on duct cleaning:
Are there any health benefits that come from HVAC
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.
I was so pleased with the work that you and
your team did on our home. My son has allergies
and asthma and the Spring-Fall is when his symptoms
are the worst. Since we chose to have the ducts
cleaned because of the new construction we had finished
in our basement late spring, my son has had no symptoms!
I was amazed. The air smelled cleaner! The vents
were literally sparkling (the metal) – I would
recommend you to everyone we know. Thank you!! -
Will HVAC system cleaning reduce our home energy
Research by the U.S. EPA has demonstrated that
HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to run
more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive
mechanical components. Clean, efficient systems
are less likely to break down, have a longer life
span, and generally operate more effectively than
How should a residential HVAC system be cleaned?
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.
Q: What kind of equipment is best for
cleaning-truck mounted vacuums or portable vacuums?
NADCA does not endorse one kind of equipment over
another. There are two main types of vacuum collection
devices: (1) those mounted on trucks and trailers,
and (2) portable units. Truck/trailer mounted
equipment is generally more powerful than portable
equipment. However, portable equipment can often
be brought directly into a facility, allowing
the vacuum source to be located closer to the
ductwork. Both types of equipment will clean to
All vacuum units should be attached to a collection
device for safe containment prior to disposal.
Any vacuum collection device which exhausts indoors
must be HEPA (high efficiency particulate arrestance)
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.”)
How often should residential HVAC systems be cleaned?
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
• Smokers in the household.
• Pets that shed high amounts of hair and
• 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.
What is the normal price range for the air duct
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
What criteria should I use in selecting an HVAC
Interview as many local contractors as you can.
Ask them to come to your home and perform a system
inspection and give you a quotation. To narrow
down your pool of potential contractors, use the
• See if the company has been in business
long enough to have adequate experience.
• Inquire whether the company is in good
standing with your local Better Business Bureau.
• 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. Get references
from neighbors if possible.
Q: What are sanitizers, and why would
they need to be used?
Sanitizers are anti-microbial chemicals applied
to the interior surface of the air ducts, designed
to control microbial contamination. Before any
sanitizers are used, the system should be thoroughly
cleaned. It is critical that any anti-microbial
treatment used in your system be EPA registered
for the intended use in HVAC systems. Ask to see
the chemical's Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).
If you are still concerned, call the EPA at 1-800-438-4318.
It should be noted that there are no EPA registered
anti-microbial products for use on porous system
surfaces – such as fiberglass surfaces.
Q: How long should it take to clean a
typical residential HVAC system?
The amount of time it takes to clean a residential
HVAC 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
HVAC cleaners performing the job. Ask at least
two contractors to inspect your system and give
you a time estimate for your particular system.
This will give you a general idea of how long
the job should take as well as an idea of how
thoroughly the contractor plans to do the job.
Q: How can we determine if the HVAC system
cleaning was effective?
The best way to determine if the HVAC system 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. In addition,
following this post-cleaning check list can help
to ensure a top quality job
Chimneys, LLC | Brent Radtke | w7548 Wisconsin Ave. Greenville,
WI 54942 | or mailing address P.O Box 424 Neenah, WI 54957-0424