Ductwork hides out of site, but has the vital task of carrying air between the rooms of your home and your HVAC system. A ductwork cleaning can help protect your home – but only in specific circumstances. Let’s take a look at what ductwork cleaning really does, and if it’s right for you.
What Does a Duct Cleaning Accomplish?
Let’s start off by saying that not all duct cleaning services are equal. As we’ve discussed before, scammers will often promise amazingly thorough and absolutely necessary duct cleanings that don’t really do much, or aren’t even necessary in the first place. But a truly professional duct cleaning project, including the right tools and approach, will be able to:
- Remove mold and mildew growth from the inside of the ducts.
- Clear out debris brought in by pests trying to set up a nest, like rats or ants.
- Clean up large piles or dirt of dust left over from construction or other causes.
- Remove potentially hazardous materials, such as lead paint residue, which you really don’t want circulating inside the house.
- Provide an opportunity for inspection to spot related issues, such as cracks in the ductwork that air can leak through, or disconnected ductwork.
Note that a duct cleaning isn’t a magical way to solve allergy problems in your home, or reduce dust levels, or make your HVAC system more efficient. Instead, it’s a process (often part of a larger plan) to fix serious issues in your home. It’s also not a DIY project, no matter how far you can stick your vacuum cleaner into a vent. Professionals are trained to use thorough cleaning tools in ways that won’t damage your vents, and follow up afterward with coatings that help prevent future problems.
Why You Should You Get Your Ducts Cleaned
Don’t fall for the scams that say a duct cleaning is required for everyone! If your ducts are in good condition and relatively new, you don’t need to worry about cleaning them, especially if you already use the proper filters. However, there are serious circumstances where duct cleaning really can make a big difference. Here are the most common reasons for the average homeowner to consider a real duct cleaning:
- You recently found a vermin infestation in your crawlspace, walls or basement. This is a good sign that the pests have found your ducts and have done some damage. That damage needs to be repaired and the resulting debris cleaned up.
- You have a confirmed mold issue in your house. Mold spores can spread throughout your house, causing many problems, but they frequently settle in ductwork, especially ducts that tend to struggle with condensation and other moisture issues. Any mold growth in ducts should be cleaned out ASAP as part of an overall mold remediation plan. Duct mold is particularly dangerous because it allows the spores to move even more quickly.
- Your ducts are a couple decades old and have never been cleaned. A cleaning isn’t necessary here, but a lot can happen to your ducts over the years: It may be a good idea to ask for a quick inspection and see what difference a duct cleaning would make (while being wary of scams, of course).
Still questioning if your home needs a duct cleaning?
Give us a call at (262) 728-1655 and ask about an inspection or cleaning.