To find an air duct cleaning service provider, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends going through the National Air Duct Cleaning Association (NADCA), through whom you can find qualified HVAC technicians. Because air duct cleaning is a fairly new industry, consumers must watch out for providers who make promises about the benefits of duct cleaning, since no such claims have been approved by the EPA. The providers should not recommend duct cleaning as a routine procedure. They should make no guarantees about the improvement of your air quality, nor should they claim to be certified by the EPA.
The service provider should have experience working with your specific HVAC system. They should also have a special license, if required in your state, and should comply with NADCA standards. Perhaps most importantly, check the company’s references and see what other customers had to say. The EPA even recommends checking for complaints with your local Better Business Bureau. The best thing to do is compare at least three companies. Ask for each to provide you with a written agreement, outlining the service and the costs.
According to the EPA, you should expect the following from a reliable provider: air duct cleaning
- The provider should open access doors and ports, allowing for the entire system to be inspected and cleaned.
- Before beginning any work, the provider should make sure there are no asbestos-containing materials in the heating/cooling system.
- Only high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) vacuuming equipment should be used if the vacuum exhausts inside the home. Otherwise, they will use vacuuming equipment that exhausts outside of the home.
- Carpet and furnishing should be protected.
- The duct work should be protected. This includes sealing and re-sealing access holes that have been made by the provider.
- Dust and other particles should be dislodged by well-controlled brushing in conjunction with contact vacuum cleaning.
- The provider should use only soft-bristled brushes should be used on fiberglass duct board and sheet metal ducts lined with fiberglass.
Some companies may advise the use of chemicals and biocides. Make sure the provider is willing and knowledgeable in explaining the effects of these chemicals. It is always recommended to do your own research and know the pros and cons when it comes to chemicals in your home.
The EPA has created a thorough and convenient post cleaning consumer checklist, which can be found here. After the cleaning, go through this list either on your own or with the provider. If you have any problems, the provider should take care of them at no cost.