From age to pests and poor maintenance, there are many factors that can cause damage to air ducts. If you have leaks in your air ducts or are losing money due to damage, Precision Vapor Barriers can inspect and replace worn and damaged ducts, helping you save money on monthly energy costs while improving the comfort and livability of your home. Cleaning air ducts is still in its early stages, so no general recommendation can be offered as to whether you should clean your home's air ducts. However, many modern residential air duct systems are manufactured with fiberglass plates or sheet metal ducts lined on the inside with a fiberglass duct coating.
Duct cleaning methods vary, although industry associations that deal with air duct cleaning have established standards. Some service providers may also suggest applying chemical treatments (sealants or other encapsulants) to encapsulate or cover the inner surfaces of air ducts and equipment housings. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not recommend cleaning air ducts except when necessary, due to the constant uncertainty about the benefits of duct cleaning in most circumstances. A careless or inadequately trained service provider can damage ducts or the heating and cooling system, which could increase heating and air conditioning costs or force you to make expensive and difficult repairs or replacements. If no one in your home has allergies or unexplained symptoms or illnesses and if, after a visual inspection of the inside of the ducts, you see no evidence that the air ducts are contaminated with large deposits of dust or mold, it is probably not necessary to clean them. To avoid contamination, it is important to prevent water and dirt from entering the system.
Cases in which the use of sealants to encapsulate duct surfaces may be appropriate include repairing damaged fiberglass insulation or combating fire damage to ducts. Most organizations that deal with duct cleaning do not currently recommend the routine use of sealants to encapsulate contaminants in any type of duct. To find companies that offer professional air duct cleaning services, contact the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). Whether you decide to clean your home's air ducts or not, it's essential to commit to a good preventive maintenance program to minimize contamination.