If you keep up with regular HVAC maintenance, you’ve probably heard of duct cleaning services that claim to improve efficiency and make your air cleaner. A duct-cleaning service (such as Arendosh Heating & Cooling), if reputable and thorough, will take care of more than just your ducts. It also has its benefits, but before you spend the money, you should see how such a service will benefit you and if you even need it.  

What Should A Duct-Cleaning Service Offer?

Despite what its name suggests, a good duct-cleaning service will clean everything from your vents and grills to your heating and cooling unit, along with coils, fans, and other parts. If you opt for a service like this, only seek out companies that will offer the full-service package. Cleaning just the ducts may be cheaper, but if you aren’t getting everything else cleaned, it’s nearly pointless.

Does it Provide Any Benefits?

Getting a full-service clean doesn’t necessarily make your system run more efficiently. Much like getting an annual tune up to your outdoor unit, it serves as preventative maintenance against future problems and can help your system last longer.

For example, having dirty coils and motors can make your system less efficient, but perhaps more importantly, it can put strain on the system and cause it to wear down faster.

However, there are certain instances where getting a full-service clean gives you much more than preventative maintenance.

When Should I Have It Done?

There are certain situations when it’s a good idea to get your HVAC system cleaned out of necessity, such as after construction projects or animal infestations.

  • After water damage: Water damage can do a few things to your system, like damaging your indoor components or promoting mold growth in your ducts, vents or filters. Mold growth in your system is a problem because it makes spreading mold spores incredibly easy.
  • After a renovation: If you’ve had serious work done on your home, even if you’ve tried to cover up your intake and outflow vents, you may still want to have everything cleaned. Renovations can let chemicals and dust inside your ducts, which will then flow out through the rest of your house, causing a mess and sometimes health problems.
  • In case of illness: If your HVAC system has been running without a major cleaning for 10-15 years, it may be spreading around allergens even if you’ve routinely changed your air filter. At this point, a cleaning is a good idea to make sure your system isn’t causing you ill health.

What Should I Watch Out For?

There are plenty of reliable companies, but also those who may try to convince you that you need something you really don’t. When searching for a duct-cleaning service, look out for some important points.    

  • Full-service cleaning: A service that doesn’t touch your cooling and heating units isn’t worth the price; to be effective, every part of your system needs to be cleaned.
  • Scare tactics: Be wary of anyone claiming that your home is dangerous and that cleaning your ducts is necessary to make it safe again. If they’re pushing a sale heavily, get a second opinion.
  • Sample photos: If a company provides before and after photos, look to see if they’ve been doctored or if they’re taking photos of the wrong places. The best photos are of supply ducts; this is where your cool or hot air flows into your house, so this is where it’s most important that your ducts are clean.
  • Chemicals: Don’t hire a company that wants to use chemicals like sealants or biocides in your ducts. These can be harmful to your health (which defeats the point of having the ducts cleaned), and a proper cleaning job can be done without them.