Air duct cleaning is an essential component of home maintenance. It ensures the air you, your loved ones, guest and pets breathe is free of harmful contaminants that can cause allergies and either cause or aggravate respiratory conditions. Cleaning air ducts is a painstaking job that requires training, experience and expertise. And no one in Boulder and vicinity is better qualified to do the job right than Steve’s Carpet Care.
Air Duct Cleaning: Background
The modern home heating system didn’t just appear on the scene 50 or 100 years ago. It wasn’t invented by some incredibly clever person and sold as the next big thing. It evolved over thousands of years. The ducts that course through our floors, walls and ceilings today can trace their lineage to ancient Greek and Chinese systems from nearly 3,000 years ago. In those days flues and chimneys were used that radiated heat into a space while funneling smoke out of the building. Centuries later, during the height of the Roman Empire, tubes were run under tile floors that carried heated air from a centrally located fire. And just like today’s ductwork those ancient systems needed to be cleaned on a regular basis.
The Source of Dirty Ducts
In ancient times it was pretty easy to understand where the dirty buildup inside various flues, tubes and ceramic ducts was coming from. Much of it was soot from the fires that were heating the air. These ancient systems were also far from being airtight so they were constantly drawing in pollutants from outside including dirt, pollen, animal hair, bird feathers and more. But today’s systems - while not completely airtight - are pretty close to being airtight. And since the modern furnace doesn’t burn wood either where is all the dirt coming from that necessitates air duct cleaning? To find out we need to know a little about how the modern HVAC system works.
The Respiratory System of Your Home
You may keep the cleanest, most spotless home in Colorado with virtually new air ducts that have been sealed up tight by the company that installed them. But the truth is there is simply no way to keep those ducts completely free of contaminants. Why? Well, it has to do with the structure of the HVAC system. Many homeowners aren’t aware that there are actually two different types of ductwork in their home. Half the ducts in your home are “supply ducts”. They take air that is heated by the furnace or cooled by the air conditioner and distribute it throughout the house. The other half of your ductwork is comprised of “return ducts”. These pull air out of the various rooms and return it to the HVAC unit to be either heated or cooled. Dirt in the ducts is largely the result of this return air system.
The Slow Buildup
No home is vacuum sealed. Every house that’s ever been built breathes to some extent. Air enters the house through a million tiny cracks in the exterior walls, around window and door frames, under doors and any time a door or window is opened. This air is often teeming with pollen, tiny dust particles, dirt, soot from factories and car exhaust and more. Before this air gets to the furnace/air conditioner it passes through a filter designed to remove any dirt and debris it may be carrying. This filter typically does a good job of removing pollutants. Good, but not great.
Which means a fair percentage of pollutants either get through and are returned to the home by the supply ducts or are trapped within the supply ducts and accumulate. In addition, a large percentage of dirt and debris in the return air vents never makes it to the air filter. It either naturally settles inside the air ducts or gets snagged by seams where one section of ductwork is joined to another.
Why You Need Air Duct Cleaning
Over time the amount of dirt, dust, soot, pet dander, pollen, mold spores and other contaminants that accumulate in the ductwork becomes substantial. If the ducts are not cleaned your HVAC system essentially becomes a pollutant distribution system recirculating bits and pieces of this dirt and debris collection throughout the house a half dozen times a day. With the result being allergies and illnesses.
Professional Air Duct and Vent Cleaning
You should have the air ducts in your home cleaned every 2 years. But who do you get to do the job? There are a lot of guys in Boulder who claim to be air duct cleaning experts. Most of them however, lack both the training and the equipment to do the job right. They rely on the fact that most homeowners don’t know what air vent cleaning is supposed to look like. So they remove a few registers and 2 hours later declare the job done. Or they blow a mass of dirt and debris out of the system and it winds settling on your living room furniture and kitchen counters. And since they’re not a proper business they have no liability insurance to cover the damage they did to your things.
Don’t take chances. Call Steve’s Carpet Care. We’ve been helping the people of Boulder and the surrounding areas achieve and maintain clean, healthy homes for more than 42 years. We understand exactly what’s involved in air duct cleaning and, just as importantly, we’re fully licensed and insured. In other words, we’re accountable.