Posts Tagged ‘HVAC Air duct cleaning’
The HVAC and duct cleaning process involves two key components:
Breaking Contaminants Loose
Properly cleaning HVAC systems (duct cleaning) requires removing the sources of contamination. Source removal begins with use of one or more agitation devices designed to loosen contaminants from the surfaces within the heating and air conditioning system and duct work. Examples of agitation devices include brushes, air whips, and compressed air nozzles or “skipper balls.” Agitation can also be achieved through hand-brushing or contact vacuuming.
Collection of Contaminants
During duct cleaning, the entire HVAC system is placed under continuous negative pressure (vacuum) to prevent the spread of contaminants. Continuous negative pressure allows very fine particles to be removed from the system as they become airborne, ensuring that these particles are not released into the living space when the system is turned on after cleaning.
This negative pressure also serves to extract the loosened contaminants, which are collected and removed from your home.
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association was formed to help consumers avoid scams. As a member of their association, we encourage anyone seeking duct cleaning services to follow their guidelines for choosing an air duct cleaning company:
- Go to the NADCA Web site at www.nadca.com and enter your zip (postal) code to find a NADCA member in your area.
- When speaking to a contractor, make sure they can show proof of NADCA membership and certification.
- Make sure the contractor will conduct a thorough inspection of your HVAC system and alert you to any problems.
- Make sure the contractor will clean all of the HVAC system components including, at a minimum: air ducts, coils, drain, registers, grills, air plenum, blower motor and assembly, heat exchanger, air filter, and air cleaner.
Click here to download their complete brochure to learn more about duct cleaning recommendations and standards.
Do you ever really think about dryer duct cleaning?
Did you know that clothes dryers account for almost 16,000 fires that cause numerous deaths and injuries annually, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission? They also recommend that the interior of the dryer chassis should be cleaned periodically by a qualified service person to minimize the amount of lint accumulation.
These recommendations are based on the way dryers work. Clothes dryers require an open pathway to vent the hot air, moisture and gases resulting from drying clothing. This pathway, the dryer duct, can become blocked by lint accumulation due to any of several factors that can include normal lint build up over time, a duct that is too narrow or too long, or a duct with too many turns in it. Sometimes there can be a mechanical blockage such as a bird nest in the duct. In any case, the duct must be cleaned in order to exhaust the approximate one-gallon of water per average laundry load.
Most dryer manufacturers, such as Maytag, recommend that residential dryer ducts be cleaned annually for fire prevention and energy saving reasons.
When the duct is blocked, the dryer continues to run, wasting electricity and not allowing the clothes to dry. You may hear a series of clicks as the dryer control turns the heat on and off repeatedly trying to compensate for the problem.
To determine if it really is a problem with the duct and not a different dryer problem, simply pull the dryer out a few inches and see if disconnecting the flexible connection from the wall allows the dryer to begin acting normally. If your dryer now works properly, then you have a blocked dryer duct.
We clean these dryer ducts a number of ways. One spinning device we use is similar to a drain snake, but much more gentle on the duct. Then we remove the loosened lint or other debris using a large vacuum. In most cases it doesn’t take long and we leave your laundry room clean.
Since 1978, Action Duct Cleaning been recognized for their residential dryer duct expertise. For further information or a free estimate, click here today.
Duct cleaning helps improve indoor air quality in many ways. The reasons for duct cleaning vary from home to home and office to office to some degree, but there are many common reasons you may want to consider duct cleaning for improving indoor air quality.
In addition to normal accumulations of dust and dirt found in all homes through regular use, there are several other factors that can increase the need for air duct cleaning:
- Occupants with allergies or asthma
- Cigarette or cigar smoke
- Water contamination or damage to the home/HVAC system
- Home renovation or remodeling projects
Allergy and asthma sufferers, as well as young children and the elderly, tend to be more susceptible to the types of poor indoor air quality that air duct cleaning can help to address.
Your home or office does not need to be “sick” in order to gain benefits in indoor air quality from professional duct cleaning.
Action Duct Cleaning actively promotes the standards identified by the NADCA and encourages you to review their standards and recommendations before contacting any duct cleaning service. You can learn more about the NADCA by downloading their brochure here.
Duct cleaning is part of maintaining healthy air quality in a business or home. However, duct cleaning is not always the answer to a “sick building” problem. The first step, prior to scheduling your duct cleaning service, may be to have an air quality investigation done on your building or residence.
Action Duct Cleaning’s modern air testing methods and investigatory procedures permit you to have a scientific opinion about whether a building is truly “sick.” Various air gases can be measured. The presence of molds, bacteria, and other microbes can be detected and measured. This presence can be compared with current acceptable levels of such gases and microbes. Action Duct Cleaning professionals are trained to provide you answers.
Building design can be also inspected. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has developed a standard (No.62-1989) for structure and HVAC design which gives guidelines on how to build with improved air quality in mind. ASHRAE has a newly-proposed Indoor Air Standard (No. 62-2001) which is currently under review.
Since 1978, Action Duct Cleaning has been recognized for their testing and investigation expertise and our Indoor Air Quality Investigator is EPA trained.
By law, kitchen exhaust cleaning is required for virtually every commercial cooking establishment in the United States. Duct cleaning is a part of this. Restaurants, hospitals, hotels, employee cafeterias and other food service locations have a “hood” and duct work over the stove to exhaust smoke, steam and fumes out of the building.
These exhaust gases leave a residue on the inside of the duct work. This is usually a grease residue of some sort, depending on the type of cooking. Char broilers commonly leave heavy black grease. There are some foods that, when cooked, leave a sticky or rubbery residue. When a charcoal or wood-burning stove is in use, soot and ash residue builds up in the duct work. Dishwashers leave heavy lint deposits. Duct cleaning services address these concerns.
When the buildup of grease becomes heavy, a fire hazard exists. Approximately one in three restaurant fires are caused by grease. A common scenario of how a kitchen exhaust fire starts is this:
- A flame flares up on the stove.
- The fire comes in contact with the filters above the stove on the kitchen hood. The filters ignite.
- When the exhaust fan is on, air is drawn into the hood, through the filters, and up the duct work, spreading the flames.
- If significant grease residue exists on the duct interior, it acts like a fuel and the fire spreads up the duct work more rapidly, perhaps all the way into the fan. We have seen fire climb up a ten-story duct to the fan on the roof burning up the fan.
Modern duct construction is designed to hopefully withstand such duct fires. The duct seams are welded to prevent grease or fire from leaking out and the shafts around the duct are made of fire resistive materials. However, older buildings are still at risk, and even in modern buildings, the fire may penetrate through the duct work or escape onto the roof via the fan. When an exhaust system is cleaned regularly, the chances of a duct fire are extremely remote.
In virtually all the duct fires we have seen in our 25 years of experience, the ducts were extremely laden with grease or other flammable material. We can evaluate the status of your duct work for you.
In some instances, odors develop in the air handler or ducts due to the particulate build up. In other cases, dirt may begin blowing out of the registers. Duct cleaning addresses this.
Another concern is the build up of mold or bacteria inside an air conditioning unit. Such microbial growth is rare in home systems, but can occur where moisture is present. Homes in humid climates or near bodies of water are particularly susceptible. Duct cleaning removes such growth and approved disinfectants can be used by a reputable duct cleaning company to retard or eliminate microbial contamination.
NOTE: “Streaking” around the registers is not necessarily a sign of dirty duct work. This is the normal effect of air blowing or swirling across a surface continuously. Residential heating and cooling systems collect dirt. However, streaking may give you an idea of what particulate is settling in your duct work. Black “sooty” streaks usually come from vehicle exhaust, whereas whitish or light gray powdery, dust-like streaking is commonly from dander (skin flakes).
Having a home heating system cleaned every three to five years will prevent the continuous build up of dirt and other particulate in the unit and duct work.
We price home duct cleaning according to the number of registers in the residence. Since 1978, Action Duct Cleaning has been recognized for their residential duct expertise. For further information or a free estimate get a quote now.
The New England Journal of Medicine thinks so:
For nominally healthy people, there is a wide degree of susceptibility to reduced longevity from exposure to particulate matter.
When you are in a business or home that runs a central air conditioning or furnace, you are constantly exposed to whatever is in your ducts via the circulating air. That is why HVAC services encourage you to include air duct cleaning in your HVAC system maintenance. Proper duct cleaning will reduce the particulates and allergens that can affect many of us and cause hypersensitive immune reactions.
The air duct cleaning process scrapes the dust and particulates from the walls of your ducts and reduces your exposure to possible allergens.
If you have ever seen the particles of dust floating in a sunbeam, you have some idea of how much particulate is in the air around you. In fact, the average cubic inch of air contains 100,000 particles. In smoggy cities, this can reach 5,000,000 particles per cubic inch.
As air passes through the air conditioning and heating units and duct work of the home, it is only a matter of time before those particles begin collecting on the unit and duct interiors. These accumulated particles will include anything and everything that floats in the house or comes in from the outside. Animal and human skin flakes, ground up stone and dirt particles, hair, mold spores, bacteria, vehicle exhaust fumes – all of these and more begin to collect on the duct interiors, fan, cooling and heating elements, filters and registers.
The frequency with which one should have their ducts cleaned will depend on many factors. Our team of experts can answer your questions and help you to determine the best plan for your home or commercial building. Give us a call at 800-371-2284.
Action Duct has added this “blog” feature to our website in the hopes of sharing important Duct Cleaning information with our customers and potential customers in an easy to read and easy to update manner.
If you are a restaurant, building owner, home owner or anyone responsible for maintaining indoor air quality, then you know the importance duct cleaning plays in your HVAC system.
It is our goal with this blog to add an easy way for website visitors to submit questions about duct cleaning, too.
Eventually, we will also provide a way for you to subscribe to our duct cleaning blog and get updated information about duct cleaning via your email!