Buyers Guide: HVAC Cleaning Cost
This guide is intended to inform you about why you should get your HVAC system cleaned and what an HVAC cleaning cost covers. So why should you have your HVAC system cleaned? The short answer is simple: because they get dirty over time and they have the potential to contain large amounts of dust and particulates. According to the U.S. Department of Energy and NADCA, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system.
What Is Air Duct & Vent Cleaning?
Proper Cleaning Methods
What You Need to Know About Air Duct Cleaning
Air duct cleaning involves cleaning all components of the system and not doing so can result in re-contamination of the entire system, thus minimizing the benefits of cleaning. Cleaning only part of your HVAC system is like cleaning your fish tank and then putting the dirty water back in the tank.
NADCA recommends cleaning the entire HVAC system, including the following components:
- air ducts
- drain pan
- air plenum
- blower motor and assembly
- heat exchanger
- air filter
- air cleaner
There are two key components to HVAC cleaning: breaking contaminants loose, and collection of contaminants.
Breaking Contaminants Loose
Properly cleaning HVAC systems requires removing the sources of contamination. Source removal begins with the use of one or more agitation devices designed to loosen contaminants from the surfaces within the heating and air conditioning system. Examples of agitation devices include: brushes, air whips and compressed air nozzles or “skipper balls.” Agitation can also be achieved through hand-brushing or contact vacuuming.
Collection of Contaminants
During cleaning, the entire HVAC system is placed under continuous negative pressure (a vacuum) to prevent the spread of contaminants. Continuous negative pressure allows very fine particles to be removed from the system as they become airborne, ensuring that these particles are not released into the living space when the system is turned on after cleaning.
HVAC system cleaning is not a complex process, but each job is unique. Where possible, access to duct interiors should be made through existing openings such as supply diffusers, return grills, duct end caps and existing service openings.
There is a wide variety of equipment available to HVAC cleaning professionals. Both truck-mounted and portable vacuums can be used to stop the spread of contaminants and get the system cleaned to the NADCA Standard.
Antimicrobial chemicals include sanitizers, disinfectants and deodorizers that can be applied to nonporous surfaces in HVAC systems to address microbial contamination and help control odors. Only chemicals registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can be used. Review the NADCA White Paper on Chemical Applications in HVAC Systems for more information.