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Some people in Frisco, TX, turn to duct cleaning services if a family member or someone else in the household has asthma or allergies, but most of us can be tempted by the thought of nice, clean air coming out of our ducts. It’s important to have ducts cleaned correctly because incorrect or haphazard cleaning methods can actually disturb dust and put more of it into the air. It’s important to talk to a doctor about asthma and allergies too, just to find out if the problem can be addressed through duct cleaning service or if additional measures are needed as well.
How Does Duct Cleaning Work?
Duct cleaning services include a wide range of components in your home’s heating and cooling system, such as grilles and diffusers, supply and return air ducts, and registers. Proper installation and maintenance are important, but even a well-maintained system can eventually become contaminated with particles of dust, dirt, pollen, and other types of debris. Always hire conscientious and trustworthy HVAC professionals to provide duct cleaning services. If one section or component of your duct system is missed and remains contaminated with dirt or mold, the contaminants will spread to the rest of the system again very quickly.
Many duct cleaning services also offer additional services that can help keep the air in your home clean. Frequently changing air filters can reduce particles, including dust and allergens, in the air throughout your home. Watch your filters and try to check them monthly to determine when they are likely to be dirty and require replacement. The average time between filter replacements is every two or three months.
Additional Cleaning Services
Other services include cleaning the heating and cooling equipment, such as heat exchangers, drain pans, fan blades, fan motors, and fan housing structures. Cleaning the blower-fan blades can reduce airborne particles in the home and may improve energy efficiency. Evaporator coils remove moisture from the air circulating through your home. The condensed moisture on the evaporator coils may become contaminated with dust and other particles that may build up. Recirculated air may contain some of these particles, but keeping evaporator coils clean can prevent particulate build-up and even remove mold spores. Keeping all the parts of your HVAC system clean and well maintained can also extend the lifetime of the system.
Ask your local HVAC service provider about whole-home air filtration units that may remove particles, especially when they’re paired with a high-efficiency mechanical filter. Avoid using any air cleaners yourself that work by creating ozone. This can increase pollution in your home and lower air quality. Duct cleaning services may include an inspection of your duct system for leaks that can reduce efficiency and lead to low air quality. The most common cause of dirty air ducts is duct leaks. Dirt and debris are pulled into ducts through leaks, especially ducts in attics, basements, or crawl spaces. Ask an HVAC technician how to address underlying causes and prevent contamination before cleaning, retrofitting, or replacing air ducts so the new, clean ducts don’t become contaminated again.
Importance of Duct Cleaning and Maintenance
The EPA recommends duct cleaning services in certain circumstances, such as substantial or visible mold growth, insect or rodent infestations, or substantial build-up of dust and debris. Any sort of home renovation project in Frisco, TX, can lead to large amounts of dirt and particles inside ducts if the registers weren’t sealed correctly during construction. Exceptionally dirty ductwork could increase wasted energy in your HVAC system, although other factors influence waste as well. Poor insulation and unsealed ducts are also factors influencing wasted energy.
Many sections of your home’s heating and cooling system aren’t accessible for a casual visual inspection. You may not know what could be growing or resting on the surface of your ductwork, especially ductwork far from registers and other entry or exit points. An HVAC professional can examine the inaccessible sections while providing duct cleaning services and may locate mold or other hazards that most homeowners would have a hard time finding themselves.
Mold can’t be identified by a visual inspection alone. Many substances can look like mold, but microbiology laboratories can analyze samples fairly quickly so you know if mold exists in your ducts or not. Unfortunately, insulated air ducts may need to be replaced if the insulation is damp or moldy. It’s almost impossible to stop mold growth within insulation after it starts. Mold spores can live for a very long time, even if the original mold colony is dead.
The next step is addressing conditions that let mold grow in the first place. Mold spores are everywhere. They enter your home every time a door or window opens. The number one factor affecting mold growth is moisture. HVAC professionals providing duct cleaning services may be able to locate sources of moisture and eliminate them so that mold won’t find your home’s ducts so inviting anymore.
Most duct cleaning services rely on specialized tools and powerful vacuums to physically removing dirt and contaminants from ductwork surfaces. However, some chemicals, such as cleaners, sealants, and coatings, may be used too. It’s important to discuss the types of chemicals used to make sure they won’t trigger allergies, asthma, or headaches. Ask about green or eco-friendly duct cleaning service products and methods. Remember, the chemicals used in your HVAC ducts may end up in almost every room of your home. Make sure you hire a trustworthy professional to help keep you and your family safe.
Many air duct cleaning services in Frisco, TX, also include dryer vent cleaning. This is an extremely important part of home maintenance because dryer vents with built-up dirt, lint, and other debris can be a fire hazard.
The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 34% of house fires each year may be related to dryer vents. Clothes that don’t seem to dry efficiently and remain damp after a typical dryer cycle may indicate clogged vents. Some homes have dryer vents so packed with lint that the lint itself becomes wet instead of clothes getting dry. Other signs also indicate clogged dry vents such as a musty odor after a drying cycle is finished, clothes that seem too hot to touch, or excessive heat in the basement or room containing the dryer. Other signs include a dryer vent hood that won’t close properly, debris in the outside vent opening, large amounts of lint in the lint trap, and noticeable odors from dryer sheets after the drying cycle is finished.
Hot air forced through clogged vents can start a fire. Hire an HVAC professional to install, clean, and maintain your washer and dryer and clean the lint filter before and after each dryer cycle. Use a nylon brush to clean the filter at least every six months. Make sure lint is completely removed from vents every three months, and have a professional inspect the venting system behind the dryer at least once a year to make sure it isn’t damaged or blocked. A cover over dampers in the exterior wall can help protect vents from the elements, but the vent cover should always open when the dryer is running.
Chemical Cleaners and Sealants
Some types of chemical sealants or encapsulants cover the inside surface of ducts or equipment to control mold growth and reduce airborne dirt particles or fibers. Disinfectants, sanitizers, and antimicrobial products can be registered for HVAC use and approved by the EPA. Although chemical biocides can be applied inside ducts to kill bacteria and mold, no biocides are currently approved by the EPA for internally insulated air duct systems. Carefully evaluate the pros and cons of any chemical biocides or duct sealants before approving their use. Sealants encapsulating the interior of air ducts is not the same practice as sealing duct air leaks. Sealing leaks is essential to efficient energy use for heating and cooling purposes, and many HVAC technicians can check for and seal leaks while they provide duct cleaning services at the same time.
A variety of factors should be taken into consideration when you decide to have your ducts cleaned or contemplate how often you should hire a duct cleaning service in Frisco, TX. The size of your ductwork system, accessibility, regional climate, and the level of contamination in your home all influence the frequency of effective duct cleaning service. Pets, cigarette or cigar smoke, and hobbies that produce particulates, such as woodworking or carving, may influence air quality.
Rodents and Pests
Any sort of rodent or pest infestation also means you should hire duct cleaning services. Rodents can leave feces and urine throughout the duct system, which then contaminates the air in the rest of the house. Other types of debris from rodents and pests include fur, old food caches, and even deceased animals. None of these potential contaminants is something you want throughout your home. Duct cleaning services in cases of rodent or insect infestations serve at least two purposes. Cleaning any contaminants out of the system is important, but an HVAC professional can also inspect the system for cracks and leaks to make sure rodents and insects can’t use those entry points in the future.
You should also have your ducts inspected and cleaned if the home or building you live in has sustained fire damage. Soot, which is made up of the fine particles within smoke and haze, other burned material, and potential carcinogens can contaminate ductwork if a structure fire occurs. This is a risk even if the fire didn’t occur in your home because even the most well-sealed HVAC system can’t completely block all contaminants put into the air by a large fire. A structure fire anywhere in the immediate vicinity puts smoke and debris into the air. Contaminants enter homes every time a door or window is opened, and occupants of homes that aren’t sealed well against outside air may notice soot building up on surfaces, a smoky smell, or poor indoor air quality.
Soot and smoke contamination is also a concern for people living in areas where wildfires are burning. Frisco, TX, doesn’t experience many wildfires, but the fire doesn’t have to be extremely close to causing problems. Smoke and contamination from a wildfire can travel surprisingly long distances, so even people that can’t see the fire from their location may notice signs of it. The Environmental Protection Agency judges particulate matter 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller as concerning because the particles are small enough to be inhaled through the throat and nose into the lungs. Soot contains particles of only 2.5 micrometers, and sometimes even smaller particles, that can be inhaled easily. According to the EPA, microscopic particles in soot may contribute to premature death, strokes, heart attacks, asthma, and bronchitis.
A large wildfire can put up to 36 tons of particulate matter into the air per minute. This massive amount of particles can overwhelm even a very well sealed HVAC system, and the risk goes up in proportion to the duration of the fire. Homeowners should check potential entry points, such as improperly installed duct or grille connectors or fire dampers that are braced open, or contact an HVAC professional to perform an evaluation and maintenance. Operational HVAC systems may also draw smoke and ash from the outside air. This can clog coils and spread throughout a home or building, but even nonoperational systems can still exchange air between indoor and outdoor areas through temperature differentials, heat recovery ventilators, fan-only mode, or ceiling fans.
Call One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas serving Frisco, TX, to ask about duct cleaning services. Experienced, certified HVAC professionals can help you improve IAQ or indoor air quality. Duct cleaning services are just one way to improve air quality, remove contaminants from the air, and keep your HVAC system running at peak efficiency. You can also ask about air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and other tools and strategies to improve your home’s air quality and safeguard the health of your household.