chimney duct with mouse traps and dirt

Why Air Duct Cleanings Are So Important

Indoor air quality is affected by what is in the air in your home. The pollutant content of the air comes from several sources:

  • The air outside.
  • Chemicals in the home – cleaning supplies etc. 
  • Off gassing (VOCs) from materials such as carpets, paint, laminates, furniture, and fabrics.
  • People and animals.

Those dust bunnies you always find under furniture are a mix of dust (dirt), human and animal skin cells, fabric fiber, and hair stuck together by static electricity. The “bunnies” attract mites and mold, and they can be especially irritating for people with certain allergies.

Air ducts collect the same air impurities that dust bunnies are made of. The pollutants settle in the ducts where normal household moisture coalesces them into a mat. A little bit of this debris is picked up and recycled as the heating and air conditioning system cycles on.

Getting Rid of Pollutants

Outside Air – As homes get tighter there is less outside air coming into the home. This sounds good, but a lack of fresh air can densify the pollutants in the air, making it worse. Bringing fresh, filtered air into your home is the way to mitigate this. There are several excellent ways to do this – just ask us!

Chemicals – Cleaning supplies should be stored in a clean, cool, and ventilated space – ideally, not in the stream of HVAC circulation. This need has not been addressed in most home designs. The garage works best if it is not too hot, but is not always practical. A tight, ventilated closet is the next best option but will require a bit of a remodel in most cases. At least keep these chemicals in tightly sealed containers, ideally at a distance from HVAC returns. 

VOCs – Pick more natural products when possible. New carpet and fabrics, laminates, building adhesives etc. lose VOC potency over time, so planning a stay away from home for a period after installation and allowing the home to air out will reduce their effect.

People & Pets – We scratch, we sneeze and cough, we lose our hair, we wear clothes… If we would simply live outside, then everything would be good, at least regarding indoor air pollution. We, and our pets, are the source of the bits of protein and organic matter that mites and other members of the microbiology community feed on. The more hard surfaces in the house, the fewer fibers and the easier it is to keep everything clean. A HEPA filtered vacuum for any vacuuming is a must. Electrostatic air filters remove far more tiny particulates than the typical cheap paper air filters, (which begin filtering better once they begin to plug up), however they can cause other problems we will address further on. Fewer people and animals means fewer pieces of hair and skin floating around, so living alone is a solution, sort of. 

Other Factors

Air moves through a home by natural convection currents – hot air rises, cold air sinks, as well as by forced air. Air loss in a home can depressurize it, sucking particulates in from the attic or under the house as well as directly from outside. 

Depressurization can be caused by as simple an act as opening an upstairs bathroom window to vent it. It can be caused by a combination or building deficiencies. Or, perhaps the air ducts leak air or one or more has become disconnected, and this is the path of depressurization.

Disconnected air ducts become highways for bugs and rodents to use. The ubiquitous plastic flexible ducting is easy for a rodent to eat through and then set up a home in an air-conditioned environment – at which point they, and their leavings become an additional source of indoor air pollution. 

Various illnesses and allergies have been linked to indoor air quality and ventilation systems.

Air Ducts Can Be Cleaned- If They Need Cleaning and Are Undamaged 

Before being cleaned, they should be inspected.  Regular inspections can help you feel more secure in your home and prevent future problems. 

If you don’t know the last time you had your air ventilation system properly cleaned, it’s time to call for an inspection/cleaning. It simply makes sense to clean the ducts if the home is new to you. You clean the carpet and walls – ridding the place of the former inhabitants. 

We will physically look inside your ducts, take photos to document what we find, and clean if needed. We will measure the air pressure inside of your home and recommend repairs if needed. Additionally, we will take photos of the inside of each duct as we clean them in order to document that we got the stuff out of them.

In some cases, we may recommend applying an antibacterial. There are also products that deal with smoke odor. Whenever possible, we use natural products from Benefect.  Sometimes we will recommend that the ducting be replaced. 

We will replace the air filters. Electrostatic air filters can filter 80% (silver) to 95% (gold) of the particulates. However, if the system is not designed for the friction of high performance filters, they may harm your system. We usually install the silver level. With electrostatic filters you get immediate filtration, but they can plug up if not changed. They are washable. You can buy two, or, double the amount you need. You take out the dirty one, install the clean one, and then wash the dirty one and set it aside to dry until the next swap out. These may not be for you if you need to hire someone to change them.

Excellent customer service and detailed oriented. Helped me diagnose a problem with my ducting and spent time going over all options without pushing unnecessary services. Also inspected and cleaned a chimney and kept everything clean.

Jonathan N.

You are courteous, friendly, punctual, and very easy to schedule with. You do quality work. We like how you take care when bringing your equipment in and out and also take care to not track dirt in. We love your reliability

Daniel K.

What Makes Us Different?

White Glove stands for a warm, secure, and healthy home. 

We are professionally trained. Our technicians learn their job in our classroom and training center – 70 hours of classroom and hands on training in our shop before they go out as a helper on a truck. Then 70 hours of online classes before they take their first national certification exam. We schedule ongoing continuing education outside of the company or bring in trainers throughout the year.

We are clean, safe to be with, nice, and honest, educated professionals who don’t take shortcuts. We are nice – just ask our customers! We show up on time, we are clean in the home, and we are great communicators who speak in a language our customers understand. We are also licensed contractors.

Our experience is tested by masters in the industry, not by our own limits. Our owner, Bob, has 36 years of experience and is a trainer nationally. 

loads of lint in dryer vent

Ready to Book?

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • We will lay clean drop cloths all around your home. We remove each outlet register and open the return registers.
  • We will clean the plenums, the coils, and the blower in the air handler, which may be in the attic, on the roof, or on the side of the house.  
  • We perform contact cleaning with a HEPA filtered negative air vacuum system. It is a big Vac with a 12” hose. Contact cleaning involves the use of rotary spinning brushes and/or high pressure compressed air. The spinning brushes or air whips work the dust and debris loose. Once freed from the lining of the ducts, the powerful vacuum removes the dust and debris from the system. 
  • If needed, we will apply anti-bacterial or other treatments at this time.

     

PRICING

There are many factors that go into the cost of a cleaning. Our duct cleaning CSR will have a list of questions for you to answer in order for us to be able to give you a quote. If we are in your home, our White Glove professional will check the ducts for debris and damage and then discuss your options. Your ducts may not even need cleaning; or if they do, they may have leaks that need to be fixed in order to keep them clean.

We understand that you work hard for your money and don’t want to pay for services that you don’t need. We will price the whole job up front so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.

If you are ready to breathe easier with cleaner indoor air, give us a call and schedule an appointment with us!