Air ducts are the last line of defense before the air created by an air conditioning system reaches your home. It is the last chance to filter out dust, allergens, and other impurities from the air before it is inhaled by your family and friends. Whether you can clean an air duct yourself or need to hire a local HVAC repair professional depends on several factors. In some cases, you may need to replace an unusable duct with a new one.
If you hear loud noises when you turn on the air, it is best to call a professional HVAC company to check if the duct is the right size for your system. Preventive maintenance is essential to minimize duct contamination. This will not change the layout of the duct design, increase air flow in the duct system, or rebalance the duct system. The most effective way to avoid contamination is to prevent water and dirt from entering the system (see How to Prevent Duct Contamination).If your house smells of mold or mildew every time you turn on the air conditioner or heating, it could be a sign that there is a leak in the air ducts or that they are poorly insulated. The National Association of Air Duct Cleaners recommends hiring a professional to clean your ducts every three to five years, while the EPA says you can generally skip cleanings unless you notice visible signs of mold or excess dust. Knowledge about cleaning air ducts is still in its early stages, so it is not possible to make a general recommendation on whether to clean them in your house.
While some companies include a microbial spray as part of their duct cleaning service, this is only a temporary solution. The methods used for duct cleaning vary, although industry associations that deal with air duct cleaning have established standards. Most organizations that deal with duct cleaning, including the EPA, NADCA, NAIMA, and SMACNA (the National Association of Metal Plate Contractors and Air Conditioning), do not currently recommend using sealants to encapsulate contaminants in any type of duct. All these types of ducts include sheet metal distribution cables to help direct airflow properly to different areas of the house, balanced shock absorbers to distribute airflow evenly, sealants, straps, and adhesive tape to secure them. Air duct cleaning service providers may tell you that they need to apply a chemical biocide inside the ducts to kill bacteria (germs) and fungi (mold) and prevent future biological growth. Some service providers may also suggest applying chemical treatments (sealants or other encapsulants) to encapsulate or cover the inner surfaces of air ducts and equipment housings because they believe they will control mold growth or prevent dirt particles or fibers from being released. If you're looking for a reliable air duct repair company in San Jose, Ventwerx is an HVAC company that provides comprehensive services for any HVAC needs your home may have.
This is because much of the dirt that can accumulate inside the air ducts adheres to their surfaces and does not necessarily enter your living space.