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Air Duct Cleaning

Air Duct Cleaning in Santa Monica

Why should air ducts be cleaned?

Studies have shown that the indoor air can be up to 2 to 10 times MORE polluted than the air outside your front door. Most disposable filters remove about 10% of these pollutants allowing 90% of these pollutants to enter your air system, even during the construction of a new home. These pollutants contain dust, pollen, mold spores, human dander, dust mites, animal dander, construction debris, dead animals, fecal matter and much more. These materials collect in the furnace, air conditioner, condensing units, and within the duct surfaces, just as they do on furniture, bedding, countertops and the floor surfaces. These areas are usually cleaned often, but the air duct surfaces are hidden from view and can only be reached with specialized cleaning equipment used by a professional. These pollutants can migrate out into the room and open areas again, or become a food source for mold and bacteria. These are pollutants that can thrive in these dark comfortable environments, which contain high amounts of humidity or moisture from the air conditioner or humidifier. Biological growth can release mold spores or toxins into the entire HVAC system, which can be distributed through your home though the air system.

“Dirty HVAC systems can spread airborne particulates and microbial pathogens throughout an entire home, building and work place,” reported Ed Chambers, President of ec2. “The end result leads to complaints, headaches, allergies, dizziness and severe respiratory problems. In the work place it has led to less productive employees, sick employees and even lawsuits. Infections from bacteria like Legionella and fungal lung infections such as aspergillosis all occur from breathing microbial contaminants.”

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What Are the Sources of Air Duct Contamination?

All indoor air was once outside air; so, all of the dust, chemicals, pollen, insects and mold spores in the outside air can be pulled into the air system. People shed millions of tiny dead cells every hour. Cooking smoke, household insect sprays, and personal care products, are also sources of indoor pollutants. Construction materials or remodeling activities, as well as many types of dust are produced only to find their way into the duct work. If duct components were stored in the outdoor elements prior to installation, they have collected or subject to dust, rain water, mold, rust, animal urine and feces, all prior to actual installation inside your home. Regular air duct cleaning can remove this contamination. Why mold growth is detrimental to your home and you and your families health.

Mold spores are supported by a stable temperature, a food source and moisture to live and reproduce. Dust, dirt and other organic particles that travel throughout the ducts are all good sources of food for these spores to flourish. Your furnace and your air conditioner units are fully designed to maintain a comfortable temperature. The condition within the HVAC Vent system, humidifier in the furnace creates and maintains a humid environment, which are perfect conditions for the growth of these spores. Humidity is available from conditions in the environment, humidity from the heating coils in the furnace and the cooling coils in the air conditioner. Live molds can release spores that will trigger allergic or asthmatic reactions, sometimes severe, in approximately 15% of the population. Mold both living and dead can produce toxins that may cause short term allergic reactions. Long term exposure of “some” types of mold toxins can result in permanent chemical sensitivity to common compounds in the environment. Since many people in the same household have different sensitivities, their reactions may all vary to different extents. Persons with sensitivities already will continue to have reactions, which will continue to get worse without air duct cleaning and air system cleaning.

Will a Dirty Air Duct Result in Higher Energy Cost?

Depending on the amount of contamination and the location of the contamination, energy consumption can drastically increase. If the fan blades are old and encrusted with layers of built up dirt, evaporator coils and any other components are contaminated, this may cause the system to run longer to cool and heat the required space you are trying to control. Heating and air conditioning companies will usually come out and change a filter and make sure the system is working. But they do not check, nor do a thorough cleaning, inside the air ducts, furnace, or condensing unit. Air duct cleaning from Fibermark MTC can help reduce your heating and cooling costs in the long-term.

What parts of the air duct system be cleaned?

There are 3 major parts to the air system:

  1. The supply and return grills
  2. The interior surfaces of the return vents
  3. The furnace and air conditioner handler

All 3 components of the air duct system must be cleaned. If only two of the components are cleaned during air duct cleaning services, the components of the 3rdone will rapidly contaminate the others that were cleaned.

How often should the air duct system be cleaned?

This answer is not usually the same for everybody. Generally, if a system has been properly cleaned it should last for between 2 – 5 years. But this is only if the system is properly maintained with regular air duct cleaning. The types of air duct filters are also important. Store bought filters will filter out a much less amount than high arrestance filters, which will stop up to 90% of the airborne contaminants. The location of your home is important also. If you live near a highway, busy streets, congested areas with a lot of traffic all add to the contamination of the air which eventually works its way into your home. Households where people are extra sensitive, allergies, asthma, respiratory issues are all factors which help determine the frequency of air duct cleanings.

What does it cost to clean an entire air duct system?

The cost to clean is determined by how many ducts, how many furnaces and how many outside condensing units. Usually the dryer vent would be cleaned out at the same time. It is also determined by how dirty the system is, how long it has been since the last air duct cleaning. The location of the furnaces, air ducts, and the outside condensing units are also factors. If there are repairs which are needed, this will also play into the total cost. The purchasing of new custom fit, high arrestance filters may be recommended, which also add to the overall total.

Actual Work Specifics of Air Duct Cleaning:

Supply and return grills, if painted over, are carefully removed by utilizing a razor blade to cut the paint and allow us to carefully remove the grill or return from the wall. It is very possible that a chip may occur, but we are as careful as possible when cleaning air ducts. If you have paint, we will be more than happy to do a quick touch-up. We are not painters, but we will do our best. If you like, we will leave this alone and you can have your painter do the touch up. But this is not at our expense. These grills are taken outside and carefully cleaned by hand. Then when we are finished, they are then returned to their rightful place.

Interiors’ surfaces of the supply and return vents are aggressively agitated by stiff, but flexible nylon bristles, which scrub the inside of the ducts, dislodging all of the years of caked on contaminants. As the contaminants are dislodged and rendered airborne, the Dual HEPA Filtered vacuum system is extracting all of the dislodged airborne debris into its double filtered waste tank. This particular process is completely self contained and is surprisingly a clean process for what it is actually accomplishing.

Furnace and air conditioning units are disconnected from their power source to start. The blower and motor assembly are removed from their housing and then taken outside. The motor will be blown out with compressed air, then completely cleaned and detailed to remove all of the encrusted debris amongst the blades and unit. Inside the furnace box, the inside of the box is completely detailed and the heating coils are also thoroughly cleaned. The motor assembly is then reassembled, reinstalled and then tested, prior to finishing.

Will this work eventually save me money?

It’s not guaranteed, but it is very likely that it will. By cleaning all of the mechanical components, cleaning out the contaminants and making sure that the unit is running at its optimum ability? With proper maintenance, higher rated arrestance filters, and regular air duct cleaning all should contribute to a more efficient, cleaner, less contaminated, healthy home.

Healthy Home Cleaning

The air system is a big part of the “Healthy Home” concept. Carpets, upholstery, area rugs, fabric wall coverings and leather items are all soft and pores surfaces which should also be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. One can never make the perfect environment, but there are many different steps you can employ to make your environment healthy for you and your loved ones.

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