Cleaning Your Air Ducts: Yes Or No? 

Duct cleaningCleaning the air ducts in your home might be a sensitive subject, not so much for the home owner, whom we serve, but more to the companies that clean air ducts for a living. Based on more than 30 years of experience in the heating and air conditioning service business, we have come to our own conclusions about duct cleaning and its affect on HVAC systems. But first, let’s talk about an air duct system and present some examples.

Despite such anecdotal experiences, there’s no scientific evidence that regular residential air duct cleaning improves air quality, according to a 1997 brochure published by the Environmental Protection Agency. Laureen Burton, senior scientist in the EPA Indoor Environments Division, says that while the document is nearly two decades old, the science hasn’t changed and the agency stands by its recommendations.

“Checking and changing filters, keeping systems maintained, having regular inspections, and ensuring moisture doesn’t get in are more important,” Burton says.

The following is an excerpt from a post on Angie’s List that sums up the answer to the question  of whether or not to have your air ducts professionally cleaned:

The Problem that is Not Addressed With Duct Cleaning

“I am going to flip this subject a little to try to help those people understand better what they are doing. Duct cleaning is a band aid that treats the symptom of a problem. The symptom being dust. If the dust got there, it got there somehow and just cleaning it is a temporary solution. It will come back.

As an example…. let’s say you have a car that uses too much oil. The oil light comes on to tell you the car is low on oil. Your first thought is to add oil. You add the oil the oil light on the car goes off.

A few days or a week later the oil light comes back on and the procedure starts anew. How long would you go until you investigate why the car is losing and going through so much oil?

This dust problem is not addressed in simply cleaning a duct system. You are treating a symptom and not solving anything in most cases. Duct sealing doesn’t always correct issues to a worn out duct system. Nothing is cleaner, better sealed, or properly insulated than a new duct system.

Equipment used to clean ducts varies widely. The cheaper the equipment used the more you are just wasting money. This is why it’s typically not worth doing. In some situations it may be beneficial, but only after determining and investigating the duct system. This should be done by a licensed HVAC contractor, and not a duct cleaner that typically does not hold an HVAC license. (Duct cleaners aren’t required to be licensed in HVAC in many areas.)” – Angie’s List Reviewer

Bunn’s and Bennett HVAC agrees with the post from Angie’s List. If your air ducts are dirty, there is some reason or issue with your ductwork allowing dirt to infiltrate. Cleaning your air ducts will not fix the problem. It will only postpone fixing the problem.

Bunn’s & Bennett Heating & Air Conditioning

If you believe you have a ductwork problem in need of attention, please call us at 256-536-0967.  Bunn’s and Bennett is a certified, factory trained, full service HVAC Company located in Huntsville, AL. We have been serving the HVAC needs of the Tennessee Valley for more than 30 years.

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