Is there some real truth in duct cleaning?
I have a house which had not been duct cleaned for 12 years.
Will duct cleaning save my heating bill? I do not believe in any other advantages except for perhaps savings in the heating bills.
Don't do it to try to save money. Do it for your health and the health of your family.
Dust builds up in ducts over time and cannot be seen but it still gets circulated throughout your home.
Think about a dusty bookshelf that you haven't touched for a while. If you blow that dust off it gets into the air and can be breathed in. Same thing happens every time your heating and cooling system operates.
Not only dust is spread but also a lot of other allergens too which can negatively impact your health.
Cleaning your ducts can also eliminate odours that are stuck in your system.
Ultimately the quality of air you breath in is much more important in my opinion than saving a couple of bucks on your utility bills or saving on not cleaning the ducts.
And don't forget to change your furnace air filter at least once a month in the colder furnace months as that does a lot to keep your air healthy and your system operating as efficiently as possible.
Great Question Martin,
I have over 7 years experience as a Project Manager and NADCA Certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialist.
I would reccommend cleaning your HVAC and Air Ducts immediately after New Construction and Renovations.
Regular cleaning as reccommended (ranging from 2 - 5 years) is... to be honest... excessive.
Do you notice a lot of Dust in the Air? Do you see debris inside the Heat registers? Open the Air Intakes and look inside, Is there a lot of Dirt + Debris inside?
Keep your Filters clean. Clean or Replace every 2 - 3 months. And consider Air Duct Cleaning when you notice poor indoor Air Quality... Maybe every 5 - 10 years.
Now your Dryer Vent on the other hand... should be cleaned every 1 - 3 years. #BetterGetDads. #DadsDoItTheBest.
Best of luck to you.
Hope you find this helpful.
A few tips for you not covered by others:
There is a very good 'Marketplace" documentary which can be seen online - gives excellent insight to the biz. Lessons learned include: there are more than a fair share of shady operators which spoil it for everybody; proper procedures involve blocking off vents in order to draw from one at a time; job should take 2-3 hours; they should be able to show you before and after imagery; good idea to be NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association) certified member.
Builders will often clean ductwork upon completion however there is no Code requirement to do so.
There are industry standards (as mentioned by Dustin); however being a largely unregulated industry there is no requirement for workers or companies to be trained and certified in the standards. If I was going to have my ducts cleaned I would begin with research: ask a prospective contractor if there are standards that can be reviewed, and verify that the company and its workers are certified in the standards. Unless the cleaning is taking place in a commercial/industrial project probably there is little opportunity for owner oversight.
If you have an unfinished basement perhaps access openings could be installed in the supply & return air plenums to periodically check cleanliness.
Good idea (and Code requirement in Alberta) to seal all ductwork for optimum performance.
My gas utility provided supplied a Nest thermostat and I am now a fan of the product - after a few days it learns your schedule of preferred temps and makes incremental adjustments throughout the day - saving money and improving comfort.
Try searching for reviews of prospective duct cleaning companies and see how long they have been in business.
Find out if there is potential for 'extras' along the way.
I don't think it affects the bills, but the duct cleaning should be done once in two years. The telemarketers would tell you to get it done every six months, they don't even have proper knowledge of duct cleaning. I am not a professional, but it's just something we should do. I would say once in two years.
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