air duct cleaning: does it work

Air Duct Cleaning – Does It Work?

Maintaining Good Air Quality in your Sacramento Valley Home

Air duct cleaning has become popular in recent years, with lots of cleaning services available in the Sacramento area.  Is  air duct cleaning worthwhile, or is it a scam?  To help you decide if your home might benefit from having HVAC duct cleaning, let’s review the facts.

How It’s Done

Professional air duct cleaning involves the use of brushes, blowers, or vacuums to clean out the various ducts in your home.  It usually includes the air handler, coils, housings, registers, grilles, fans, and motors of the HVAC system.

Air Duct Cleaning is Popular

There are a lot of companies out there that will offer you an air duct cleaning service.  They may sound convincing about it helping to keep your household air clean and perhaps even address seasonal allergies.  But not all technicians are forthright or knowledgeable about the value of this service.

According to consumer advocate website Angi,  there are several scams you should be aware of, including a bait and switch, a mold inspection scam, and the quick and dirty method, which involves only cleaning the section of your ducts that are easily visible.

The Science of Air Duct Cleaning

Surprisingly enough, air duct cleaning has never been shown to prevent health problems. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts. This is likely because much of the dirt in air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space.

Dirty air ducts are only one of many possible sources of particles that are present in homes. Dirt can enter the home from both outdoor and indoor activities such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, or just living and moving around inside and out.

There is also no scientific evidence that regular residential air duct cleaning improves air quality.  This is according to a 1997 brochure published by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The science hasn’t changed, according to senior scientists at the EPA’s Indoor Environments Division.  The agency stands by its recommendations outlined in their brochure produced nearly two decades ago.  “Checking and changing filters, keeping systems maintained, having regular inspections, and ensuring moisture doesn’t get in are more important,” an EPA scientist spokesperson says.

A Better Option

As you might guess, my professional opinion is that cleaning of the HVAC ducts isn’t very effective. So what is?

Getting Clean Air

A much better solution is to invest a little extra money.  Get the ducting replaced in your home, especially if they’re in bad shape or have been infested with rodents or insects.


I hope this has provided good information for you.  If you are concerned about the quality of the air in your home or think duct replacement may be needed for your home, contact Absolute Comfort Heating and Air.  We’ll provide a fair and accurate price for your replacement service.

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you soon on my next blog topic.

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