Can air duct cleaning cause damage?

Cleaning air ducts can cause significant damage that can be costly to repair. The ducts are made of various materials. You or an unqualified duct cleaner may not know how best to clean ducts made of certain materials. In addition, you could damage them if you use the wrong cleaning materials and procedures.

Duct cleaning is a service offered by most HVAC companies. However, cleaning the air ducts can do them more harm than good. Most Houston residents choose to clean their air ducts because they have old ducts that have been in the attic or inside walls and that have collected dust for more than ten years. Most air conditioning companies will promote duct cleaning as a solution to improve indoor air quality, but they don't mention that this service can cause significant damage to duct systems that will need to be repaired in the future.

Experience the difference with Smart Air: Our Houston HVAC team puts the best interests of our customers first. We offer alternative solutions for indoor air quality without jeopardizing the integrity of your air duct systems. You may consider cleaning air ducts simply because it seems logical that air ducts get dirty over time and should be cleaned from time to time. As long as cleaning is done properly, there is no evidence to suggest that such cleaning could be harmful. The EPA does not recommend that air ducts be cleaned routinely, but only when necessary.

However, the EPA recommends that if you have an oven, stove, or chimney that burns fuel, they be inspected to make sure they are working properly and serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. A heating and air conditioning professional can thoroughly check the ducts to determine the type of ducts and the condition of the different hooks and safety points. Failure to do so could damage the ducts, reducing efficiency and, in addition, could cause premature system failure. For example, the rotbrush can quickly become trapped in flow dampers and break or disconnect poorly secured or protected ducts. Damaged ducts are often the result of air duct cleaning, especially when done by an inexperienced contractor.

The brush cleaning method involves inserting a brush into the duct and trying to collect or release the dust. Whether or not you decide to clean your home's air ducts, it's essential to commit to a good preventive maintenance program to minimize duct pollution. You'll want to review this collection of myths that some duct cleaning services may try to use to convince you. If sufficient dirt and moisture are allowed to enter the duct system, there may be no significant difference in the speed or degree of microbial growth in internally lined or bare metal foil ducts.

You've probably seen an advertisement, received a coupon in the mail, or a company contacted you directly to offer you to clean your home's air ducts to improve indoor air quality in your home. This is because much of the dirt that can accumulate inside air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space. Otherwise, you will surely breathe a material that is known to cause cancer and that is carried through the air as a result of the duct cleaning procedure. Since every home's conditions are different, it's impossible to generalize about whether cleaning your home's air ducts would be beneficial or not.

However, even though air ducts get dirty, air quality experts agree that cleaning ducts doesn't provide any measurable benefit, even if residents suffer from allergies or asthma. Some service providers may also suggest applying chemical treatments (sealants or other encapsulants) to encapsulate or cover the interior surfaces of air ducts and equipment housings, as they believe this will control the formation of mold or prevent the release of dirt particles or fibers by ducts. Manufacturers of products marketed to coat and encapsulate duct surfaces claim that these sealants prevent dust and dirt particles inside air ducts from being released into the air. Local air conditioning companies or service providers often promote the idea of cleaning air conditioning ducts as another way to prevent indoor air pollution and improve air quality.

Sealants should never be used on the wet lining of ducts, to cover actively growing mold or to cover duct debris, and should only be applied after cleaning in accordance with NADCA or other appropriate guidelines or standards.

Ervín Ferencz
Ervín Ferencz

Incurable tv specialist. Evil internet buff. Lifelong beer ninja. Friendly music junkie. Hardcore internetaholic.