Is duct cleaning a waste of money? Why We Don’t recommend duct cleaning services

We have customers contact us on a regular basis asking us if we offer air duct cleaning service. The answer is "no", but as you'll soon discover, it's not because we can't do it, but because in most cases it's not going to benefit you.

Why Do you Want To Clean Your Ducts?

If your family members get sick regularly, you suspect mold is growing in your duct or you simply believe the dust in your house is coming from your air duct, you may be tempted to contact an air duct cleaning service.

Ultimately what you truly want is cleaner air in your home. But will air duct cleaning truly give you cleaner air? Or is duct cleaning a waste of money?

We'll tell you why we don't offer duct cleaning services and don't recommend it to our customers either.

The Truth About Duct Cleaning

So why don't we offer duct cleaning even though we have customers ask us for this service on a regular basis?

Because we believe it's a waste of money for our customers.

The truth is that there is no evidence that having your ducts professionally cleaned would make your air any cleaner than it is now. In fact, the EPA did a study to determine the results of air duct cleaning. Here is what they concluded:

"Duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts. This is because much of the dirt in air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space."

You can read the entire study here, but allow us to explain some of the reasons below.

Your Air Conditioner Already Has A Built In Cleaning System

Air conditioning systems are already designed with a built in cleaning system called an air filter. It is the job of the air filter to remove particles from the air that flows through your HVAC system.

changing the air filter

man changing air filter

Air filters do not always filter out every single particle of dust, but is this really a problem? In most cases any dust that makes it through your air filter and into your duct system is minimal and hasn't been proven to cause any measurable decrease in air quality.

As the EPA study suggests, most of the dust will adhere to the surface of your duct and will not continue to blow into your home. Any dust that does blow out of your duct into your home should be caught by the air filter during its next cycle.

Air Duct Cleaning Services Can Actually Damage Your Air Duct

Since air conditioners rely on air filters to clean the air and since evidence is lacking on the need for duct cleaning, HVAC manufacturers do not design air duct to be cleaned.

flexible air duct

The EPA recommends that if you do choose to use duct cleaning services, that you only use it on ductwork made from solid sheet metal. However, in most homes today we use "flexible" duct that can be easily damaged by duct cleaning services.

If the air duct cleaning is not done properly it can actually cause more harm to the air quality by releasing more dust into the home or particles of insulation from torn duct.

Once the air duct is damaged you have no choice but to replace it. This will lead to even greater expense than if you had simply replaced the duct in the beginning.

Duct Cleaning Doesn't Always Solve The Real Problem

If you are considering duct cleaning due to mold in your home, then consider the type of duct you have. The EPA only recommends duct cleaning if you have solid sheet metal duct. 

They also caution consumers to always verify that any biological material in the duct is indeed mold. This can be verified by third-party testing. You should never take a contractors word for it when they claim there is mold in your air ducts.

In addition, cleaning the air ducts may remove the immediate visible areas of mold, however, unless you discover and address the root cause of the mold, you may find yourself fighting the same battle again in the future.

If mold is continuing to develop, then there is a reason. Until you resolve the root issue, duct cleaning will not help.

A Better Way To Get Cleaner Indoor Air

If you are considering cleaning your air ducts because your want cleaner air, then please allow us to give you a few better alternatives.

1. Install A Reme Halo Device

While air filters help remove particles from the air, to truly kill viruses, bacteria and mold, you will need to utilize some type of additional technology such as the Reme Halo device.

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The Reme Halo device can be inserted into your existing ductwork. Once installed it distributes ionized hydroperoxide molecules. The hydroperoxide molecules attack airborne contaminants such as bacteria, mold and dander. It also charges the air particles it comes into contact with and causes them to stick together, making it easier for your air filter to remove the enlarged particles.

The REME HALO is already being used in hospitals, cruises, restaurants, food processing plants and other industrial applications. Fortunately, it can also be installed in your home to provide you with safer, cleaner air.

2. Upgrade To A Speciality Filter

There are very effective air filter systems that can be added to your existing AC system.

Most homes have a 1 inch filter that needs to be replaced monthly. However, Pro-Tech can upgrade your AC system so that it can use a 5 inch filter or a Trane® CleanEffects filter system.

A 5 inch filter has a larger surface area giving you two big benefits. First, it enables you to filter out more particles from the air without restricting air flow. Secondly, it only needs to be changed every 3-6 months instead of monthly.

Another option is a Trane® CleanEffects filter.  It removes up to 99.98% of airborne particles - including those as small as .1 micron, making it 8 times more effective than even the best HEPA room filters and up to 100 times more effective than a standard 1-inch filter.

5 inch media filter

5 Inch Media Filter

trane cleaneffects

Trane® Cleaneffects Filter

A Word Of Caution About High MERV Filters

MERV is a unit that measures how effectively a filter works. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles if filters from the air. However, if you use a very high MERV filter it can also reduce the air flow in your system too much. 

This reduction in air flow can cause problems in the static pressure of your air conditioning system. This restriction in air flow can damage your system and leave your home feeling uncomfortable. If you have questions about your air filter and which one to choose, you are always welcome to call Pro-Tech at (877) 416-4727.

3. Change Your Air Filters Regularly

Since your AC system is designed to use air filters to clean the air, the most obvious thing you can do is change your filters regularly. If you have a standard 1 inch pleated filter, we recommend you change your air filter monthly.

Conclusion: Think Twice Before Using Air Duct Cleaning Services

While Pro-Tech doesn't recommend duct cleaning services, we can definitely help you improve the air quality in your home.

If air purity is a concern, please give us a call at (877) 416-4727 or send us a message and we'll be happy to install a 5 inch media filter, a Trane® CleanEffects filter or a Reme Halo device so that your home can be a safe place to breathe again.

Do you have any questions about your home air quality? Leave a comment below and one of our AC experts will be happy to help.

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