“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 or go down after cleaning. This is because much of the dirt that may accumulate inside air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space. It is important to keep in mind that dirty air ducts are only one of many possible sources of particles that are present in homes. Moreover, there is no evidence that a light amount of household dust or other particulate matter in air ducts poses any risk to health…”
This has been the opinion of the EPA and the American Lung Association consistently since 1997. Despite this information, the duct-cleaning industry continues to grow. One recent study shows that Americans spend $4 billion for duct cleaning each year.
As a heating and cooling company, we strive to stay on the cutting edge of our industry and the products that are useful for our customers. Because of this, we invested in a brand new, state of the art duct cleaning system. It was equip with cameras, vacuums, hoses and every kind of attachment you could imagine. We started to offer duct cleaning and so the jobs calling for it began to roll in. After a couple of months and several cleaning jobs we begin to see the reality of residential duct cleaning and as a company who strives for honesty and integrity we quickly realized that this service was not something we could offer. We were careful to go by the book on the process of duct cleaning but after it was all said and done the net result wasn’t good. Yes, there was less dirt and dust, but it had been settled for years and wasn’t going to move from the ducts into the air. Now there was dirt and dust that was loose and liable to be blown out into the air and in some cases the hoses punctured holes into the duct work causing repairs that had to be made. We came to the conclusion to sell the duct cleaning equipment and discontinue offering the service despite the growing industry.
In an effort to be completely transparent, there are instances that the EPA does recommend duct cleaning. In their negative report on duct cleaning they went on to say that “it could be useful if there is visible mold inside ducts, but only if they are metal or other solid material, and only if the cleaning is done properly. Ducts with interior insulation can't be adequately cleaned and must be replaced if they become moldy.”
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