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How To Properly Clean Your Air Ducts

Knowing how to properly clean your air ducts is important information when it comes time to choosing the right service company. This is a quick summary on how air duct cleaning companies operate and the differences between them. Helping you know the types of services that are available to property owners. Air duct cleaning isn’t something that needs to be done every year. However, it is important to do it when your system is looking like this.

Vent Cleaning

Look how dirty your air ducts can get!

There is two different kinds of air duct cleaning companies out there!

  1. Blow and go
  2. Companies that actually clean your air ducts correctly

Blow and go is a term in the air duct cleaning industry to describe the unscrupulous companies. These particular companies prey on homeowners by charging for cleaning but not actually doing anything. They typically show up with a shop vac and are in and out of the home in about an hour. Their equipment is limited and pathetic and their intentions are bogus. They will usually tell you that their vacuum is strong enough to get everything out by sucking out the individual vents. They may hook up a portable vacuum to one vent and use a blower on the others and tell you it is all good. These companies charge the low coupon prices and advertise that they will be done quickly and affordably.

How companies clean your air ducts is important

The air duct cleaning industry suffers because of the reputation these companies put out there. The EPA has even written articles on whether you even need to clean your air ducts. The question of whether you even need your cleaning is because of these companies consistently ripping people off. The before picture above is of a supply trunk line at the base of your air system. When a blow and go company “cleans” your vents the picture above will also be an after picture. They do not clean out your trunk lines at all, and that means they didn’t really clean anything.

Vent Cleaning

Wouldn’t you rather have this supplying your breathable air?

Companies, like 2nd Chance Water Restoration, that actually clean air ducts will leave your dirty trunk lines looking like this above picture. If this picture looks amazingly different then the above picture it is because it is amazingly different. The only way to properly clean an air system is to access the trunk lines and clean the entire air system and not just the first three feet of your vents. Companies that do this cleaning typically charge upwards of $500.00 per system. The reason for the extra cost is because of the actual work being done. Air duct cleaning done the right ways is very hard work. This type of cleaning usually requires two or more people. The equipment is big and heavy and the process takes hours per air system. The trunk lines need to be opened up and accessed so the big HEPA vacuums can be attached.

Chicago Air Duct Cleaning

The HEPA Vacuum is often bigger and heavier than the furnace!

If you don’t see equipment like this you are getting ripped!

The furnace is sealed off from the trunk line that is going through the cleaning process. Big inflatable bags prevent dust and debris from getting past the vacuum.  The HEPA machine we use for residential air duct cleanings that we perform has an absurd 5000 cubic feet per minute. That means it sucks so hard that it pulls more air than enough air to suck out everything in your air system. Once the HEPA vacuum machine is hooked up and running we will go through each opening connected to that particular trunk line.

Chicago Air Duct Cleaning

This is what it looks like on the inside of your trunk line!

By closing off the vents and hooking up the HEPA machine we have changed your air system itself into a giant vacuum. Then we will go through the system and agitate every inch of it with the viper whip system. We will blow 2000 psi of air through your system using a large compressor.  Forced air whips which will knock everything loose and blow it down to our giant vacuum system. This process is the best and preferred method to clean your air duct system according to industry standards.

How long does duct cleaning take?

Using these big heavy machines and going through the entire system takes hours. This is why the companies that actually clean things right charge so much more for it. Once we are done we will ask if you want the system sanitized. Sanitizing is a good idea if your air system is filthy, or if people have allergies. Micro-ban disinfectant is a great sanitizer to use and will leave you smelling clean!