Pros and Cons of Cleaning Air Ducts
The benefits of cleaning the ducts in your HVAC system have been debated for many years as more and more companies have been established to keep the ductwork in your home or business spotless. Supporters say the cleaning is a benefit both for the HVAC system and for anyone in the home with allergies or asthma while detractors say duct cleaning is a scam that scares homeowners into paying significant amounts of money to clean dirt and contaminants they cannot see. If you are thinking of using this service, consider these pros and cons of cleaning air ducts.
What do experts say. The Environmental Protection Agency has taken on this issue and pointed out there is no scientific research that supports the duct cleaning industry. However, the EPA has also pointed out there are situations in which it makes sense to have HVAC ductwork cleaned. If visible mold is present, if animals or insects have made nests inside the ducts or if dust and other particles are clearly coming out from supply registers, hiring a company to clean the ducts makes sense. Stay away from any company that claims to be EPA certified or to be approved by the EPA, since the agency has taken a neutral stance on the industry.
Duct cleaning supporters. The industry actually points to the EPA, which has said there is some research that suggests duct cleaning – along with cleaning the coil, compressor and rest of the HVAC system – can improve its efficiency. Supporters also point to satisfied customers who say the cleaning has helped family members and visitors to their home with allergy and asthma. It has been established that dust and contaminants can act as triggers for both allergies and asthma. A thorough cleaning can resolve issues including coughing, wheezing and burning eyes and throat.
Duct cleaning opponents. One of the greatest concerns is that unscrupulous companies in the industry may be scamming customers. The first step is to offer an extremely low price to clean the ducts in the entire home. Then, the company official announces a serious problem – well inside the ductwork and out of view – has been detected and the price goes up substantially. If you decide to have your ductwork cleaned, make sure the company cleans out the entire HVAC system. Also, consumer groups urge homeowners to ask for visible proof of any clogs or contaminants. Several consumer organizations have issued warnings against less than ethical duct cleaning companies.