Do you know that your ducts can accumulate about 40 pounds of dust in a year and this amount could be slowly distributed through the air in your home? Yes, you read that right – 40 pounds of dust if you put off cleaning them for an entire year. Some people think that paying for duct cleaning is a total waste of time and money because they don’t really see the value of the service as something that improves the quality of air that you breathe in on a day to day basis.
Cleaning ducts can be a tedious process; however, whether you choose to participate on the clean up procedure or employ a cleaning company to do it all for you, the best way to appreciate it is to fully understand just how important and helpful clean ducts can be.
Suck the Furnace Unit
If you are wondering about the equipment similar to that of a garbage truck that most professional cleaning companies have, it’s one monster of a truck that is a great tool for sucking all the dirt and dust off your home’s ductwork. For obvious reasons, the excessive amount of dust especially if the ducts have been unattended for so many years will warrant the use of the suction truck to efficiently get your ducts cleaned out.
The process starts by getting the truck’s suction hose routed to the basement and out the backdoor. This is the most common and most efficient route that a majority of companies do. The registers are then closed so the cleaning company can create a suction effect. The next step is to get a “suck-point” access in the furnace which is normally done by cutting a hole into the side of your unit’s base where the suction hose can be attached. This is when homeowners are usually horrified especially when they see the personnel drilling a hole into their unit. Nevertheless, this is an important piece of the process that will be patched up and will serve as the same access point for when you need to do another clean up on your unit in the future. As soon as everything is set, the operator flips a switch and the dirt sucking process begins.
Clean the Duct Lining
What most homeowners need to understand is that there is more to cleaning the ducts that just sucking the dust off. That is only the initial phase that a reliable cleaning company should do. The next step involves paying attention to the duct lining. Obviously, dirt buildup can get stuck on the linings of your ducts over the years. That being said, the cleaning company will have to get these linings free from caked on dirt by making use of a snake-like auger which is very similar to that device used by plumbers. The auger scrapes off the stuck dirt and when this step is done, the suction hose is again turned on for another round.
Suck Out Through the Returns
The suction process works pretty well with your main unit; however, there are areas that are very hard to reach that may still have dust on them. It is for this reason that most cleaning companies make use of smaller suction hoses and go through one register to another to get the dirt and grime freed up and sucked in. This is just one of the many things that a cleaning company can do to make sure they leave you with an immensely cleaner home.
Wipe Down Vents and Registers
For those who just can’t seem to let this duct cleaning process get completed without their input, this is one task you can participate on. After all the suction and scraping methods, there may be dust on the vents, registers, walls, or the floor that has escaped from the suction hose. Wipe off the dust and make this a regular part of your maintenance routine.
Clean Fans, Motors and Other Components
When all the hard work has been completed, the next phase to get the fans, motor, and other furnace component wiped down. There are components that should not be opened by someone who isn’t trained or licensed to do so and so this is when the cleaning company makes sure that all components – including those that are off-limits to homeowners are free from any sign of dirt and dust. By the end of the cleaning process, your entire heating system should look like it’s fresh from the manufacturer.
We all know the integral role that a filter plays on the quality of indoor air we have. The final process in the duct cleaning process is getting the filters changed. If you think you need some tutorial on the proper way of changing filters, then be sure to not skip this part of the lesson. Knowing how to change a filter can make a huge difference to how well your heating system functions and how the quality of the air in your home is going to be. Getting your filters regularly changed will also prevent the need for an untimely duct cleaning next year. After all, who likes having a big truck parked outside your house?
The process of getting your ducts cleaned isn’t so much of a rocket science, but it does involve steps that will make you appreciate all the hard work that your cleaning company offers. While getting a cleaning company to do all the dirty work can sound like a simple solution for some, remember that this process involves money. As a homeowner, you are left with two choices –let the dust build up over the years and just pay for a cleaning company to do the job in a few years (hopefully that’s the only thing that your unit requires by then) or be a responsible homeowner and take that initiative to do the regular upkeep and save yourself the trouble of paying for someone to do it. It’s all up to you.