If you're looking to have your ventilation system repaired or installed, it's important to get an estimate of how much money you can save. To do this, technicians will need to inspect the ducts for any leaks or other areas where heat can escape. Not following proper duct cleaning procedures can lead to issues with indoor air quality. Air duct cleaning service providers may suggest applying a chemical biocide to the inside of the ducts to kill bacteria and fungi and prevent future biological growth. It's essential to commit to a good preventive maintenance program to minimize duct contamination.
Organizations such as the EPA, NADCA, NAIMA, and SMACNA don't currently recommend the routine use of sealants to encapsulate contaminants in any type of duct. However, there are cases where using sealants may be appropriate, such as repairing damaged fiberglass insulation or combating damage caused by duct fires. Installers of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems can perform tests to determine the degree of leakage in your home's ducts. Some service providers may suggest applying chemical treatments (sealants or other encapsulants) to cover the inner surfaces of air ducts and equipment housings. To replace the air ducts yourself, you'll need metal sheets, hangers and straps, ventilation covers, duct sealant, insulation and adhesive tape. The EPA doesn't recommend that air ducts be cleaned except when necessary due to uncertainty about the benefits of duct cleaning under most circumstances.
To find companies that offer duct cleaning services, contact the National Association of Air Duct Cleaners (NADCA). Much of the dirt in the air ducts adheres to the surfaces of the ducts and doesn't necessarily enter the living space. A careless or inadequately trained service provider can damage ducts or the heating and cooling system, which could increase heating and air conditioning costs or force you to make expensive repairs or replacements.