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Fireplace Cleaning & Inspection / Dryer Vent Cleaning / Air Duct Cleaning & Filters

AIR DUCT CLEANING

AS OF JANUARY 2013, WE NO LONGER CLEAN AIR DUCTS.

IT IS MORE BECAUSE OF THE PHYSICAL & INTENSIVE LABOR ASSOCIATED WITH AIR DUCT CLEANING, AS I CAN NO LONGER GET UP AND DOWN ON MY KNEES LIKE I USED TO WHEN I WAS YOUNGER.  HOWEVER, THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS SO INFORMING THAT I WANTED TO LEAVE IT ON THE WEB-SITE FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES, AS IT ALL STILL APPLIES TODAY. 


AIR DUCT CLEANING

Your heating/air conditioning system is what is called a “closed system”, in that its movement of air is fully closed from the outside air.  There are two sides of the system and they work in tandem with each other.  The first side is called the “return” side, and the second side is the “supply” side.  The return vents take the air from the rooms and move it towards the HVAC system, where it is either heated or cooled and then sent back to the rooms by the supply vents in each room.  The return vents are typically found in the hallways and master bedrooms, usually the bigger vent covers, (but there is always at least one on each level.)  The supply vents are found in each room, sometimes on the floor, wall, or maybe even the ceiling.  There is usually at least one supply in each room; the living room, family room, and master bedroom may each have several. 

Because the return vents are so few, and because the air flows through them back to the system, it is conceivable that they will always be the dirtiest.  WE DO NOT CHARGE EXTRA TO CLEAN THE RETURN VENTS.  We treat them as one vent each and charge accordingly. 

When the supply vents are in the floors, they typically always have “stuff” in them.  By “stuff” I mean just about anything and everything; from food to toys; books and crayons to utensils; construction debris; even a coke bottle or beer can thrown in for good measure.  (Ask me what else I have found and I will be happy to entertain you!)  Oh yes, and they also have dust and dirt!  Floor supplies will always be dirty.  Wall supply vents are sometimes dirty, and sometimes not.  It really depends on how old the house is, and whether children have lived in the home or not.  However, when supply vents are in the ceiling, they are rarely ever dirty.  How is dirt supposed to get up there unless it goes through the system?  As such, it is not too often that ceiling supplies are dirty.  Regardless, if they belong to your system we will clean the entire system. 


HOW OFTEN SHOULD THE AIR DUCTS BE CLEANED?

Our suggestion for when to have your air ducts cleaned is simply to get them cleaned first if you have never had them cleaned before.  After they have been thoroughly cleaned the first time, our standard for repeat cleaning is as follows. 

  • If there are no respiratory problems (asthma, allergies, use of oxygen, etc…) in the house, our suggestion is to have your ducts cleaned every 5 years.  The 5 year time frame will keep a majority of the dust and dirt from recycling throughout your home. 
  • If there ARE respiratory problems (asthma, allergies, use of oxygen, etc…) in the house, our suggestion is to have your ducts cleaned every 3-5 years.  The 3 year time frame should keep you from having to constantly return to the doctor or hospital on a regular basis because of the dust and dirt that is recycling throughout your home. 
  • On occasion, there may be a necessity to have your air ducts cleaned annually.  I do not recommend for everyone to have their ducts cleaned annually, as it is simply a waste of your money and a waste of my time.  However, out of medical necessity, if it is determined that they need to be cleaned annually, we will complete all of the work and charge you a discounted annual fee appropriately. 

(Please DO NOT take these guidelines as a strict rule of fact, these are merely our suggestions for you to use as a guide.)


HOW DO YOU CLEAN AIR DUCTS?

Here are the steps we use to effectively clean the air ducts in your house. 

  • We first will ask you to walk us around your house and show us where all of your vents are and where the furnace(s) is/are. 
  • We begin by taking all of the vent covers off of the vents.  We will vacuum all of the covers and into the duct behind, and then place a large foam “plug” into the vent opening.  This will give us greater draw from the vacuum and also keep dust and dirt from coming into your house. 
  • While covers are being removed, we also will take your HVAC system doors off and if possible, take the blower outside to be cleaned later.  We will then wheel in our HEPA filtered vacuum as close to the furnace as we can get, and set it up to pull directly through your HVAC system.  On occasion, the system is not available for us to use.  When that happens, it will be necessary for us to cut a hole above and below the system for entry.  These holes will be about 9 inches square, and upon completion of the job, we will secure a steel plate to cover the hole and use aluminum foil tape to close up any holes or edges.  The integrity of your system will not be diminished in any way. 
  • With the vacuum set up and the covers removed and cleaned, we then will use compressed air in the form of an air hose to begin cleaning the “return” side of the duct system.  When the “return” side of the system has been cleaned, we will then re-position the vacuum to clean the “supply” side of the system. 
  • When the return and supply sides have been cleaned, we will then vacuum the furnace out, and re-install the blower back into the system, close all covers, and check to make sure the system is properly working. 
  • If while the system is apart we notice any mold or mildew growing in the system, we will then apply a “sanitizer” into the system to kill whatever mold or mildew is there.  Our sanitizer is non-toxic and is approved for use by the EPA when cleaning air ducts. 
  • In addition, if there are any “odors” coming from within your HVAC system, we also have the option of “deodorizing” the system.  Our “deodorizer” is neutral smelling, or in other words, you can't smell that it has a scent like lemon, or pine, etc.; it just eliminates odors.  On request, we will be happy to install a scent if you have one that you would like to use. 
  • Once the duct cleaning has been completed, we will then remove all of our equipment, re-attach the vent covers into position, vacuum the floors around the vent, and move any furniture back to its proper position. 
  • Only upon final completion will we ask you for payment for our services. 
  • You do not need to leave your house during any of the above procedures.  Pets do not need to be taken outside, however, we will leave it to your discretion about your pets. 


AIR FILTERS

ABOUT AIR FILTERS

Air filters are highly recommended to help keep dust and dirt from recycling throughout the air in your house.  The better the air filter, well… the better quality of air you are breathing.  There are many types of filters available; the standard filters you buy at the store; electrostatic filters from the stores and over the internet; the HEPA filters (which stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air) that are exceptional; and even electronic air filters that are very costly.  You can also purchase portable electronic air filters that will clean just the air in one room.  They each have their different use and range in costs from a mere 94 cents to easily $2,500.00 each.

We receive our filters from the same company that we purchase all of our equipment from and did all of our training with: Air-Care.  The filters come in all of the standard sizes and can also be custom designed to fit your HVAC system's exact measurements.

The filters that we recommend are electrostatic, in that as the air “flows” through the filter, a static charge is created attracting the dust, dirt, and hair to the filter, and traps them inside.  They also have a micro-biocide “formed” into the mesh of the filter.  You can't wash it out; it is permanent.  The micro-biocide is what attracts the dust mites, allergens, bacteria, and the pollens, as they flow through the air filter trapping them inside, and leaving the air purer and cleaner. 

They are also permanent, and come with a lifetime guaranty, by both Air-Care and 2 Hats; you will never have to purchase another one.  The standard filters that we recommend are rated by the EPA at 94% efficiency (94% of the stuff that goes in, stays in), however they also come in a 98% rating as well.  THERE IS NO OTHER FILTER IN TODAY'S MARKET RATED BY THE EPA AS EFFICIENT AS THESE. 


HOW DO I KNOW IF I SHOULD USE AIR FILTERS?

We typically will recommend the use of a permanent filter when you tell us there is a respiratory problem within the household, or when we can visually “see” that you will be faithful about cleaning it.  If they are not properly and regularly cleaned, they can become a detriment to the effectiveness of you HVAC system.  In other words, if you don't regularly clean it, it can wear your system out! 

We urge you to complete the air duct cleaning with the purchase and use of an electrostatic air filter. 


tel 410.707.6560 or 301.725.4725
email us @ info@2hatschimneysandducts.com