How To Clean Your Ducts At Home?

The NADCA recommends the cleaning of your air ducts once in everythree to five years. This is to ensure that your ducts are clean, the quality of air you breath at home is good, and alsothe energy cost is very low. However, besides depending on professional cleaning you can also get your ducts cleaned at home to keep it away from matted-layer of dust and microbial growth. Here are some tips to clean the ducts at home:

Ingredients for cleaning the ducts: First of all you will need a solution to apply on the duct boards to clean the off the dirt. You can make acleaning solution by mixing some bleach and water. Keep some plastic zip ties handy which will be required to reconnect the ducts. Cloths and rags willalways be required for wiping. Have a mastic and paintbrush to apply it in order to seal the joints of your conduit.

Procedure: You will begin by taking out the inner and outer liners of the duct connector both at the unit and at the ceiling and wall. If your cleaning solution is ready, soak some rags in it. Once the rag is daubed with solution, take it out and wipe the liners with the solution. Try to reach as far as you can. This way you will clean the ends of the ducts. After the interior of the duct is cleaned, it is time to slide the liner over the metal duct connector. You can do it by applying a light layer of mastic over the connector and then sliding the liner over it. To secure the liner more steadfastly over the connector you can use a plastic zip tie.

After the inner liner is done, you have to pull the insulation and outer liner over the connector. Here also use the plastic straps to secure them in place. Applya layerof mastic over the outer liner. Clean as manyducts as you have in the same fashion.Look for gaps between edges of the ductsand wall opening. Seal them with general-purpose caulk. Dust, usually, gets inside the ducts through thesliver of a gap. It will not take more than 20 minutes to clean a duct. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to clean the ducts and vents. Home cleaning of ducts will keep the surfaces and ends clean. The visible dirt and dust that have gathered will be removed.

How does dirty ducts skyrocket your power bills?

The day to day work at office and home keeps most of us so engaged that often small but importantthings slip out of our attention. One such thing is cleaningthe air ducts. Dirty air ducts do not exhibit consequences directly but it can lead to many problems indirectly like healthproblems and high energy cost. Let us see how dirty ducts can skyrocket your power bills:

• It is said that even an inch of soot can reduce the efficiencyof your heat exchanger. This is because soot insulates the steel surface that transfers the heat to the air that blows past your duct. A thin layer can increase the energy bill by 10%.

• Dirty ducts also mean dirty filters. Now the AC unit needscertain amount of freshair. If the air flow gets blocked due to dirty filter, the AC will start to malfunction. It will struggle hard to get fresh air which will spiral up your energy bills.

• When thereis dust in your cooling coil its cooling efficiency goes down. Thereis frost build up in the coil and fans and they become very inefficientin cooing the house.They work harder to produce the desired outcome, which again influences the power bills.

Therefore no matter how busy you are, always make sure to get your ducts cleaned once in every three to five years. You can also take out some time to clean themas muchas you can at home, althoughprofessional cleaning will always be required fromtime to time. Changing filtersdoes not take more than a few minutes. So change them once in everythree months. If you have pets and many members living in the house, you may require changing them more frequently.

You checklist for duct cleaning

Before you go for duct cleaning, you should do a lot of legwork to know as much as possible about it. You should have a broad picture about what to expect, what are its benefits, what would bethe possible flipsides, and how to tell between a scheming and genuine cleaner. Here are a few things that you should know before you get your air ductscleaned:

• Locate the possible sources of dust and other contamination, if you suspect that your indoor air is infested with them.

• If you can see active mold growth, vermin, and pest inside the duct, call a professional cleaner immediately to get them cleaned.

• Remember it is not easy to detect amold with naked eyes. Any dark patch on the duct board isnot mold. You cleaner may tell you that your ductsare infested with microbial growth. Ask him to show it to you. Take a patch of it on stickytape and send it to a nearbymicrobiological laboratory to get it confirmed.

• Some service providers ask for exorbitant prices. Others will come up with lowball offers. The latter will pile up the bills after the job is done with extra charges. Atleast contactthree providers andcompare their quotes before you select one.

• Checktheirreferences, length of experience, and track record.

• Always make sure that they hold a properlicense.

• Sit for a one-to-oneinterview with the cleaner andexamine how confidently he answers your queries.

• You should know whether your ducts are made of sheet metal, flex duct, or fiber glass. The cleaningmethod for each varies a lot. A duct could also be made of combination of variousmaterials.

• Only if you are able to ratify through lab test that there is an active mold growth insideyour ducts, allow applying biocides in your ducts. However,it should be applied strictly according to the direction written on the label of the chemical. Leave the premises, if possible, when it is being sprayed.

• Try to avoild sealants unless you areleft with no other options.

• Always check if the service provider cleaned the entire heating and cooling system, including duct work and all components.

• The service provider that you hire should comply by the standards of National Air Duct Cleaning Association's (NADCA)standards. If the ducts are made of fiberglass or have fiberglass lining inside them, then the cleaner should follow the guidelines of the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA).

Knowmore aboutair duct cleaning

If you have more queries about duct cleaning you can get in touch with NADCA.

National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA)

1518 K Street, NW Suite 503

Washington, DC 20005

Phone: (202) 737-2926



If your ducts are made of fiberglass or have fiberglass lining on them, then you contact NAIMA to know more about treating them.

North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA)

44 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 310, Alexandria, VA 22314

Phone: (703) 684-0084


Other Useful Resources

You may encounter some problems after getting your ducts cleaned. You will need a consumer protection agency for registering your complaint and to get a quick redressal. Browse the following to know more.

Consumer Action Website

Usage of antimicrobials is not encouraged by any associations related to duct cleaning. However, if you have no other option but to use them in your ducts, you can contact the Antimicrobials Information Hotline. It will cater you all information related to disinfectants, fungicides, others and also the laws, rules, and regulations governing them. It will also tell you about the health issues and other side-effects of a particular chemical that you will use in your ducts, provided that it is registered with them.

What are the sources of air duct contamination?

There is plethora of sources for duct contamination. The air that you breath inside your house flow in from outside. The outside air is accompanied by dust, chemicals, pollen, insects, and mold spores. These get inside the ducts and build up thick mat-like layer of dust. Moreover, people livinginside the house also shed millions of tiny dead skin cells every hour. Smoke from the kitchen, cigarette smoke, aerosol sprays, and cosmetic products are also major sources of pollutants. If you have pets, they shed hair and dander which stick on the duct boards. The furniture and upholsteries that you have inside the house like carpets, wooden and plastics things give off pollutants and odors as well. Renovation of home also produces dirt and grit which get collected in the ducts.

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