Are you suspecting your homes ductwork may be dirty? Thinking of doing a DIY duct cleaning session? It may not be as easy as you think! Here’s all the material and equipment required and the steps you’ll need to follow.
What is Duct Cleaning?
Duct cleaning is the process of cleaning various heating and cooling system components of the air system of your home, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers, heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.
These components may get easily polluted and contaminated if not cleaned after a certain amount of time. The main pollutants are dust, pollen, smoke, debris, etc.; however, if moisture is present on these components, harmful bacteria and germs can produce. These pollutants have the potential to cause allergic reactions and other respiratory conditions which is just one of the reasons why duct cleaning is so important.
Let’s go over the process on how to clean ducts yourself, material and equipment required, some risks associated with DIY duct cleaning and how you can hire professional cleaners for this type of project.
Some Tips Before you Start Your DIY Duct Cleaning Project
Before you start the DIY duct cleaning process, you should keep in mind:
- The process might not be as easy as you might think. If you’re not a professional, experienced, or trained in this sort of work, this project will take more time than required to be completed.
- If you find it difficult to stomach things like mold, droppings, insects etc., DIY duct cleaning is not for you. During the course of project, you might uncover mold, moisture, droppings of insects and other animals and in some cases even come across more extreme items like dead rodents.
- This will probably be your first time cleaning your ducts yourself, so you won’t have the proper tools and equipment for it. You’ll need numerous items to get the job done like rotary brushes and high-powered vacuums that professional cleaners use. Without this equipment, you won’t be able to achieve good results and perform a proper cleaning job.
Tools You’ll Need
Just some of the tools you’ll need
- You will need PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment) like gloves, masks, and goggles to protect you from injuries while doing the cleaning.
- Tools like screwdrivers that will help you with the screws on return-air grille plates and registers.
- Rags or paper towels
- A vacuum specially designed for duct cleaning (not home vacuums)
- Stiff-bristle brush with a long handle or rotary dryer vent cleaning brush.
Duct Cleaning Steps
- Remove the screws from the return-air grill plates and air duct covers.
- Now cover the supply air registers with a cloth or paper towels. Then lift the unscrewed register and tuck a towel under it. The register will keep the towel in place. This will keep the airborne dust from entering the rooms while you clean the ducts.
- Make sure that the heat and cool mode of your thermostat is off. Then turn the fan on by thermostat which will help in moving the dust that you loosen while cleaning. If you don’t have the “fan only” setting on the thermostat, run the heat.
- Use the brush to loosen the dust in your ducts. You should do this by tapping lightly to loosen the clumps of dust that have settled on the inside of the ducts.
- Uncover and lift one supply register at a time. Use the vacuum to remove the dust blown out by the fan. Use the vacuum hose to go as deep as possible to suck up maximum dust.
- Use the vacuum and brush to clean the return-air registers one-by-one.
- Then clean the grill plate and duct covers before reattaching them.
- Change the dirty filters because you won’t get the full advantage of clean air ducts if you have dirty and clogged HVAC air filters.
What Should You Do if You Find Mold Inside the Ducts?
Finding mold in homes is becoming increasingly common these days. Mold problems have serious negative effects on human health and should be given serious attention if you suspect its presence either throuogh a foul smell or when it becomes very visible inside the ducts.
During your duct cleaning project, if you think that you’ve found mold, you should have it tested for verification. Mold problems won’t go away through DIY cleaning. You’ll have to call in professional cleaners that are well-equipped to tackle mold and have the required expertise to deal with such issues. Your equipment won’t be able to do deep any thorough cleaning while professional equipment helps cleaners to get to hard-to-reach areas of your house.
Why You Shouldn’t Try DIY Duct Cleaning
There are several reasons why we don’t recommend you attempt to clean your air ducts yourself.
1. Duct Damage
With DIY duct cleaning, you’ll always run the risk of tearing your ducts, especially if they’re flex ducts. Flex ducts are prone to more damage because they’re made from thin plastic. Your ductwork is an important component of your HVAC system and is highly sensitive. To put this into perspective, even a tiny hole in your ductwork will cause the airflow inside your house to reduce and reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system and will increase your utility bills.
2. Less Effective Cleaning
With DIY cleaning, you might be able to slightly clean the front part if the ducts but it won’t be nearly as effective as the deep cleaning job done by professional cleaners. Professionals have heavy-duty equipment like high-powered vacuums and up to 150-feet of hose. With your equipment, you won’t be able to reach every corner of your ductwork. The heavy-duty equipment brought by professionals lets them do a more thorough and effective cleaning.
3. It’s Dangerous!
You might be willing to do DIY cleaning to save some bucks but we recommend you should hire professional cleaners. Why? Because professionals go through rigorous training and safety protocols to get certified as duct cleaning is a dangerous job with a high risk of injuries. Getting injured while doing duct cleaning may end up costing you more money than hiring a professional.
The Process Professional Duct Cleaners Undergo
Professional duct cleaning service providers like Entire Duct Cleaning follow these steps to perform an effective cleaning of your ductwork:
1. Inspection of the Ducts
Our contractors conduct a simple, visual inspection of the ducts leading to the return and supply registers. This is necessary because this helps assess the level of buildup in the ducts and confirms the difference after the cleaning has been done. The inspection is also an opportunity for the technician to check kinks, leaks, and other issues.
2. Creation of Negative Pressure
Large, truck-mounted vacuum collection devices are used during the process to suck debris out of the ductwork.
3. Agitating the Dust
Once the system has been subjected to negative pressure, the technician uncovers the registers and cleans the ducts one by one using compressed air tools, rotating brushes, and vacuum cleaners and other equipment.
4. Cleaning the Rest of the System
Other components of the HVAC system are also cleaned and sometimes the filter is replaced. This greatly improves the air quality in the home and extends the life and efficiency of the system.
We are Entire Duct Cleaning and we are here to provide you with professional duct cleaning services. Our team of professionals makes sure that the air you breathe inside your homes and offices is clean and pollutant-free. We provide duct cleaning services for residential & commercial properties to help eliminate irritants such as pollen, smoke, dust mites, bacteria, etc. We provide duct cleaning services in Toronto & the GTA and other areas included within a 50 km radius of Toronto including Brampton, Mississauga, Milton, Oakville, Pickering, Ajax, Vaughan, North York, Richmond Hill, Scarborough. We take great pride in our craft and our highly experienced team uses specialized machines and tools to do a professional job.
At Entire Duct Cleaning, we’re always striving to give our customers the best experience. We’re here to answer all your duct cleaning questions and can help provide a free quote. You can contact us today at (416) 278-7661 for more information.
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