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2019 Update: What’s The Deal with Cleaning HVAC Ductwork, Anyway?

Consider the Latest Research and New Options for Air Purification Too

HVAC ductwork

We all want clean air in our homes. It’s no surprise that the smog outside and environmental pollution all of us in the San Gabriel Valley endure on a daily basis can create major health issues for the very young and the elderly, while leaving the rest of us with asthma, allergies or worse.  So in theory, duct cleaning services for your HVAC system seem like a good idea. But do they really make a difference?

Ordinary Dust Is Not Dangerous

The truth is that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency isn’t entirely sure. In fact, the EPA released an official statement that said, “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. This is because much of the dirt in air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space. . . . Moreover, there is no evidence that a light amount of household dust or other particulate matter in air ducts poses any risk to your health.”

Other research done in Canada has concluded that duct cleaning alone did not improve air quality all that much, and in fact in some cases decreased air quality immediately after the cleaning, specifically from the “blow and go” technique used by some duct cleaning services. In other situations where dust and debris was removed, their levels returned to typical amounts within weeks of the service.

Cleaner Air Comes from Other Techniques

We do know that changing your electrostatic air filters work regularly results in a cleaner indoor atmosphere. New air filters trap dust and other allergens far more effectively than older ones. Replacement every three months, or even every month, can be an inexpensive way to ensure your HVAC system is always blowing clean air into your home.

Another even more intensive way to ensure the very best air quality is to consider an air purifier or UV sanitizer for your home. Our consultants can advise you on the most cost effective products for easy installation and enhanced indoor comfort. For those who suffer from allergies or respiratory illness, these can be a lifesaver.

Some Situations Do Require Cleaning Ductwork

However, the experts are clear that in cases of rodent infestation, significant mold problems, or if you’ve recently remodeled, or renovated, you probably need your ductwork examined for excess dust and accumulated debris. If they’re excessively dirty or have chemical residue from construction work done inside the home, they will need to be cleaned.

The final answer? Regular inspections and maintenance are always indicated to prevent indoor air quality problems of any kind. In return, your HVAC system will work better, and provide your family with years of indoor comfort for your home.


Worried about clean air inside your home? Call the experts at Air-Tro for an inspection. We’ve been keeping California comfortable since 1969. Get in touch today: (626) 357-3535.