How Does Air Duct Cleaning Work?

Mar 23, 2021Blog, Ventilation

Air duct cleaning can help remove dust, pollen, pet dander, air pollutants, mold, microbes, and other allergens. It is recommended that you get your air ducts cleaned twice a year. Once in the springtime when the air conditioner is put back into use, and in the autumn as your furnace is turned back on. You should also change your air filter every 90 days.

Any company you hire to clean your air ducts should follow standardized cleaning processes approved by the National Air Duct Cleaning Association (NADCA).

These processes establish how to clean the ductwork in your home, as well as the registers, filters, air handlers, fans, housings, and evaporator coils.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, improper duct cleaning by a HVAC technician that does not follow proper procedures may be detrimental to indoor air quality.

Routine air duct cleaning is important for preventative maintenance on your central heating and cooling system, as dirty coils can cause component failure if left untreated.

As far as the process of cleaning your air ducts, here’s the steps a professional HVAC company will take.

1. Inspecting the air ducts.

This is when the HVAC technician will look at your ducts and registers to see if there is buildup of dust or other contaminants. They should also inspect the ductwork visually or with a camera to see if there is any existing damage to the ductwork, and how much dust and dander is built up in the ducting.

2. Creating negative pressure to vacuum out debris.

Professional air duct cleaning companies use a powerful vacuum out dust from the ductwork. This vacuum is either attached to a truck or is a portable unit. Before the HVAC technician turns on the vacuum, they must gain access to a duct close to the air handler. This is the center of your air conditioning system. Central air conditioning systems have ductwork for the return and supply sides. One system of ductwork feeds the air to the AC system, the other returns it through registers to the rooms in the home. They will clean both of these thoroughly.

3. Agitating and dislodging dust and debris.

An air duct cleaning technician will use a rotating brush specially designed for cleaning ductwork without causing damage. This rotating series of brushes, on the end of an extension, works it’s way through the ductwork, hitting the sides and dislodging dust that has collected. This dust is then sucked by the vacuum into the collection receptacle.

4. Clening the remainder of the HVAC system.

The NADCA recommends that other components in the central air conditioner be cleaned, including the evaporator coil, air handler blower motor, and drain pan. This is to eliminate any other dust and allergens in the system.

5. Seal access portals back up, putting air grilles and registers back in place.

After the ductwork and other components in the central AC system are cleaned, the technician will make sure to put everything back the way it was originally, and seal up an access points.

Remember, cleaning you air ducts is a process that should take a reasonable amount of time. If a company is completing the process too quickly, they may be missing key steps in the NADCA recommended process. This can lead to dust leaking back into the living area of your home.

When Should you Clean Your Air Ducts?

If you suspect a vermin infestation, or if you visibly see mold on ducts or other parts of your heating and cooling system, get an air duct cleaning immediately.

Also, if family members are experiencing uncharacteristic signs of allergies indoors, or if you see dust escaping from air vents when you run the air or heat, it might be time for an air duct cleaning.

You should also regularly get an air duct cleaning periodically, so dust, dander, and debris does not settle into key components in your HVAC system like your evaporator coil.

Does Your South Bay Home Need Air Duct Cleaning?

Ventwerx has helped hundreds of homeowners in the South Bay Area with air duct cleaning since 2005. We serve the San Jose area, including Morgan Hill, Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Gilroy, Campbell, Cupertino, Coyote, Los Altos, and Alamitos.

You can schedule an air duct cleaning by Filling out our free estimate form, scheduling your appointment online or calling us toll free at 866-699-VENT for more information.