Arkansas State HVACR License #1250356



Frequently Asked Questions

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     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


Business Bureau.




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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