Arkansas State HVACR License #1250356
Frequently Asked Questions
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to act
as a collection source for a variety of contaminants that have the potential to affect
health, such as mold, fungi, bacteria, and very small particles of dust.
The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC system and home should be
considered as one component in an overall plan to improve indoor air quality.
Research by the U.S. EPA has demonstrated that HVAC system cleaning may allow
systems to run more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical
components. Clean, efficient systems are less likely to break down, have a longer life
span, and generally operate more effectively than dirty systems.
The most effective way to clean air ducts and ventilation systems is to employ
Source Removal methods of cleaning. This requires a contractor to place the system
under negative pressure, through the use of a specialized, powerful vacuum. While the
vacuum draws air through the system, devices are inserted into the ducts to dislodge
any debris that might be stuck to interior surfaces. The debris can then travel down the
ducts to the vacuum, which removes it from the system and the home.
Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, not the least of which is the
preference of the home owner. Some of the things that may lead a home owner to
consider more frequent cleaning include:
· Smokers in the household.
· Pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander.
· Water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system.
· Residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction
in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system.
· After home renovations or remodeling.
· Prior to occupancy of a new home.
The Environmental Protection Agency says that “duct cleaning services typically, but
not always range in cost from $250 to $600 per heating and cooling system, depending
on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility,
climactic region, and level of contamination” and type of duct material.
Consumers should beware of air duct cleaning companies that make sweeping
claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning – such claims are unsubstantiated.
Consumers should also beware of “blow-and-go” air duct cleaning companies. These
companies often charge a nominal fee and do a poor job of cleaning the heating and
cooling system. These companies may also persuade the consumer into unneeded
services with and/or without their permission.
If you have knowledge of a practicing “blow-and-go” air duct cleaner, contact your
local Better Business Bureau to report the company, and your local, federal, and state
elected officials to demand legislation.
Interview as many local contractors as you can. Ask them to come to your home
and perform a system inspection and give you a quotation. To narrow down your pool
of potential contractors, use the following pre-qualifications:
1. Make sure the company complies with NADCA's (National Air Duct Cleaners
Association) duct cleaning standards.
2. See if the company has been in business long enough to have adequate
3. Inquire whether the company is in good standing with your local Better
4. Get proof that the company is properly licensed and adequately insured.
5. Make sure that the company is going to clean and visually inspect all of the air ducts
and related system components.
6. Avoid advertisements for "$99 whole house specials" and other sales gimmicks.
7. Ask if the company has the right equipment to effectively perform cleaning, and if the
company has done work in homes similar to yours? Get references from neighbors if
There are a variety of factors that could affect the time needed to clean a residential
HVAC system, including the type of home, accessibility of the ductwork, and the
number of workers on the project. A typical three or four bedroom home will require 3
to 4 hours for cleaning using Cherokee’s state of the art source removal techniques.
The best way to determine if the HVAC system cleaning was effective is to perform
a visual inspection of the system before and after cleaning. If any dust or debris can be
seen during the visual inspection, the system should not be considered cleaned. While
you can perform your own visual inspection using a flash light and mirror, a
professional cleaning contractor should be able to allow you better access to system
components and perhaps the use of specialized inspection tools.
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