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Your ventilation system is the 'respiratory system' of your home- your furnace, its lungs. The larger 'return' vents draw air from your living space down to the furnace, which heats or cools it, and pushes this air back out the 'supply' vents. It is a very important part of your home, as it is responsible for distributing the heat or air conditioning required, keeping the home comfortable.  It is also responsible for keeping the air moving, mingles dry air with damp, cool with warm, etc. to ensure that the air does not become stale or pockets of moist air stay in one place which can lead to mould growth. 

Your duct system, however, is also a great way for dust and debris to travel throughout the home.  Have you ever noticed that when one person in the home gets a cold, everyone in the home gets it over a period of time, even if that person is spending their time away from the others?  Viruses actually use dust in the air as 'rafts' to move from place to place, eventually invading everyone in the home's lungs.  Keeping your ventilation system clean is a great part of keeping your family healthy.  

A clean ventilation system will also keep away restriction on airflow; your furnace will run more efficiently as it does not have to work as hard to distribute heat evenly.  Studies have proven that a clean system can save up to 15% on utility costs.  Your furnace and air cleaner will also be kept in better condition, resulting in less mechanical breakdowns.  The EPA has announced that 9 out of 10 mechanical failures are due to dust and debris in the ventilation system. 

Another benefit of keeping the duct system clean is the overall cleanliness of the home.  The average 1500 square foot home accumulates 40 lbs. of dust on an annual basis, much of which ends up in the duct system.  A clean ventilation system reduces dust in the home by up to 50%.  

Home Heroes recommends cleaning your air duct system every 3 - 4 years.  A newly built house, or renovations done to an existing house should require immediate cleaning.   More frequent duct cleanings are required for homes with smokers, pets, water damage or if there are allergy/asthma sufferers in the home. One out of six people who suffer from allergies do so as a direct result of fungi and bacteria in air duct systems.  Again, the less debris for these microorganisms to move through the air on, the more health affects that can be avoided.

If you are unsure if your system requires a cleaning, the best way to check is to take a return grill off the wall and look in with a flashlight (there is usually little accumulation in the supply registers as the air is always blowing back out into the home).  Also, if your furnace filter requires more frequent changing or washing than the manufacturer recommends, this is a good sign for the need.

The unfortunate thing about the air duct cleaning industry is that there is no regulation.  Anyone can come into your home with any kind of equipment and call it 'duct cleaning'.  There are some companies who come in with a 'leaf blower' and a 'shop vac' and vacuum out the vents or blow the dust down where you as a homeowner cannot see it.  The proper method for air duct cleaning should be done by a custom-built, truck-mounted system with specialized tools created for air duct cleaning industry, not a hand-held yard tool that any homeowner has lying around.  Having your ducts cleaned incorrectly can be worse than not having them done at all, as many companies who do a poor service just 'loosen' the debris with improper equipment to remove it, leaving it to circulate throughout your home.

This is what you should look for when choosing a duct cleaning company:

  • Ensure the equipment used is a custom-built, truck mounted unit (unless you are in a complex without parking or a high-rise)
  • Cuts 8' openings into the duct system to hook up the vacuum hose on every supply and return duct line
  • Uses the 'Scorpion Rod System' to loosen hard debris
  • Uses the 'Air-Snake' method to sweep loose debris back to the vacuum hose
  • Cleans one air duct at a time
  • Cleans both supply and return vents
  • Vacuums out furnace J-Channel (plenum)
  • Sanitizes duct system with an all-natural product only (it is illegal to spray chemicals into ductwork as it can not be wiped out).
For more information on Air Duct Cleaning, it's benefits, proper methods and procedures; call our experts at Home Heroes today for a free, no obligation estimate!
Home Heroes' CODE WORD
for Indoor Air Quality
is "IAQ"
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