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Cleaning Your Air Ducts For Easier Breathing

08/05/2009 |

Angie's List Has Tips On Finding The Right Company To Do It

CHICAGO (CBS)
- A simple visit from technicians to clean your air ducts may help you breathe a whole lot easier.

Technicians come in with special equipment to clear out the ductwork in your home's ventilation system. Experts say it can reduce dust and dirt, especially if you have pets.

Duct cleaning may also help with some health problems.

"For example, if you have children with allergies, you might need to consider having your air ducts cleaned," said Angie Hicks of Angie's List. "Also, if you've had a major home renovation you might consider having your air ducts cleaned at that point, but not necessarily on a regular basis."

Air duct cleaning involves a thorough scouring of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. It takes about 2 to 5 hours and can cost anywhere from $350 to $1,000, depending on the size of the house.

Angie's List has the following tips for hiring an air duct cleaning company and maintaining your air ducts:

Hiring a qualified company:

A qualified professional will not just clean the ducts, but all components of your HVAC system, including the coils, drain pans, fans and humidifiers. Homeowners should pick a company who is a member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association(www.nadca.org.) The NADCA requires its member companies have at least one certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialist (ASCS) on staff. Sometimes technicians need to cut holes in ducts to access hard-to-reach areas. A good contractor will full repair and reseal them. Watch for the cheap ads and read the small print. An unqualified contractor could cause more harm than not having ducts cleaned at all. More particles could be broken up and released into your home, or your HVAC system could be damaged. Before allowing any work to be done, ask for a free inspection. You can get an indication yourself of how much debris is in your system by removing the vents and taking pictures or video of the inside the system.

Preventing dirt and moisture from entering the system can help you avoid contamination of your air ducts. Use high-efficiency filters and check them every 1-2 months and change them as needed. This improves performance and can reduce the need for duct cleaning. Vacuum with a cleaner that uses a good HEPA filter.

If your system has any leaks or water damage, repair it immediately.

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