Cleaning air ducts in the home may be beneficial if there is a build up of dust and dirt in your air system. Dust mites and mould can gather in the system and may pose a health threat. If you check your ducts and find no evidence of your air ducts being contaminated with large deposits of dust, mould or musty smells, then it’s unlikely your duct needs cleaning.
There is no clear evidence to suggest that cleaning your ducts will reduce the effects of any allergies that people in your household may suffer. Although many people feel that clean air circulating in the house does have a beneficial affect on general health.
There are many companies around who specialise in duct cleaning, heating engineers, air conditioning companies etc, a look in your phone book, or Yellow Pages should be able to provide you with some local contact numbers if you think you need the work done.
You may consider having your ducts cleaned if:
- There is a significant visible amount of mould in the ducts or any other parts of your heating or cooling system.
- Your ducts have signs of rodent infestation
- Ducts are clogged with large amounts of dust or debris that you think are being released into your home.
You should be aware that although a substance may look like mould, an expert is the only one who can determine whether it is mould and may be a danger to health.
If you think you might want to get your ducts cleaned contact two or three companies to come and have a look at your systems. Get written quotes from them on any of the work they are going to do. It’s important that when they visit your home you ask them to show you the contamination that would warrant having your ducts cleaned. Most legitimate companies will be happy to do this for you. Only once they have visited and you have your quotes should you make a decision on having your ducts cleaned.
Here are some tips on choosing the correct company to clean your ducts:
- If a company makes sweeping claims about how having your ducts cleaned will be beneficial to your health – think twice before hiring them to do the work. There is no medical evidence to substantiate such claims.
- Ask for references from previous customers and check them to make sure work was done satisfactorily and there were no problems after the work was completed.
- If the company is going to use any chemical treatments in your home, ask about the benefits or any dangers that using this method of cleaning may pose. If you’re not satisfied with the answers, don’t have it done.
- Check to see if they are a member of any approved associations like the HVCA (UK Heating and Ventilation Contractors Association) or the Association of Ductwork Contractors and Allied Services. Also check if they are ISO9000 approved.
- If the cleaning company charges by the hour ask for an estimate of the total number of hours or days it will take to complete the job. Ask for a written agreement of the total cost and details of the work they are going to do before work begins.
Consider this advice when deciding whether or not to have your ducts cleaned and what to look out for when finding a company to complete the work.