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Duct Cleaning, Repair Or Replacement

Duct Cleaning
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A conduit or passage used to deliver, return and exhaust air in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning is referred to as a duct. There are 4 types of ducts and specialists in the field would know which duct to install for the task required and how to maintain the various ducts. Though many homeowners may not think much about their ducts, duct cleaning and maintenance remain an important part in not only the health of your AC unit, but also your indoor air quality.

Types of Air-Conditioning Ducts

  • Sheet metal ducts are made from galvanized steel.
  • Fiberglass lined ducts are either lined internally or externally with fiberglass.
  • Some ducts are constructed from fiberboard.
  • The only flexible duct is the round, semi round or quarter round duct that is made from lightweight fabric. These are used exclusively for the distribution of cool or heated air.

Air-conditioning ducts are designed to last for many years if they are maintained, cleaned regularly and repaired when necessary.

Must I Clean, Repair or Replace My Air-conditioning Duct?

That is the million dollar question and one best answered by an expert in the field.

We can list some basic guidelines below:

  • If the duct is new, chances are that the only maintenance required will be cleaning.
  • If the duct leaks but is otherwise in good condition, a simple plugging of the leak may be all that is needed. Plugging the leak is a lot less costly than replacing the duct.
  • There will be times however when the duct will have to be replaced. Here and some reasons:
    • The duct is heavily contaminated with mold, dust or debris.
    • The duct is severely damaged.
    • The duct is heavily soiled and very difficult to clean.
    • It was installed prior to 1970 where asbestos was a concern. You need to consult a professional to assess whether the duct is clear for usage as it may need to be replaced.

The Benefits of Regular Duct Cleaning

After the installation of an air-conditioning unit, regular maintenance and cleaning is something that must be scheduled with a professional annually however the frequency often depends on the area the air- conditioner services and how often it is used.

  • A clean duct is vital for the effective removal of dust and allergens. People who suffer from allergies and asthma will start to show symptoms of the disease when the air-conditioner stops functioning as it should and the dust starts accumulating.
  • Cleaning the ducts will assist to detect any problems like sagging vents, loose connections or cracks in the system. Detecting and repairing these problems early means they will not only be easier to fix but will cost you a lot less to do so.
  • Avoid corrosion of the ducts. When pet hair or dust build up, the access from the unit is clogged. When clogged, the entire system needs to work harder to produce the temperature required. This not only increases the cost of running the system but causes the liquids and refrigerants to leak. The leaks then lead to corrosion of the ducts and extra cost of replacing them.

How to Identify When Your Ducts Need Cleaning

There are some signs that will alert you that your air-conditioner ducts need cleaning or other maintenance. You need to remember that older ducts may not be able to cope with the efficiency of a new system and may need to be replaced.

  • Any Recent Home Renovations

    • If ducts were not sealed off.
    • If a large amount of dust was produced.
    • If asbestos or lead paint was removed.
  • The Presence of Live or Dead Animals

    If there is any sign of animal infestation or nesting such as fur, feces etc., pest control specialists need to be contacted to clean the ducts.

  • Any Signs of Mold

    Mold can cause serious health threats and will need to be removed as a matter of urgency. Check your air vents with a flashlight regularly for any signs of mold.

  • When Contaminants are Released From the Air Ducts

    Dirty air ducts can contaminate your home by releasing debris, pet hair and odors. This in turn could cause those who suffer from any allergies to start displaying symptoms.

  • The Twisted Blades Have a Dust Build Up

    If the ducts are dirty they blow dust out of the air regulators and returns and this will start to build up on the blades. You can easily check and see if there is any accumulation of dust on the blades.

  • The Temperature Control is Not Even in All the Rooms

    If some rooms feel warmer or cooler than the temperature you have set, or if in some rooms the temperature varies from others, it may be a sign that there is a leak or that the ducts need cleaning.

  • When Visible Dust Accumulates on Household Surfaces

    When you notice that you are needing to dust more frequently, it may be as a result of dirty air from the air-conditioner blowing into your home.

Air-conditioners are a necessary part of any home or office in South Florida and provide you with comfort and relief from the hot outdoors. Regular maintenance and duct cleaning is all that is required to ensure many years of cool refreshing airflow.


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