Air ducts obviously play an important role in your home, moving air to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. But you can’t see inside them, so determining whether to clean them can be a challenge.
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association recommends having your air ducts cleaned every three to five years. You should absolutely clean them if:
- You have just moved into a new home, built a new home or completed a remodeling project
- You think or know there is mold in the ducts
- You see insects or rodents entering or exiting ductwork
- You actually see dust releasing from the vents
The question becomes do you do it yourself or hire a professional. You might want to consider doing it yourself if:
- Your house is rodent-free
- Mold is minor
- Air ducts are easier to access
You should consider a professional if:
- You have rodents
- Mold is extensive or in hard to access areas
- The ducts are hard to access
- You want the entire system cleaned
Next month we will tell you how you can clean your ducts yourselves. For now, here are some tips on selecting a professional air duct cleaning company.
- Get an experienced company and check references. The longer the company has been in business, the better. You can also check online review sites such as Angie’s List, Better Business Bureau, etc. This is especially critical, since a license is not required in Illinois.
- Get a quote. You get what you pay for, so don’t go for the cheapest alternative. Often times, those low priced vendors will give you the low price to get into your home, and then try to tack on charges. A good duct cleaning costs between $400 and $1,000, depending on the size of the home.
- Get a time estimate. A good cleaning should take a few hours.
- Make sure the cleaning includes the furnace, air coils and central system.
- Select a cleaner that uses a truck-mounted, outside vacuum system that transfers dust and debris outside the house.
- Make sure the company follows the standards set by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association.
- If the company uses a “moisture method,” make sure it has a plan to avoid mold that moisture can generate.
- Prefer a company that does not use chemical treatments or biocides. If they do, find out why.