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Ductwork Cleaning

“Out Of Sight – Out of Mind” Is An Unhealthy Posture With Ductwork

dust mites magnified image

Magnified Dust Mites

 

Al’s Plumbing, Heating & A/C Provides Spinning-Brush Ductwork-Cleaning

Vacuum Cleaning System

During Cleaning

Our BrushBeast Ductwork-Cleaning System pairs a 450 RPM Spinning Brush with 4 Powerful Vacuum Motors 

To quickly clean your ductwork to a nearly a “like new” state of clean.  

Call Al’s today to schedule a Ductwork-Cleaning Appointment at your convenience.

Why & How Often Does Ductwork Need Cleaned?

WHY?  Each time your furnace blower cycles, air is blown over everything inside your ductwork.  The contaminants of most concern are: Dust, Pet Hair, Pet Dander, 3rd-Hand Tobacco-Smoke, & Mold.   Below, we show what can be found in ductwork.  If you have allergies that seem worse now, or if you recently moved and are sneezing more in the new home, it may very well be due to dirty ductwork.

HOW OFTEN? Depending on the composition of your household, ductwork cleaning should be as frequently as yearly.  For those with: several family members, family members with allergies, shedding pets, or if you open your windows frequently — Annual Ductwork Cleaning is advised.  For small households without shedding pets, ductwork cleaning can occur every 3-5 years.

These photos show the inside of ductwork before and after ductwork cleaning.

hvac ductwork before and after cleaning

In Addition To Dust Accumulation, The Bottom Of The Duct Appears To Have A Layer Of Pet Hair

All homes leak air in from outside.  For example, an Energy Star rated home is a high standard of energy-efficiency. Energy Star allows for 3.5 Air-Changes Per Hour (ACH) — which means the home’s entire indoor-air exchanges with outdoor air 3.5 times per hour.  3.5 ACH is minimum ACH allowed to ensure good Indoor-Air Quality.

A home built in the 1970’s has as many as 17 Air Changes per hour!  This allows a lot of dust to enter the home.  Regardless of how clean you keep your home, dust from outside is migrating into your home every moment of the day & night.

In a smoker’s home, 3rd-hand cigarette smoke attaches to the ductwork.  Below is built-up 3rd Hand Tobacco-Smoke (brown stains) on a wall around where wall-hangings were removed.  This is the same as builds up in your ductwork.

third hand smoke stains on walls

3rd-Hand Smoke Build Up On Walls — It’s Inside Ductwork Too

During DFW summer, is common for ductwork to “sweat” — due to very humid air passing over the cool ductwork.  The combination of particulates and humidity in the ductwork is all mold needs to grow.

Ductwork covered in black mold
Ductwork covered in black mold.

Add the allergins, toxins and possible mold-spores moving throughout your home every time the furnace blower is running, and you can have poor to very unhealthy Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

Ductwork cleaning should be combined with furnace-cleaning, to ensure everything is clean.  Below are photos of a furnace blower-motor and blower-cage that were not being cleaned.

very dirty furnace blower motor very dirty furnace blower wheel new furnace blower wheelresidential furnace blower

Neglected blower motor & cage caked with dirt.                                          What they look like when new.

In addition to creating poor Indoor-Air Quality.  Dirty blower components reduce air-flow through the system.  This causes heating and a/c bills to rise.

Ductwork cleaning should be combined with an inspection of the A/C Cooling-Coil (and cleaned in needed).  If it is dirty, this coil also reduces air-flow.  But worse, a dirty A/C Cooling-Coil is a perfect environment for mold growth.  This coil is wet when the A/C is running, as it’s what removes humidity from the air.  Even the best air-filters allow some contaminants through, it they are easily trapped within the wet cooling-coil.  Note: The A/C Cooling-Coil is inside the furnace, or just above the furnace inside the ductwork.

home central a/c evaporator coil iced upnew home central a/c evaporator coil        molded home central a/c evaporator coil

Frozen A/C Coil                                 A/C Cooling-Coil is inside or just above the furnace.                          Very dirty coil with black mold growth.

 

Clean Ductwork When You Move Into A Used Home

When you buy a used home, you have no way of knowing when (or if) the ductwork was cleaned.  You also don’t know: if the furnace filters were changed as required, any history of shedding pets, smokers, or how clean the home was kept.  For these reasons, it’s advise the ductwork be cleaned upon moving in.

very dirty and buckled furnace air filter  Very dirty air filters will buckle, allowing air around them.  If this occurs, air is no longer filtered.

Clean Ductwork After Replacing Carpet

Replacing carpet creates unhealthy air.  Disrupting carpet and pad creates a notable to huge amount of airborne dust, as dust migrates into and through the carpet & pad from the day it’s installed.

If a pet leaves urine in carpet, it can lead to mold in the carpet-backing and pad below.  If the mold is active, moving the carpet or pad will release mold-spores into the air.

dust and carpet pad remains during carpet replacement mold in carpet and pad

Dust under carpet.                Mold from pet urine in carpet and pad.

 

Clean Ductwork After Home Renovations

For example, drywall sanding and refinishing hardwood floors creates huge amounts of dust that gets pulled into your ductwork while the HVAC System is running.

drywall dust from mask refinishing hardwood floor

drywall dust                                                           dust from hardwood floor sanding

 

How To Keep Your Ductwork Cleaner

To Minimize Contaminates Entering and Settling In the Ductwork, Replace Or Clean Your Furnace Filter, Or Clean The Collector-Plates On Your Air-Cleaning System on a monthly basis.

  • Change the furnace filter as often as monthly.  Note: Smaller households, and those without shedding pets, may be able to go for 2-3 months.   If the filter looks dirty, it is, and it needs to be changed.

dirty and clean furnace air filter very dirty and buckled furnace air filter

 

 

  • If you have a reusable air filter, it needs to be cleaned each month.  As with air-cleaners, reusable air filters loose effectiveness, and reduce air-flow through the system when they are dirty.

dirty electrostatic furnace air filter cleaning an electrostatic air filter

 

  • If you have an electronic air-cleaner, the collection-plates need to be cleaned each month.  As they get dirty, they loose effectiveness.

very dirty electronic air cleaner collection plate

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Al’s Plumbing, Heating & A/C provides: maintenance, repairs and replacements on every brand of Air Conditioner, Heat Pump, and Gas & Electric Furnaces.  We also do ductwork inspection and repair.

Al’s does spring A/C Tune-Ups and Fall Furnace Tune-Ups.  During these tune-ups, an inspection occurs to determine if any component needs cleaned.  Then, diagnostics are performed on the HVAC equipment to determine if it’s operating at its maximum capacity and efficiency.   These diagnostics will disclose (among several other things) if an A/C or Heat Pump is low on refrigerant.  This is a common problem that increase cooling and heating bills, in addition to wearing out the component sooner (due to it working harder than it needs to).

Al’s also sells and installs new HVAC Systems from: American Standard (same company as Trane), AmeriStar (same company as American Standard) and Coleman HVAC (made by the same company who makes York HVAC).

Calls Al’s today to discuss any problems or concerns you have with your HVAC System. We can often provide same-day service, to ensure your system is working at it’s highest capacity & efficiency, and lowest operating costs.

 

 

 

 

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