How Duct Cleaning Can Improve Indoor Air Quality

Duct Cleaning Salt Lake City is a messy process. If you have furniture directly over air vents, move it before your duct cleaner arrives.

Ducts frequently contain harmful contaminants and micro-organisms such as pet dander, mildew, and mold spores. These particles can trigger asthma and allergies in people who are sensitive to them.

  1. Inspect Your Ducts

When ducts are cleaned correctly, air flow is improved and contaminated dust and debris is removed. But if improper cleaning methods are used, the process can actually increase indoor air pollution.

If you suspect that your ducts need to be cleaned, start by taking a closer look at them. Unscrew one of the vent covers on your home’s air vents and look inside. If you see a lot of dust and other debris, that’s a good sign that your ductwork needs to be cleaned.

If the dust and dirt buildup inside your ductwork isn’t too bad, you may be able to clean it yourself. If not, you should hire a professional. In addition to being trained in proper cleaning procedures, a certified HVAC technician can also detect and repair problems with your ducts.

Duct leaks, loose connections, and blockages can cause significant energy loss and decrease the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. When a professional inspects your ductwork, they use special tools to check for these problems and determine the best cleaning method.

To make sure your ducts can be properly cleaned, clear all vents and ensure that they’re not blocked by furniture or clutter. Then, remove the vent cover and unscrew the vent hood. Use a flashlight to illuminate the interior of the vent and look for signs of mold growth, clogs, and other issues.

Mold and other allergens like pet dander and airborne bacteria can trigger asthma or allergies. These pollutants can also aggravate these conditions, making them harder to treat or control. To reduce the symptoms of these diseases, it’s important to have your ductwork inspected for potential problems and cleaned when necessary.

If you notice a musty odor or visible mildew in your ductwork, it’s probably time for a cleaning. However, keep in mind that mold growth often indicates an underlying problem such as a damp or humid climate or rodent infestation. These problems must be corrected before mold can be eliminated and ductwork can be effectively cleaned.

  1. Remove Debris

It’s normal for your ductwork to have some dirt and debris in it, considering all the stuff pulled through by your system. However, if there is excessive dust buildup or a noticeable decrease in airflow through your vents, it’s time to clean them. Duct cleaning can significantly improve indoor air quality, help your system run more efficiently, and reduce the likelihood of health issues.

Unlike most home improvement projects, cleaning your ducts is not a dangerous or difficult task to do yourself. But it’s important to be prepared before you start – make sure that the thermostat and fans are turned off, and wear appropriate clothing, including gloves and a dust mask. Also, you will need a long-handled brush (something resembling a toilet brush works well) and a vacuum cleaner with a longer attachment for getting into hard to reach areas.

First, loosen the dust in the ducts by gently tapping on the walls with your brush. This will knock the dust loose and make it easier for you to remove it with your vacuum. Then, cover each supply vent opening with a paper towel or cloth (preferably dampened), to prevent dust from shooting out while you are loosening and sweeping it up.

Next, use your brush to clean the supply registers. Be careful not to damage the metal grilles, which may be delicate or rusty. You can also use a cloth or paper towel to clean the surrounding surface of the vent, and if there is a lot of debris, you can try using a damp microfiber cloth or rag to wipe it down.

Once you’ve cleaned the supply registers, it’s time to begin sweeping the rest of the ductwork. If your ducts are accessible from the attic or basement, use your brush to sweep out as much of the inside of the ductwork as you can reach. If you can’t reach your entire ductwork, don’t worry – your vacuum should be able to get the majority of what remains.

Other reasons to clean your ducts include the presence of critters, recent construction or renovation work (particularly large projects that generate a lot of dust), and visible mold. While a light amount of dust is harmless, these other factors can cause health problems and lead to reduced efficiency and air quality.

  1. Clean Your Ducts

If you’ve spotted any mold growing on or around your ductwork or noticed a musty, mildewy odor in certain rooms of your home, it’s time to clean your ducts. Duct cleaning will improve indoor air quality and may reduce allergy symptoms for anyone in your household who suffers from them. The EPA ranks poor indoor air quality as one of the top five risks to public health. Duct cleaning may also help lower energy bills by reducing the amount of dust blowing around your house.

While it is possible to do duct cleaning yourself, it’s not recommended unless you have the right tools and experience. If you do decide to clean your ducts, be sure to use mild cleaning solutions so you don’t damage the inside of your ductwork. You should also be sure to wear a dust mask and shut off your HVAC system before you begin.

You can start by removing the vent covers and vacuuming the ductwork with your vacuum’s hose. Ensure the hose is long enough to reach all areas of your ductwork. If you do not have a powerful enough vacuum, consider renting one that has a hose that extends to the farthest corners of your ductwork.

After you have vaccuumed the ducts, wipe them down with a lint-free cloth or microfiber towel that has been lightly dampened. Be sure to replace the vent covers after you are finished. It’s a good idea to change your air filter at this point as well, since cleaning the dust off the walls of your ductwork doesn’t do much good if it continues to circulate in your home.

After the lint and dust are removed from the inside of your ductwork, the final step in a professional duct cleaning is to use a truck-powered vacuum to suck up all the debris that was previously impossible to reach with your home vacuum cleaner. This step is especially important if you’ve recently completed construction or remodeling work in your home. Even if the contractors were careful to close off work areas and cover the entire project with plastic, construction dust will eventually make its way into your ductwork.

  1. Clean Your Furnace

When dust and debris clogs your vents, it’s not enough to just vacuum them. You also need to clean the furnace itself, which can be done in a few simple steps. First, access the furnace by removing the panel on the side. This will reveal the blower motor and fan, which are responsible for pushing warmed air through your home’s ductwork and into each room. You should clean this area with a vacuum attachment and brush, focusing on the blower wheel and any other areas that are easy to reach. Be sure to avoid touching any electrical components with a bare hand.

The next step is to remove the furnace filter and clean it with a non-toxic cleaner and tap water. Once it’s dry, replace it. You can also remove the motor and blower shaft bearings, if necessary, and re-oil them with two to three drops of machine oil. This will reduce wear and tear on these parts, improving efficiency and ensuring that your furnace isn’t overworking itself.

Before attempting any cleaning or maintenance tasks, make sure the furnace is cool to the touch. If you’re not comfortable performing this task, contact an HVAC professional. They can use specialized tools to access hard-to-reach areas and determine whether the fan or a furnace component is causing a problem.

Depending on your situation, you may also want to consider hiring an HVAC professional to perform a thorough duct cleaning. This is a much more involved process and requires specialized knowledge of HVAC systems. It’s also not a do-it-yourself project. Professionals like those at Doc Dancer Heating & Air use specialized tools to clean the nooks and crannies of your home’s ductwork, removing fungus, mold, allergens and other contaminants that can circulate throughout your home, contributing to foul odors and breathing issues.

If your home is more dusty than usual, or if you find yourself dusting frequently but struggling to keep the grime away, it’s likely time for a duct cleaning. A clean furnace and ductwork will ensure that you don’t have to spend all winter fighting allergies and other respiratory symptoms.