Suggestions for Choosing a Duct Cleaning Service Provider
To find companies that provide duct cleaning services, check your Yellow Pages under "duct cleaning". Talk to at least three different service providers and get written estimates before deciding whether to have your ducts cleaned. When the service providers come to your home, ask them to show you the contamination that would justify having your ducts cleaned.
• Do not hire duct cleaners who make sweeping claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning -- such claims are unsubstantiated.
• Do not hire duct cleaners who recommend duct cleaning as a routine part of your heating and cooling system maintenance.
• Do not allow the use of chemical biocides or sealants unless you fully understand the pros and the cons.
• Check references to be sure other customers were satisfied and did not experience any problems with their heating and cooling system after cleaning.
• Contact your local consumer affairs or local Better Business Bureau to determine if complaints have been lodged against any of the companies you are considering.
• Interview potential service providers to ensure:
-they are experienced in duct cleaning and have worked on systems like yours;
-they will use procedures to protect you, your pets, and your home from contamination; and
-they comply with air duct cleaning standards and, if your ducts are constructed of fiberglass duct board or insulated internally with fiberglass duct liner, with the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association's (NAIMA) recommendations.
•If the service provider charges by the hour, request an estimate of the number of hours or days the job will take, and find out whether there will be interruptions in the work. Make sure the duct cleaner you choose will provide a wirtten agreement outlining the total cost and scope of the job before work begins.
How to Determine if the Duct Cleaner Did A Thorough Job
A thorough visual inspection is the best way to verify the cleanliness of your heating and cooling system. Some service providers use remote photography to document conditions inside ducts. All portions of the system should be visibly clean; you should not be able to detect any debris with the naked eye. After completing the job, ask the service provider to show you each component of your system to verify that the job was performed satisfactorily.
How to Prevent Duct Contamination
Whether or not you decide to have the air ducts in your home cleaned, committing to a good preventive maintenance program is essential to minimize duct contamination to prevent dirt from entering the system
Use the highest efficiency air filter recommended by the manufacturer of your heating and cooling system.
Change filters regularly. . If your filters become clogged, change them more frequently.
Be sure you do not have any missing filters and that air cannot bypass filters through gaps around the filter holder.
When having your heating and cooling system maintained or checked for other reasons, be sure to ask the service provider to clean cooling coils and drain pans.
During construction or renovation work that produces dust in your home, seal off supply and return registers and do not operate the heating and cooling system until after cleaning up the dust.
Remove dust and vacuum your home regularly. (Use a high efficiency vacuum (HEPA) cleaner or the highest efficiency filter bags your vacuum cleaner can take. Vacuuming can increase the amount of dust in the air during and after vacuuming as well as in your ducts)
If your heating system includes in-duct humidification equipment, be sure to operate and maintain the humidifier strictly as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Promptly and properly repair any leaks or water damage.
- Pay particular attention to cooling coils, which are designed to remove water from the air and can be a major source of moisture contamination of the system that can lead to mold growth. Make sure the condensate pan drains properly. The presence of substantial standing water and/or debris indicates a problem requiring immediate attention. Check any insulation near cooling coils for wet spots.
- Make sure ducts are properly sealed and insulated in all non airconditioned spaces (e.g., attics and crawl spaces). This will help to prevent moisture due to condensation from entering the system and is important to make the system work as intended. To prevent water condensation, the heating and cooling system must be properly insulated.
Information about Chemical Biocides For Your Air Ducts
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