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How to Know if You Need Your Air Ducts Cleaned
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How to Know if You Need Your Air Ducts Cleaned

When not properly installed, maintained and operated, components of your heating and cooling system may become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen or other debris. Some of these components include supply and return air ducts and registers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, and condensate drain pans (drip pans).

When is it necessary to get an air duct cleaning:

  • Upon inspection of the ducts, the registers have excessive amounts of dust, debris/particles and pet dander
  • Ducts infested with pests (rodents, insects, etc.)
  • To improve efficiency of your heating and air conditioning unit – air duct cleaning alone will not improve the efficiency of your unit, but should be done as you perform regular maintenance which should include a tune-up and filter change
  • Mold Growth: you can request a video inspection of the ducts to show you the mold. Be aware that although a substance may look like mold, it should be confirmed by an expert and may require laboratory analysis for final confirmation

Things to consider when hiring a company for air duct cleaning:

  • Do not allow the use of chemical treatments or biocides unless you fully understand the pros and cons
  • Check references: ask to speak with satisfied customers to ensure they didn’t experience any problems with their HVAC system after the duct cleaning
  • Contact the San Diego Better Business Bureau to check the company’s rating and any existing or previous complaints regarding their business practices
  • Charges: if the company charges by the hour, request an estimate on the number of hours or days the job will take

Bill Howe Heating & Air Conditioning is a leader in San Diego air duct cleaning. We recommend cleaning your air ducts every 2 to 3 years or as you see needed using our recommendations above, changing your air filter twice a year, and scheduling an HVAC unit tune-up once a year. The air duct cleaning process takes, on average, 2-4 hours and consists of using a combination of an air scrubbing brush and HEPA filtered vacuum. HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) is a type of filter that can trap a large amount of very small particles that other vacuum cleaners would recirculate back into the air of your home.

It is normal for the return registers to get dusty as dust-laden air is pulled through the grate. This does not indicate that your air ducts are contaminated with heavy deposits of dust or debris; the registers can be easily vacuumed or removed and cleaned. In order to best determine if you need an air duct cleaning is to have a camera inspection of your air ducts.

At Bill Howe Heating & Air Conditioning we want to make sure you have the most efficient running HVAC unit without enduring extra stress on your budget. While it’s important to take the necessary steps to make sure your heating and cooling system is ready for the next heat wave or cool season, we want to make sure you are aware of your options. Want to find out if you’re in need of an air duct cleaning or tune-up? Call us, because We Know Howe.

For more information or to schedule a duct cleaning or HVAC tune-up, call 1-800-BILL-HOWE (1-800-245-5469).


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Cory was our technician on this job. We had a time sensitive repair issue and Bill Howe understood and assisted with getting the job done quickly.
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Great company to work with.
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Thank you Bill Howe Plumbing.

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