The EPA recommends air ducts be cleaned very 5 to 7 years or on an as needed basis.
So how does one choose and air duct cleaner?
- Ask which method of cleaning they use.
- Ask how long will it take to clean the entire air duct system.
- Ask how often air ducts need to be cleaned.
- Ask if they use a camera.
- Ask if the technician takes off each vent cover?
- Ask what is their guarantee.
- Ask if the technicians use a checklist and/or have the customer inspect their work upon completion.
Only companies that use the Source Removal Method of cleaning are approved by NADCA – the National Air Duct Cleaners Association. This involves using Hepa equipment that creates a negative air flow in the ductwork. Companies must also brush the sides of the ductwork to dislodge the debris clinging to the sides. Compressed air is used to help push the heavier debris into the Hepa vacuum. Using a Roto-Brush system is NOT a source removal method, nor does using a truck mounted machine mean you are getting the correct method. Without getting the negative air flow, brushing, and hepa filtered vacuums, your ducts may still be dirty after “cleaning”.
If the cleaners says it takes only an hour or two, do not use them. Even if you only have 10 vents, no one can properly clean a system in under 2 hours. Anyone who says they can or does is NOT cleaning your system and, therefore, is NOT a reputable firm.
If a company states that air ducts need to be cleaned every one to two years, BEWARE. This is not true.
Doctors need xrays, MRIs, and other imagining devices to determine what is going on under ones skin. Air Duct Cleaners need them to determine whether the air ducts even need to be cleaned AND to be sure they’ve successfully removed the debris. Without this the consumer does not know what they are getting for their money.
While a system can be successfully cleaned without removing every vent cover, companies that remove none OR tell you that you can get by with only cleaning part of the system, are not legitimate.
There is no reason why a system that is cleaned properly and successfully should not work properly and be visibly clean. Air Duct Cleaners with nothing to hide have no excuse not to give their customers an unconditional satisfaction guarantee that the system is clean.
Does the heater work after cleaning? Are the vent covers properly reinstalled? Was the filter replaced? If an access panel was created, is it sealed properly? Companies with a checklist containing questions like this and an inspection procedure are more likely to be legit and successful in cleaning your system.