Duct cleaning has hit the energy efficiency, and HVAC industry with a big boom. Whenever a new technique comes out so quickly there is a need to review the technologies and their effects on occupants and the building itself.
The bottom line.. Duct cleaning is usually not necessary, and is the wrong answer to resolving indoor air quality issues. The reason being: If your ducts are dirty, that is a result of duct leakage. Cleaning leaky ducts may make them look better, however, will not prevent unhealthy attic of crawlspace air from being pulled indoors. The real solutions to poor indoor air quality from the duct system is to air seal the ductwork and replace filters with the correct size as recommended by your HVAC technician.
If ductwork contains mold or evidence of pest droppings it is a good idea to clean them. Conservation Pros can provide these services at little charge, and inspect the duct systems to see if your ducts need to be sealed to prevent these issues from occurring in the future.
Studies, such as this one by the National Institute of Health show that duct cleaning usually does not improve the indoor air quality of the home whatsoever. Most duct accumulated in ductwork is stuck in place, and as a result, is not entering the home. Duct and debris stuck to ductwork does reduce airflow through the ducts. So cleaning your ducts may result in some energy savings, however, these energy savings are minuscule in comparison to the savings you would receive after sealing your ducts.
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