Air Duct Cleaning – It’s Not Just About Indoor Air Quality

It sounds great. Get the air ducts in your AC system cleaned and feel confident that you will be breathing cleaner healthier air in your home or business. The problem is that although the air ducts are the most visible part of your AC system, they are not the only part that affects your indoor air quality (IAQ), and are not even the most important part that affects the energy efficiency of your system.

What happens to the air in your home or office?

After the air is pulled in from your home or business Air duct cleaning near me through your return vents and duct work, and before it is returned through your AC supply vents, it passes through the blower fan, the evaporator (cooling) coils, over the condensate pan, and through the plenum (the box that all of the AC ducts come out of), and only then passes through the supply air ducts. Any debris that has accumulated over time in the air ducts has also accumulated on the blower fan and housing, which all of the air passes through. All of the air also passes through the plenum before entering the supply air ducts, so if the blower fan and plenum are not cleaned, the air you breathe is still being drawn over the dirt and debris in your system that you thought had been removed.

Dirt and Moisture – A Bad Combination

The most critical parts of the AC system that need to be cleaned are the evaporator coils and condensate pan. The coils (snaked tubing), which have chilled refrigerant flowing through them, are several layers deep. The air returned from the rooms in the building is drawn over these coils. The cold refrigerant in the coils remove the heat from the air passing over them, and cause the excess moisture in the air to condense on the cold coils and run down into the condensate pan. This is how your air conditioning system conditions your air – by lowering the temperature and humidity. Because of this process, the coils (and condensate pan) are almost always wet, making them a perfect medium for collecting the dust and debris that made you want to clean your air ducts in the first place. And as this dirt accumulates on several rows of these coils, three things happen.

FIRST, the dirt insulates the coils so the surface that contacts the air is not as cold as it should be and therefore removes less heat and moisture from the air than it should.

SECOND, the build up of dirt on several rows of coils reduces the space between the coils and reduces the amount of air that can pass through. Both of these conditions make your AC system work longer and harder, and use more energy to try to cool your surroundings.

And THIRD, you are breathing the air that is passing over this dirt and debris, which is the reason you originally wanted your air ducts cleaned.

Important to Clean the ENTIRE System

Having your air ducts cleaned without cleaning the entire HVAC system (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), would be like cleaning the hose on your vacuum cleaner without emptying the bag inside. So if you are concerned about your air quality and the energy efficiency of your AC system, have the entire system cleaned.

But beware, in some states like Texas, only companies with HVAC licenses can access and clean your entire AC system. Companies without a license can only clean what they can reach from your wall or ceiling registers. And as you have seen, this would pretty much be a waste of time and money, as air duct cleaning alone is not enough.