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Dallas, TX is known for its subtropical climate and experiences some extreme weather conditions during the hot summer months. It’s hot, humid and often reaches temperatures similar to desert and semi-desert locations, while winters are characterized as being milder with the occasional snow fall, however, there have been several colder than usual winters recorded. Without a doubt, having an air conditioning system brings relief from the warm, dry winds coming from the north and hot, humid air hailing from the south of Dallas, TX. And, the heating system takes the edge off the cold during the winter months, creating a more temperature-controlled environment in the home and business. It’s fair to say that living with a functioning HVAC system could be considered a luxury. However, it’s not simply about searching for the best HVAC installation company in Dallas TX and having an HVAC system installed, consideration needs to be given to the maintenance of this system, in the long run, to ensure that your system lasts for as long as possible. The installation of an HVAC system in your home should be considered a long-term investment into the standard of living that your family enjoys. It would, however, be a wise decision to invest in a maintenance plan for your system to ensure its longevity. As with any asset, your HVAC system may wear and tear, as the summers and winters roll on. Often, the excruciating heat outside may call for regular adjustments to the air-conditioning unit. As you enter your home, you turn it up to feel the effects of the air conditioning unit quicker and soon after, you readjust it to a more pleasant level as your body has acclimated to the new, more temperature-controlled environment. One thing is for sure, throughout the year, you have a high expectation of your HVAC unit, in supplying your home and/or work environment with good circulation and a high standard of quality. One specific and crucial component of these systems includes the air ducts as well as the maintenance thereof. Understanding how the different pieces fit together and what type of maintenance may be required, as well as how often, said maintenance needs to be performed, is essential, to ensure that you are not trapped in the middle of winter/summer with an HVAC system that is either not functioning as it should or even worse not functioning at all.
1. THE FUNCTION OF AIR-DUCTS
Air is delivered and removed throughout a building through air ducts that serve as passages/conduits/tubes in air-conditioning, heating and ventilation systems. The airflow might include supply air, exhaust air and return air. The problem that arises with these air ducts, however, is that the moisture inside will eventually start to grow mold and mildew. These air ducts supply air quality to your business and/or home by delivering ventilated air and controlling the air temperature inside the building. There are several clear, telltale signs that your system requires a duct cleaning service. Once any one of these symptoms is identified, it is important to contact a qualified, licensed and experienced contractor to assist with providing duct cleaning services. The difference between an experienced contractor that adheres to the National Air Duct Cleaning Association (NADCA) standardized methods for cleaning air ducts and a technician who cuts corners will be glaringly obvious.
2. SYMPTOMS OF DIRTY AIR-DUCTS
It is advised to pay attention to the signs that you require duct cleaning services, as this could not only negatively affect your health and the health of your family or co-workers, depending on where your HVAC system is located, but also cost your energy bill to rise, if not attended to immediately. A sign that you require a duct cleaning includes a musty, unpleasant smell throughout the building. This is serious, as it could adversely affect the health of all the individuals frequenting the building. Another symptom may include developing a respiratory infection. If the system is installed in your home and you notice that you and/or your family members are getting sick more often, experiencing the following symptoms, low-grade fevers, sneezing, coughing, nasal congestion, headaches, runny noses and sore throats, then upper respiratory infections, as a result of dirty air ducts, maybe the cause, requiring that you hire a duct cleaning service. Allergies worsening and attacks that occur only at your home and/or business and nowhere else as well as sneezing, difficulty breathing and asthma. And finally, eczema, rashes and hives may also indicate that you need duct cleaning services. Other symptoms include your home getting dusty faster than usual, even if you have just recently cleaned the house or utility bills that slowly creep up every month. If your ducts are infested with vermin, this would be an excellent reason to have the ducts cleaned out.
When you notice these signs, it is advised to consider contacting an accredited and reputable duct cleaning service that utilizes the National Air Duct Cleaning Association’s (NADCA) standardized methods for cleaning services. The sooner you tackle the problem, the sooner you can resume the same standard of air quality, you have become accustomed to.
3. CLEANING DURATION
Asking how long it will take to clean out the air ducts of a home is a common question, and a very valid one, to ask. An estimate would include the size of the HVAC system, the number of vents, as well as the total number of technicians working simultaneously to get the job done. Another important factor to consider is how dirty the vents are. If the system has roughly ten to fifteen vents that need to be cleaned and two technicians are working in a team to get the job done, then it should take roughly between two and four hours, to complete the job. Homes with pets and older homes may take longer to clean.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT DURING A DUCT CLEANING SERVICE
When cleaning out the HVAC system, it is essential to note that only cleaning out the air ducts could result in re-contamination of the entire system. For this reason, it is advised that all components of the HVAC system be cleaned out when this project is embarked on. NADCA recommends that all components be cleaned, including:
- Air cleaner
- Air ducts
- Drain pan
- Air filter
- Air plenum
- Blower motor assembly
- Heat exchange
The two components of cleaning out the HVAC system are:
- Breaking contamination loose
- Collecting the contamination
The air duct system is cleaned out by using specialized tools specifically for duct cleaning services. Various options are available to contractors. These large, portable or truck-mounted vacuum collection devices dislodge the dirt and debris inside the ducts. Technicians proceed to sanitize the vents before replacing the air filter. The system can then be checked in the final step to ensure that all components are in good working condition. According to the National Air Duct Cleaning Association’s (NADCA) standardized methods for duct cleaning services, there are specific steps to follow:
- INSPECT THE AIR DUCT
This serves as a measuring tool. The first step in determining if you require a duct cleaning service. Inspecting the state of the ducts before cleaning will determine how much cleaning is required. Comparing that, to the results after cleaning, will demonstrate the difference, before and after the cleaning process. By hiring a professional company, you can rest assured, that leaks in the ductwork will also be detected during the process.
- CREATE NEGATIVE PRESSURE
The following step is not complicated, but it is vital to understand that each job is unique. The second step, in this procedure, is the process of creating negative pressure. This is achieved by hooking the suction device’s hose to an existing opening to the duct, such as supply diffusers, supply grills, duct end caps, and existing service openings. But, preferably close to the air handler. Technicians may have to create access holes in the ductwork. The closure of these new holes requires skill and craftsmanship. The next step is to seal each adhesive with a seal cover before turning on the vacuum unit. This process will create negative pressure. The negative pressure catches fine particles as they become airborne, preventing them from entering the living space, and the negative pressure enables the device to collect loosened contaminants.
- AGITATE THE CONTAMINATION
The technician will now uncover each register and clean the ducts one by one. This process can be performed using an agitation device. Examples of agitation devices include air whips, brushes and compressed air nozzles. The same results can be achieved through contact vacuuming and hand brushing. A proper job requires conscientious work and this is the mark of a professional duct cleaning service. A professional technician will work meticulously, by attending to each detail in the cleaning process, ensuring that a proper job has been performed.
- CLEAN OUT ALL COMPONENTS
The final step involves cleaning all components of the HVAC system including the air handler’s blower motor, evaporator coil, and drain pan. These steps will not only increase the life of your HVAC unit but also increase the efficiency of the unit. As mentioned previously, to achieve the best possible results, when cleaning out the ducts, would be to clean out the entire HVAC system. Just as you would not only clean one part of your kitchen, you should not only clean one part of your HVAC system.
A trained, professional and conscientious technician is required for any duct cleaning service, as this will not only provide you with peace of mind but also the assurance that the life of your HVAC system has been prolonged.
4. FREQUENCY OF DUCT CLEANING
According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, the required time frame within which to hire a duct cleaning service for your HVAC system is anywhere from three to five years. However, if you or any member of your family suffer from allergies, it would be recommended to hire a duct cleaning service for your HVAC system every year to year and a half. As with any other component of your HVAC system, this also needs regular maintenance to ensure the longevity of the system as well as ensuring that it works effectively.
5. PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE
There are several options available to prevent dust, debris and other forms of contamination from entering your ducts including hiring a duct cleaning service in Dallas, TX:
- Use a high-efficiency air filter. The contractor that you hire to provide a duct cleaning service for your HVAC system, can assist you, with making this choice.
- Change filters more often if they tend to become clogged.
- Close off supply and return registers of the HVAC system during construction or renovations as these tend to cause debris and dust. Do not use the HVAC system until work has been completed and cleaning has been done.
- Ask your service provider to clean cooling coils and drain pans when performing routine maintenance checks and duct cleaning services.
- Check for any missing filters or air bypassing the filter system through gaps around the filter holder.
- Regularly dust and vacuum your home/office.
You should aim to prevent moisture from collecting in ducts as this will prevent biological growth inside the ducts. Here are some suggestions:
- Repair any leaks or water damage as soon as possible.
- In areas with high humidity, such as Dallas, TX, make sure that your cooling system is the correct size for your needs as this could lead to moisture build-up when the system cycles on and off. Also, ensure that ducts are sealed at the joints.
- Make sure to condensate pans properly and pay attention to cooling coils as these are a major source of moisture contamination.
When you are ready, be sure to contact us for licensed, professional and trained service technicians that work meticulously to clean your HVAC system and provide a duct cleaning service. It is essential to hire professionals with sufficient experience to handle the job and give professional advice to the client. One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating is situated in Dallas TX and offers, among other services, a duct cleaning service to clients.