Is Cleaning Vents a Good Idea? An Expert's Perspective

At Pro-Tech we understand how important it is for homeowners to have clean indoor air quality but we believe there are better ways than duct cleaning. We recommend using additional technologies such as Reme Halo devices or upgrading your existing filters for optima

Is Cleaning Vents a Good Idea? An Expert's Perspective

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not recommend that air ducts be routinely cleaned, but only when necessary. This includes if you have a furnace, stove, or fireplace that burns fuel, as they should be inspected for proper functioning and maintained before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. If your family members get sick on a regular basis, suspect mold in the ducts, or simply think that the dust in your house is coming from the air duct, you may be tempted to contact an air duct cleaning service. Ultimately, what you really want is cleaner air in your home.

But is cleaning your air ducts really the best way to achieve this? Or is it a waste of money?At Pro-Tech, we don't offer duct cleaning services and we don't recommend them to our customers either. This is because air conditioning systems are already designed with a built-in cleaning system called an air filter. The function of the air filter is to remove particulates from the air that flows through the air conditioning system. Air filters don't always filter out all dust particles, but this is usually not a problem.

In most cases, the dust that passes through the air filter and reaches the duct system is minimal and has not been proven to cause a measurable decline in air quality. As the EPA study suggests, most of the dust will adhere to the surface of the duct and will not continue to reach your home. The air filter should trap any dust that comes out of the ducts and reaches your home during the next cycle. Because air conditioners rely on air filters to clean the air and because there is a lack of evidence on the need to clean ducts, HVAC manufacturers don't design air ducts to clean them. The EPA recommends that, if you choose to use duct cleaning services, only use them on ducts made of solid sheet metal. However, in most homes today we use flexible ducts that can be easily damaged by duct cleaning services.

If air duct cleaning is not done properly, it can cause more damage to air quality by releasing more dust into the house or insulation particles from the broken duct. Once the air duct is damaged, you have no choice but to replace it. This will result in an even greater expense than if you had simply replaced the duct at the beginning. If you are considering cleaning the ducts due to mold in your home, consider the type of duct you have. The EPA only recommends duct cleaning if you have a solid sheet metal duct.

They also warn consumers to always verify that any biological material in the duct is mold. This can be verified by third-party testing. You should never take a contractor's word for it when they claim that there is mold in your air ducts. In addition, cleaning the air ducts can eliminate immediately visible areas of mold; however, unless you discover and address the root cause of mold, you may be fighting the same battle again in the future. If mold continues to develop, then there's a reason.

Until you solve the root problem, cleaning the ducts will not help. If you're thinking about cleaning your air ducts because you want cleaner air, let us offer you some better alternatives. While air filters help remove particulates from the air, to really kill viruses, bacteria, and mold, you'll need to use some type of additional technology, such as the Reme Halo device. The Reme Halo device can be inserted into your existing duct network. Once installed, it distributes ionized hydroperoxide molecules which attack air pollutants such as bacteria, mold and dandruff.

It also charges the air particles it comes into contact with and causes them to stick together, making it easier for the air filter to remove enlarged particles. The REME HALO is already used in hospitals, cruise ships, restaurants, food processing plants and other industrial applications. Fortunately, it can also be installed in your home to provide you with safer, cleaner air. There are very effective air filter systems that can be added to your existing air conditioning system. A 5-inch filter has a larger surface area which allows for more particulate matter from being filtered out of the air without restricting airflow and only needs to be changed every 3-6 months instead of monthly. MERV is a unit that measures the efficiency of a filter's operation.

The higher the MERV rating, the more particles will be filtered out of the air. However, if you use a very high MERV filter it can also reduce airflow in your system too much. Since your air conditioning system is designed to use air filters to clean the air, changing them regularly is key for optimal performance. If you have a standard 1-inch pleated filter we recommend changing it once a month.

While Pro-Tech doesn't recommend duct cleaning services, we can definitely help you improve indoor air quality in other ways. While it may not always be necessary for homeowners to clean their HVAC unit and ducts themselves; there are cases where it might be useful for professional technicians who are qualified for HVAC inspection and cleaning services do so safely and expel any debris outside your home. Professional duct cleaning services use specialized blowers, vacuums and brushes to clean supply, inlet and return ducts throughout your house as well as heating and cooling equipment (heat exchangers, cooling coils etc). Cleaning these components helps remove contaminants and dead creatures and discourages insects from nesting as they are less likely to find hiding places in clean ducts.

At Pro-Tech we understand how important it is for homeowners to have clean indoor air quality but we believe there are better ways than duct cleaning. We recommend using additional technologies such as Reme Halo devices or upgrading your existing filters for optimal performance.

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