Air duct cleaning can prevent health problems. Studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts or go down after cleaning. This is because of the dirt that accumulates inside air ducts adheres to duct surfaces will eventually loosen and then will enter the living space. It is important to keep in mind that dirty air ducts are only one of many possible sources of particles that are present in homes. Pollutants that enter the home both from outdoors and indoor activities such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, or just moving around can also cause exposure to contaminants. Moreover, there is no evidence that a light amount of household dust or other particulate matter in air ducts poses any risk to health.
It is recommended that air ducts be cleaned as-needed basis because of the certainty about the benefits of duct cleaning. EPA does, however, recommend that if you have a fuel burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, they be inspected for proper functioning and serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. Research also suggests that Air Duct Cleaning Peoria AZ will improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems. Cleaning dirty cooling coils, fans and heat exchangers can also improve or increase your system’s efficiency.
There are methods for cleaning flexible ducts but they do take additional efforts to perform properly so do not expect it is always performed properly. Many times they are destroyed by people not knowing how to clean them.
The frequency of duct cleaning is dependent upon many different factors. The only effective way is to inspect them which you can easily do at the return register and supply points. The grill covers come off easily, usually screwed into the ceiling joists or sheetrock. These points are a good indicator of the rest of the ducts condition. Another point is at the evaporative cooler coil in the heater/air handler unit. If there has been a lot of dust and dirt in the system, filters not changed regularly, etc., then a lot of dust and dirt will collect on the coils. This could potentially indicate further duct inspection and cleaning. Your HVAC Tech should be checking the condition of the evaporative coil and will also see some of the duct work from that point. He/She can tell you if cleaning is warranted.
Cleaning the coils is pretty expensive because in most systems it requires taking the unit apart to get to the “inner workings”
We had one HVAC guy who came in an emergency situation when the overflow line became clogged and caused the pan to break and cause a big leak tell us that our system (because it was older) needed to have the coils cleaned for better efficiency and to prolong the line of the unit in addition to repairing the overflow pan and other stuff.
We had someone else come in to do the actual repair work and I was all prepared to have her (it was a female certified HVAC person with her own firm) do just that – clean the coils.
She told me that it was not necessary because the coils were not that dirty. That there was a part of the HVAC system in the attic that indicated if the coils were that dirty without having to open up the housing and remove the coils. That checking the dust in that area showed there was minimum accumulation so she did not think that tearing the unit apart which would take over an hour and cost quite a bit just to SEE the coils was warranted.
She also told me that the types of air ducts in our attic were the type that basically were declared faulty 20 yrs ago. They are more rigid than flexible and that trying to clean with would mean that they would likely shatter and have to be replaced. That as long as the material insulating them was holding together unless we wanted to replace the entire system, we should just leave well enough alone. The vents on that system are original, more than 25 yrs old. So when the HVAC needs to be replaced this time we are going to have to get new vent system as well as the compressor.