What You Need To Know About Air Duct Cleaning and Repair

Air ducts are hollow tubes that are typically made from sheet metal, fiberglass, asbestos and flexible plastic. They are responsible for transporting cold or heated air around the home. The ducts form a part of your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, commonly know as “HVAC”. Cleaning the air ducts should be a part of your regular home maintenance. It is essential that you keep them regularly maintained as regular maintenance assists in the efficiency, function, and longevity of your entire HVAC system. Regular maintenance extends the life of the entire system, meaning cost savings in the long-term. Duct cleaning is essential to maintaining healthy air within your home. Toxins, dust, mold, rodent droppings, pet dander, pollen and other allergens are commonly found in air ducts. If the air ducts are not cleaned on a regular basis, these particles are blown out into the air for others to breathe in. As you can imagine, there’s nothing nice about breathing those particles and allergens in. such particles can cause severe illness. 

The importance of air duct cleaning

Air duct cleaning has a lot of health and financial benefits to the homeowners. Dust and other debris that build up in the heating and cooling system encourage mold and bacteria growth if moisture gets in the system. This leads to health issues such as allergic reactions. Unclean air duct systems are less efficient and usually break down frequently unlike the sanitary systems which require less energy to operate hence reducing the cost of energy. The air duct cleaning process is simple; here is a brief guide how Air Tight Heating & Cooling Systems performs most air duct cleanings:  

  • Preparation: Before coming into the home, our HVAC technicians wear protective booties to protect the home’s floor.  We also cover floors in the main walkways and any areas we might be working in, to further protect the home. Once in the home, the hvac technitian(s) inspect air ducts with a high definition camera to give the homeowner a visual of the inside of the air ducts, and ensure that the air ducts are in good working order for the air duct cleaning. We also inspect the air duct vents for any gaps between the vent and drywall.  If necessary, the air duct vents are sealed to minimize any air loss into and out of the home.  
  • Cleaning: In some cases, a small hole is drilled into the return or supply plenum and vaccum brush is used to push through the ducts and disengage any remaining debris. Some objects can find their way into an air duct; this causes a blockage which affects the productivity of the systems cooling and heating. A scoping camera is used to find any blockages so that it can be removed. If the blockage is severe, the duct may need to be disassembled for removal.
  • Finishing: After cleaning the ducts, and any blockages have been removed the vacuum is disconnected from the return or supply plenum and the plastic bags are taken off the vents. The duct cleaning process is completed with any holes that were made being carefully plugged to keep them airtight. Any ducts that were taken apart to clear blockages are put back together, and the hole in the furnace trunk is patched up with a large metal plate.

Air duct repair

Signs that your air ducts need to be examined for damage, infiltration, and/or deterioration:  

  • Dark streaks on air vents or walls: These marks have the appearance of possible fire damage or smoke coming from air duct vents. This is a possible sign of attic air entering your air duct system and coming into your living areas. 
  • Poor air quality: Tears or holes in your ductwork can lead to attic air with dust and other allergens getting inside the system. Those allergens will then spread into your living area, rather than being filtered out correctly. If you notice a drop in your interior air quality especially if you or a family member is having allergic reactions, asthma attacks or other respiratory issues-broken air ducts may be at fault.
  • Difficulty heating and cooling properly: If you can’t get your rooms cool in the summer, no matter how low you turn the temperature on the air conditioner, you might have a problem with the air ducts. The same goes for staying warm in the winter. The air leakage that results from openings or loose connections between them will force your heating and cooling systems to work harder to and may not allow they system to properly warm or cool rooms in the home.
  • Higher energy bills: If your ductwork is leaking air and your air conditioner or furnace is working full blast to close the gap. This will consume more energy than with functioning ducts. A sudden spike in your energy bill might mean that you need repair.