Duct Cleaning

Read this informative article from our fellow professionals in the Maryland and Washington DC area.

Air Duct Cleaning Facts

What is Air Duct Cleaning?

Most people are now aware that indoor air pollution is an issue of growing concern and increased visibility. Many companies are marketing products and services intended to improve the quality of your indoor air.

Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.


If not properly installed, maintained, and operated, these components may become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen or other debris. If moisture is present, the potential for microbiological growth (e.g., mold) is increased and spores from such growth may be released into the home's living space. Some of these contaminants may cause allergic reactions or other symptoms in people if they are exposed to them. Failure to clean a component of a contaminated system can result in re-contamination of the entire system, thus negating any potential benefits. Methods of duct cleaning vary, although standards have been established by industry associations concerned with air duct cleaning. Typically, a service provider will use specialized tools to dislodge dirt and other debris in ducts, then vacuum them out with a high-powered vacuum cleaner.

In addition, the service provider may propose applying chemical biocides, designed to kill microbiological contaminants, to the inside of the duct work and to other system components. Some service providers may also suggest applying chemical treatments (sealants or other encapsulants) to encapsulate or cover the inside surfaces of the air ducts and equipment housings because they believe it will control mold growth or prevent the release of dirt particles or fibers from ducts.

EPA claims indoor air has been found to be up to 70% more polluted than outdoor air (EPA)

  • Children are more likely than adults to be affected by polluted indoor air (Dept. of Consumer Affairs)
    The average 6 room house collects 40 pounds of dust a year (Discover Magazine)
  • Air ducts have more germs than a chicken coop (American Lung Association)
  • A build up of 0.42 inches of dirt on a heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease in efficiency of 21% (EPA)
  • 9 out of 10 heating, ventilating, air conditioning systems failures are caused by dust and dirt (Louisiana Coop Extension Service)
  • Most commercially purchased fiberglass filters are only 7% efficient in stopping dirt, dust, pollen, etc. Passing through it. (Ashrae)
  • Indoor air is found to be up to 70 times more polluted than outdoor air. (EPA)
  • 50% of all illnesses are either caused or aggravated by polluted indoor air. (American college of allergists)
  • According to the American College of Allergies, 50% of all illness is aggravated or caused by polluted indoor air.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) themselves declare that indoor air is anywhere from 2 to 10 times more hazardous than outdoor air. The EPA also warns us that the indoor air quality is the United States' number one environmental health problem.
  • Today's homes and buildings are built air-tight, and contain a long list of pollution sources. As a result, natural air-cleansing agents such as ozone and negative ions are kept out, while contaminants are kept in.
  • A recent study found that the allergen level in super-insulated homes is 200% higher than it is in ordinary homes.
  • According to Scientific America, a baby crawling on the floor inhales the equivalent of 4 cigarettes a day, as a result of the out-gassing of carpets, molds, mildews, fungi, dust mites, etc.
  • Most people spend well over 90% of their time indoors. In which case, indoor air is going to impact our health far more than outdoor air.

The EPA informs us that 6 out of 10 homes and buildings are "sick," meaning they are hazardous to your health to occupy as a result of airborne pollutants.

Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to the development of chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. In addition, it can cause headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea and fatigue. People who already have respiratory diseases are at greater risk.

Biological pollutants, including molds, bacteria, viruses, pollen, dust mites, and animal dander promote poor indoor air quality and may be a major cause of days lost from work and school. In office buildings, heating, cooling, and ventilation systems are frequent sources of biological substances that are inhaled, leading to breathing problems.

Air duct cleaning and health:

  • Asthma cases have increased by more than 100% since 1976.
  • About 1 in 9 children now have asthma.
  • Death rates due to asthma have tripled, and quintupled in children ages 5 to 9, since 1976.
  • Hospitalization rates and doctor visits are still continuing to increase dramatically.
  • According to the American College of Allergies, 50% of all illness is aggravated or caused by polluted indoor air.
  • Today's homes and buildings are built air-tight, and contain a long list of pollution sources. As a result, nature's air-cleansing agents such as ozone and negative ions are kept out, while contaminants are kept in.
  • A recent study found that the allergen level in super-insulated homes is 200% higher than it is in ordinary homes.
  • According to Scientific America, a baby crawling on the floor inhales the equivalent of 4 cigarettes a day, as a result of the out gassing of carpets, molds, mildews, fungi, dust mites, etc.
  • Most people spend well over 90% of their time indoors. In which case, indoor air is going to impact our health far more than outdoor air.
  • The EPA informs us that 6 out of 10 homes and buildings are "sick", meaning they are hazardous to your health to occupy as a result of airborne pollutants.

Our professional duct cleaners provide the best air duct cleaning services to residential homes and commercial businesses throughout Maryland and Washington DC.