QUADCA members use the “push pull method” of duct cleaning. This means that they will use negative air pressure to pull dust and debris back to the furnace while using other tools such as a blow gun or agitation tools to push the debris at the same time. They will start pushing the debris/dust at the furthest vents from your furnace, and work their way closer to the furnace as they clean. The dust/debris will be pushed into the main trunk line of your ducting system from those vents, and then pulled back with a skip-line or other agitation tool where the heavier dust/debris will finally find it’s way into the vacuum at the furnace. This process allows for a professional and complete duct cleaning job that won’t miss larger items stuck in your ducts. This kind of duct cleaning job also means that your duct cleaner has an air compressor, meaning they can clean the entire system properly including your furnace, A/C, blower and cold air return vents using proven industry methods of cleaning. Duct Cleaners that are experienced and knowledgeable will often find HVAC systems that have not been properly cleaned in the past, meaning that customers are paying for a service that was not thoroughly completed.
The HVAC system includes your heating, Air Conditioning, ventilation and ductwork. It is like the lungs of your home. Changing the filter when it is dirty is a good start, but given enough time dust and other debris will build up in your ducts over the years. Pet hair, dander and construction debris are commonly found circulating through your system. We recommend cleaning your ducts to reduce the chances of your furnace being overworked, as well as reducing the amount of contaminants in the air you breathe. Health risks can be minimal with the average duct system, but are not to be ignored. Those who suffer from allergies can benefit from cleaning out the duct system when moving into a new home and depending on what has found it’s way into your ducts or how long it has been since your HVAC system has been thoroughly cleaned, your health may be affected by what is circulating in the air. You can also improve the airflow of your system and increase the life of your furnace.
It is recommended that you clean your ducts every 2-3 years. Depending on how many pets you have, you may want to clean them more often. If you have had any major construction work done in your house, drywall dust and other debris may have found their way into your ducts. If you have kids, the chances are you have a few surprises that may be blocking air flow as well.
The questions we recommend asking are very similar to the QUADCA certification questions.
“Do you use a high powered air compressor?”
This Question will help you determine whether or not a duct cleaner will use the “push pull method” while cleaning your HVAC system. Without an air compressor, a duct cleaner will not be able to use proper agitation tools such as a blow gun, whip system or skip-line. These tools are necessary when using the “push pull method” and allows for the proper cleaning of the furnace, blower and A/C. We recommend that your duct cleaner uses a compressor with a minimum of 175PSI.
“Will you be cleaning the furnace blower?”
This is another question designed to help ensure that you are hiring a professional duct cleaner who will clean your entire HVAC system. If they are not cleaning the dust that has accumulated on the blower in your furnace, it is likely that they do not have the tools or experience necessary to complete a thorough job.
“Will you be using the push pull method of duct cleaning?”
This is the industry standard for cleaning your HVAC system. It requires a vacuum at the furnace to create negative air using either a high powered portable vacuum or a truck mounted vacuum with enough hose running out of the truck to reach your furnace. If they do not know what the push pull method is, you may want to take this into consideration when deciding whether or not to hire them.
Other questions that will help you determine what standards a duct cleaner adhere to can be found in the question about shady duct cleaners below.
In the duct cleaning industry there is a well known phrase we use when describing duct cleaners who scam customers. We call them “blow-and-go’s”. They often bait customers in with extremely low pricing, show up with the wrong equipment and blow around your ducts to make it look like they did something important and then add hidden charges before they leave. One way you can avoid this is to ask how long it will take for them to clean your ducts. If they answer that it will be a one man job that only takes half an hour, you can be sure they are not doing a proper job and are not worth wasting the time or money to have them show up. An average house with around 25 vents (and cold air returns) will likely range from 2-4 hours of work to properly hook up a negative air machine to your furnace, remove the blower*, blow the hot air vents using compressed air tools, pull the debris in the main trunk lines using a reverse skip-line or other agitation tool, clean the cold air return vents, pull the debris again with the same reverse skip-line or agitation tool and then clean the A/C, furnace and blower before putting your furnace back together and testing it to make sure it works before they leave with all of their equipment. So be sure to ask any non-QUADCA certified duct cleaner how long it will take to clean, as well as if there are any hidden fees or costs when the job is completed.
*Note that not all furnaces can have the blower removed – in some instances the blower may need to be cleaned without being removed.
Taking the steps above will help you find a qualified duct cleaner – we also suggest you let us know you are looking for someone who is QUADCA approved in your area which will help us find a professional duct cleaner to go through the QUADCA certification process.
There are a few things that can be done that may provide better quality air circulating in your home. Air humidifiers and UV lighting systems can both be an effective way of improving the air quality if desired.