Frequently Asked Questions
|Are there any health benefits that
come from HVAC system cleaning?
and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to act as a
collection source for a variety of contaminants that have the potential to
affect health, such as mold, fungi, bacteria, and very small particles of
dust. The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC system and home should
be considered as one component in an overall plan to improve indoor air
|Will HVAC system cleaning
reduce our home energy bills?
Research by the
U.S. EPA has demonstrated that HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to
run more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical
components. Clean, efficient systems are less likely to break down, have a
longer life span, and generally operate more effectively than dirty systems.
|What kind of equipment is best for
cleaning - truck-mounted vacuums or portable vacuums?
NADCA does not endorse one kind of equipment over another. There are
two main types of vacuum collection devices: (1) those mounted on
trucks and trailers, and (2) portable units. Truck/trailer mounted
equipment is generally more powerful than portable equipment.
However, portable equipment can often be brought directly into a
facility, allowing the vacuum source to be located closer to the
ductwork. Both types of equipment will clean to NADCA standards.
All vacuum units should be attached to a collection device for safe
containment prior to disposal. Any vacuum collection device which
exhausts indoors must be HEPA (high efficiency particulate
A vacuum collection device alone will not get an HVAC system clean.
The use of methods and tools designed to agitate debris adhered to
the surfaces within the system, in conjunction with the use of the
vacuum collection device(s), is required to clean HVAC systems. (For
example: brushes, air whips, and skipper balls.)
|How often should HVAC systems be
Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, not the least of
which is the preference of the home owner. Some of the things that
may lead a home owner to consider more frequent cleaning include:
- Smokers in the household.
- Pets that shed high
amounts of hair and dander.
- Water contamination or
damage to the home or HVAC system.
- Residents with allergies
or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of
indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system.
- After home renovations or
- Prior to occupancy of a
|What is a normal price range for air
duct cleaning system?
Protection Agency says that "duct cleaning services typically - but not
always - range in cost from $450 to $1000 per heating and cooling system,
depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned,
system accessibility, climactic region, and level of contamination” and type
of duct material.
Consumers should beware of air duct cleaning companies that making sweeping
claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning such claims are
unsubstantiated. Consumers should also beware of “blow-and-go” air duct
cleaning companies. These companies often charge a nominal fee and do a poor
job of cleaning the heating and cooling system. These companies may also
persuade the consumer into unneeded services with and/or without their
(If you have knowledge of a practicing “blow-and-go” air duct cleaner,
contact your local Better Business Bureau to report the company, and your
local, federal, and state elected officials to demand legislation.)
|What criteria should I use in
selecting an HVAC system cleaner?
|Interview as many
local contractors as you can. Ask them to come to your home and perform
a system inspection and give you a quotation. To narrow down your pool
of potential contractors, use the following pre-qualifications:
- Make sure the company is a
member in good standing of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association
- See if the company has been in
business long enough to have adequate experience.
- Enquire whether the company is
in good standing with your local Better Business Bureau.
- Get proof that the company is
properly licensed and adequately insured.
- Verify that the company is
certified by NADCA to perform HVAC system cleaning.
- Make sure that the company is
going to clean and visually inspect all of the air ducts and related
- Avoid advertisements for "$99
whole house specials" and other sales gimmicks.
- Ask if the company has the
right equipment to effectively perform cleaning, and if the company
has done work in homes similar to yours. Get references from neighbors
|What are Sanitizers and why should
they need to be used?
anti-microbial chemicals applied to the interior surface of the air ducts,
designed to control microbial contamination. Before any sanitizers are used,
the system should be thoroughly cleaned. It is critical that any
anti-microbial treatment used in your system be EPA registered for the
intended use in HVAC systems. Ask to see the chemical’s Material Safety Data
Sheet (MSDS). If you are still concerned, call the EPA at 1-800-438-4318.
It should be noted that there are no EPA registered anti-microbial products
for use on porous system surfaces such as fiberglass surfaces.