Can I Clean My Air Ducts Myself?

Can I clean my air ducts myself? An expert shares recommendations on cleaning air ducts yourself. There is no technical or legal bar on home owners cleaning their home air ventilation equipment, but Sylvia...

There is no technical or legal bar on home owners cleaning their home air ventilation equipment, but Sylvia Crunk, owner of Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning in Austin, Texas, which specializes in air purification systems for the home, warns that this is messy work, and a health hazard to boot for those who are not specially trained for this intricate task. Critical areas of ducting can be difficult to reach. Ambient lighting may not show up residual dirt that remains after a first and perhaps casual wipe. Microbes, allergens and dander are not visible to the naked eye at all. Cleaning air ducts properly is more difficult than may appear at first sight. Maintenance engineers are often reticent by nature, and may go about their work quietly and professionally without bothering you with gory details of all the muck they found in your air ventilation system and equipment! It takes years of experience to assess the working condition of heating, air-conditioning and ventilation systems for homes. There are balanced decisions to be taken on parts which need replacement, and one needs the diligence of a professional to do a thorough cleaning job. Overall, an annual maintenance contract with a reputed firm seems to be the best deal when it comes to safeguarding indoor air quality in your home.


The International Union of Operating Engineers has developed detailed guidelines for maintenance of heating, air-conditioning and air ventilation equipment. Indoor air quality can result in litigation against engineers, which is really an indication for home owners who think of cleaning their own equipment, about how serious the effects of amateur lapses can be! Preventive maintenance programs require detailed planning, and engineers who take annual maintenance contracts maintain extensive inventories. They should be able to inspect both pneumatic and digital components of your system, and decide between repairs and replacements depending upon a number of technical considerations.




It appears that Sylvia's advice is right, because cleaning air ducts involves much more than lay people may think! Partial wiping of parts of ducting will not serve any useful purpose if allergens and pollutants continue to lurk in hidden and recessed corners. Similarly, routine maintenance has to be combined with inspection of all working parts if your equipment. Minor defects, if not attended to in time, can snowball quickly in to major and expensive repair and replacement work. What is even worse is that your family's health may be seriously compromised if indoor air quality deteriorates. Residual colonies of microbes, dander and dust mites could get stirred up and find their way to respiratory systems, causing headaches, breathing trouble and a general sense of malaise. The ill-effects of poor air quality in the home may not just escape your attention, but that of your family physician as well, since this person does not have access to monitoring data of air in your house.

Annual maintenance contracts for cleaning ducts and maintaining your ventilation equipment, offer excellent value, and all you need to do is to find a service provider as diligent and caring as Sylvia!

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