HVAC Duct Cleaning: Scam or Worth It?
By: Julie Day
Duct cleaning has become popular in recent years, with commercial cleaning services popping up everywhere. But is the service worth it, or is it a scam? Here’s some information to help you decide whether or not your home might benefit from having the HVAC ducts in your house cleaned.
Duct Cleaning Services
Professional duct cleaning services use specialized blowers, vacuums, and brushes to clean out the supply, intake, and return ducts throughout your home. Duct cleaning should also involve a thorough cleaning of the air handler, registers, grilles, fans, motors, housings, and coils of the HVAC system.
There’s no research at present proving that routine duct cleaning improves the air quality or reduces dust in your home. There is, however, evidence that dirty heating and cooling coils, motors, and air handling units can make your HVAC unit less efficient.
While duct cleaning alone doesn’t seem that necessary, there are cases where cleaning the HVAC unit and ductwork could be useful.
Should I Have Ducts Cleaned?
Due to growing concerns about indoor air quality, it’s easy to convince homeowners that their ducts need cleaning. But unless ducts are really dirty, there’s no reason to clean them. The EPA takes a similar stance on the issue, recommending cleaning only if the ducts and HVAC unit are contaminated.
If done properly, duct cleaning doesn’t hurt; but it’s not something that needs to be on your regular home maintenance list. You probably don’t need to have your ducts and HVAC system cleaned unless:
How To Avoid Duct Cleaning Scams
While there are reputable, professional HVAC cleaning services out there, there are scams as well. Anytime scare tactics can be used to make the claim that your home might be “unhealthy,” homeowners run the risk of being frightened into emptying their checkbooks.
Here are some tips for avoiding scams if you decide to look into having the ducts and HVAC system in your home cleaned:
- Avoid Steam Cleaning: Any kind of duct cleaning involving steam or moisture should be avoided.
- Scam Alert: Avoid “Dirty” Duct Cleaners (Consumer Reports)
- Should You Have the Air Ducts In Your Home Cleaned? (EPA)
- National Air Duct Cleaners Association (nadca.com)
- Information Regarding Air Handling and Ductwork (naima.org)