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Ask the Experts: Duct Cleaning!
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Ask the Experts: Duct Cleaning!

Our HVAC General Manager Explains the Importance of Duct Cleaning

Q: What exactly is a ducting system? What components are involved?

A: Duct cleaning is the process in which dust and/or debris, along with other allergens and particles, are cleaned/removed from the inside of your home’s or business’s HVAC air ducts.

Q: Does every HVAC system have ductwork?

A: No, there are different types of heating and/or cooling systems for both homes and business.

Examples: Wall heaters, floor heaters, radiant electric heating, radiant hydronic heating, Ductless mini splits, and PTAC units (window/wall type). All these types of systems do not use air ducts; an easy way to find out if your home has air ducts would be to look for multiple supply registers on the floor, walls, or ceilings, this means you have forced air  heating and/or air conditioning with air ducts.

Q:  How often do you recommend cleaning the ducting system?

A: Air ducts should be cleaned every 2-3 years, sooner if you or anyone in your home or business has allergies, asthma or pets. Indoor contaminants may include: dust mites, tobacco smoke, household mold, chemicals, airborne allergens, bacteria, animal dander and carbon monoxide. These contaminants are then circulated throughout your home or office and affect the health and comfort of you, your family, or your employees.

Q: Is there a better time of year to clean ductwork?

A: Yes. The best times of the year are before the heating and cooling seasons begin, such as fall between September & October before you start your heater for the season. And, during spring between March & May before you start your A/C unit for the summer season.

Q: What are the benefits of duct cleaning?

A: The benefits of duct cleaning are that you will be breathing cleaner fresher air, which will help with allergies and/or asthma, less dust on your furniture and linens, extending the life of your HVAC equipment and it makes your system work more efficiently.

Q: Does regular maintenance and cleaning save on energy costs?

A: Yes! A clean well-maintained HVAC system & duct work will work smoother, quieter, and can improve efficiency by up to 21%.

Q: Are there safety hazards involved with not cleaning the duct work?

A: Yes. According to the EPA, indoor air is found to be up to 70 times more polluted than outdoor air. Air duct cleaning can remove airborne contaminants such as bacteria, fungus, mold spores, pet dander and pollen which may help to alleviate allergy and asthma symptoms.

Q: What does the process involve? Is it different in homes versus condominiums or commercial buildings?

A: Different contractors use different equipment and different cleaning methods. BHP uses a push/pull and scrub method. The way this works is we use a rotating bristle brush which scrubs the inner walls of your air ducts, while simultaneously using compressed air to push all debris forward. A Hepa-filtered, high powered commercial vacuum is then used on the opposite end to pick up all the loose debris. All registers are removed from the wall, floor or ceiling and the rotating brush is inserted through each supply box to ensure all ducts are properly scrubbed.

Q: How long does it take to properly clean ducting?

A: This whole process takes up to 4-6 hours to complete for a single system, which includes either replacing the air filter(s) or cleaning them if you have an electronic air cleaner or electrostatic air filter, and we also test run your HVAC system. Larger homes and or homes and business with multiple systems will require additional time.

Q: Can anyone clean ducting, or do you have to have specialized training?

A: Yes, with the right equipment and expertise, but you should always hire a professional to do it right and guarantee the system has been properly cleaned.

Q: How much does it cost to have your ducting cleaned?

A: This depends on the size of your HVAC system, BHP charges $550.00 for up to 10-registers supply/return, and $45.00 for each additional register. Our work comes with a 90-day warranty; if you are not satisfied, we’ll come back and re-clean your air ducts. For your place of business pricing can vary; call 1-800-BILL-HOWE to schedule a free  on-site estimate.

Q: Does Bill Howe offer any maintenance programs for just cleaning the ductwork?

A: Yes, again this depends on the size of your HVAC system. With a home visit by one of our HVAC experts, we can create a duct cleaning maintenance program catered to your needs.

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