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Why Should I Clean My Ducts?


Dirty air ducts have been identified as a major source of indoor air pollution. Your air duct


system is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, mold mildew, fungi, and other health


threatening organisms.

 Will My House Be Less Dusty?

YES. The inside of your duct work is the equivalent of an extra room in your home that never


gets dusted or vacuumed. When the furnace or A/C fan turns on, dust from the duct work


gets churned up and blown into the rest of your home.




 Will This Help My Allergies? 


Perhaps. Most people are allergic to dust mite waste. Dust mites feed


on the debris found in duct work. Remove the debris and you


remove their food. Also, by greatly reducing particulate debris in


your ducts, there are less particles in the air to aggravate people with respiratory illness.


I Live In a New Home, Do I Still Need Your Services?


Absolutely! Almost half of our work is done in homes that are less than 5 years old. During


construction, the duct work is wide open and the air handler is running many times without a


filter. During this time construction debris such as plaster, drywall, wood dust, insects, and


insulation are accumulated in the duct work.




Dirty Ducts Can Make a Home


Environmentally Unsafe


A faint odor permeates the house, but the source cannot be found; the children’s allergies are


a bit worse this year; an elderly relative’s respiratory problems seem to flare after visiting. It’s


not a noxious gas or a perilous pathogen, but what may be causing any of  the above


scenarios is dirty duct work. 




More precisely, a buildup of dust, mold, building material particles, or even an abandoned


sandwich may be the problem.  Fortunately, air duct cleaning services exist.  “You’d be


surprised at what we see “ said Sam Hughes who works for Cherokee Carpet & Air Duct


Cleaning. “Especially in newer homes, we find potato salad or sandwiches that the workmen


had left.” With the proliferation of central heating and air condition systems in today’s homes


and businesses, there are fewer reasons and opportunities to open the windows and let the air


circulate.  Fibers, dust, gases, pet dander, and air just stay there.  This all goes back to the


energy crunch of the ‘70s, when they built houses tightly sealed with insulated windows to cut


down on heating and cooling costs, but then you don’t have the turnover of fresh outdoor air. 


Your home is efficient, but you pay a price in your health.  Allergists agree that central heat


and air are good systems but they need to be maintained and people don’t understand that is


part of moving into a nice new home.  There is a lot more maintenance involved.  There has


been a rise in the number of  allergy-related respiratory cases in the past decade.  Duct


cleaning can be done while the family is at home or employees are in the office.  Cherokee


uses a cleaning system that involves a high pressure air wash that loosens debris, combined


with a high volume vacuum that sucks the dirty air into a filter.  The Abatement Technologies


HEPA Air 2500 Portable vacuum used operates at 2500 cubic feet per minute and sends the


debris laden air from the ducts through a High Efficiency Particulate Air HEPA Filter. 



The history of the HEPA filter goes back to the making and testing of the atomic bomb.  They


needed a filter that would prevent dangerous particles from getting to people.  HEPA filters


are also used for asbestos removal.  The fine filter makes eradicating pet dander, dust, and


anything else that may be inhabiting the duct work easy to do.  The benefits are unbelievable. 


Odors are gone and you notice you are sneezing less.  Customers have the opportunity of


examining the contents of the filter pouch in hopes of finding lost treasures or at least gawk at


the former residents of their air ducts.  What are the signs that the duct work needs to be


cleaned?  Well, one is visible dirt at the register returns and another is simply the age of the


duct work.  If the house is over 3 to 4 years old there is a need.   Another reason to have duct


work cleaned is if recently there has been extensive remodeling  or painting which cause an


increased burden of particles in the air system.  Duct cleaning can be done any time of the


year for people with allergies.  The normal cleaning and sanitizing process can be done in one


day in most cases.  The size of the house or the building would, of course, impact cleaning


time.  After the initial cleaning, the process should be repeated every five years to minimize


the contaminants in the air system, thus allowing everyone to breathe easier.



The Process


1. Cherokee will perform an on-site evaluation and an estimate is given based on the amount


of duct work in the structure.


2. A one or two-man cleaning crew will come to your home or business and cut an access


panel in the duct work where the vacuum will be attached.  “We attach the vacuum to the air-


handling side of the unit, seal off the registers in the immediate area and pull each register


and push debris into the main trunk lines” says Matt Middleton of Cherokee Carpet & Air Duct




3. Next, the cleaning of the duct work begins.  A high pressure air


wash that moves debris with 165 to 190 pounds per square inch


(psi) blast is used.  If the dirt is really stuck on, brushes will be run


through to loosen it first. 


4. The debris-laden air is sucked into the vacuum at 2,500 cubic


feet per minute (cfm) which contains a HEPA filter.  Caught in the


filter will be the mold, dust, dander and treasures that have been residing in the air system. 


You have to have someone who is very compulsive about what they are doing, making sure


all of the routes of the system are cleaned.  Allergists say that the cleaning process shouldn’t


pose any problems for people with respiratory problems. 


After the cleaning, the duct work is sanitized with a Conditioner Biocide.  The compound is


sprayed into the duct work.  It is used to kill bacteria and mold which may have been growing


undetected.  When we do sanitizing it is contained within the duct work. 




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