Make sure that the company has the proper equipment and enough HEPA filtered vacuum power (2,000 CFMs or more), to properly clean your air ducts. Be weary of companies that use small vacuum units that have a small rotating brush on the end of a small vacuum hose with a typical airflow of 150 to 300 cfm or less. Proper air duct cleaning vacuums are negative air machines with 2,000 CFMs have 8 inch to 14 inch or larger, vacuum hoses to capture large quantities of dust and debris.
The best way to know if your cleaning was effective is through improved performance of your HVAC system, ideally. You can have before-and-after pictures taken of the ducts (make sure they are of the intake ducts - the ducts that return air into your room), motor and coils. Another tip is smell – sniff the ducts before and after the work is done. Outside of noticeably improved performance, smell and visual evidence are your best indicators.
You should also have air ducts cleaned after recent water contamination or water damage to prevent mold; after renovations or remodeling to ensure debris and dust didn’t settle in the vents and ducts; if you are having problems with allergies or asthma; or when you are moving into a newly purchased home, especially if the previous owners smoked or had pets. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends getting your air ducts cleaned every three to five years, or every two to three years in regions where homeowners use their air conditioning and heater for many months of the year, while the EPA suggests homeowners have duct cleaning done as needed.
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