contact your local Better Business Bureau to report the company, and your local, federal, and state elected officials to demand legislation.)
- National Air Duct Cleaning Association (NADCA)
- Duct Cleaners Network (DCN)
- Indoor Air Quality Association
- United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Consumers should beware of air duct cleaning companies that making sweeping claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning – such claims are unsubstantiated.
- Consumers should also beware of “blow-and-go” air duct cleaning companies. These companies often charge a nominal fee and do a poor job of cleaning the heating and cooling system.
- These companies may also persuade the consumer into unneeded services with and/or without their permission.
Potomac Services believes in providing the best value for your money. Many other companies will try to rope you in with gimmick pricing that ends up costing you more and you get less for it.