Frequently Asked Questions: Air Ducts, Aeroseal, & Indoor Air Quality
Air Duct Cleaning FAQ
For residential air duct cleaning, a typical hvac system in a single family home takes 2-4 hours for a thorough professional cleaning. Commercial duct work will need an on-site inspection to determine how long the project will take to complete.
We recommend an air duct cleaning every 3-5 years for regular cleaning. If you have completed renovation projects and have dust and debris in your vents, a professional air duct cleaning can help clean your air ducts. Also, if you suspect you have mold in your duct work, we recommend an air duct cleaning and anti-microbial application.
Yes, this is a common issue we help solve! Sealing your vents and ducts helps air be delivered where it’s needed, and not leak out of holes into attics, crawl spaces, or unused basements.
Holes bigger than 1/2 inches in diameter are too big for the aeroseal sealant to bond to effectively. Larger, major leaks – like broken, disconnected or damaged ducts – will need to be repaired prior to sealing. Most of the time, we uncover problems like this during our initial test inspection. However, if we find this during our sealing process we can pause the system immediately to stop the flow of sealant, inspect for the problem area and provide an on the spot solution before resuming the seal process.
Aerosela has a 10 year warranty, and we’ve stress-tested it up to 40 years in homes. We expect your heating and cooling systems to work efficiently for as long as you own your home.
The main causes of condensation on ductwork in unconditioned crawlspaces and attics is missing or otherwise inadequate duct insulation, no or poor vapor barrier on the ducts and/or too much moisture in the ambient air. If the above are addressed properly this usually eliminates or minimizes the problem greatly. Sealing the crawlspace is generally recommended as well, and a vapor barrier on the crawl space floor or ground to decrease moisture absorption into the air is a good idea. A free standing dehumidifier should also help. Aeroseal may help to a lesser degree if duct air leaks beneath insulation are causing the duct surface temperature to reach dew point, which is the temperature when condensation begins to form. Over time this condensation will degrade the insulation’s R value and its ability to prevent the duct temperature from reaching dewpoint.
Indoor Air Quality FAQ
You've heard plenty about the risks of poor air quality, but did you know indoor air contains two to five times more contaminants than outdoor air? As a committed member of the Indoor Air Quality Association, Aspen Air Duct Cleaning wants to make sure you're well-educated about the dangers of indoor air pollution.
No. Chemicals are not used unless required by an industrial hygienist or a certified restoration contractor. In the event chemicals are required to perform a project Aspen Air Duct Cleaning will only use an EPA-registered anti-microbial solution.
A homeowner may order application of a mild, non-toxic anti-microbial solution at an additional charge if microbial growth is identified or suspected. Application of these chemicals is not recommended as part of a routine maintenance program.
Indoor air quality (also called "indoor environmental quality") describes how inside air can affect a person's health, comfort, and ability to work. It can include temperature, humidity, lack of outside air (poor ventilation), mold from water damage, or exposure to other chemicals. Currently, OSHA has no indoor air quality (IAQ) standards but it does provide guidelines about the most common IAQ workplace complaints.
The qualities of good IAQ should include comfortable temperature and humidity, adequate supply of fresh outdoor air, and control of pollutants from inside and outside of the building.
The most common causes of IAQ problems in buildings are:
- Not enough ventilation, lack of fresh outdoor air, or contaminated air being brought into the building
- Poor upkeep of ventilation, heating and air-conditioning systems
- Dampness and moisture damage due to leaks, flooding, or high humidity
- Occupant activities, such as construction or remodeling
- Indoor and outdoor contaminated air
People working in buildings with poor IAQ may notice unpleasant or musty odors or may feel that the building is hot and stuffy. Some workers complain about symptoms that happen at work and go away when they leave work, like having headaches or feeling tired. Fever, cough, and shortness of breath can be symptoms of a more serious problem. Asthma and some causes of pneumonia (for example, Legionnaires' Disease and Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis) have been linked to IAQ problems. If you have symptoms that are not going away or are getting worse, talk to your doctor about them. But not all exposures cause symptoms, so there is no substitute for good building management.
There is no single test to find an IAQ problem. Your employer should check measurements of temperature, humidity, and airflow. In addition, inspection and testing of the ventilation, heating, and air conditioning systems (to make sure it is working according to specifications for building use and occupancy) should be performed. A building walk-through to check for odors and look for water damage, leaks, dirt, or pest droppings may be helpful. Leaks need to be eliminated. Standing water in humidifiers, air conditioning units, on roofs, and in boiler pans can become contaminated with bacteria or fungi and need to be eliminated, also. In some circumstances, specific testing for radon or for asbestos may be required as part of building occupancy. For instance, in schools asbestos needs to be checked every three years and re-inspected every 6 months (under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act- AHERA).
Employers are required to follow the General Duty Clause of the OSHAct, which requires them to provide workers with a safe workplace that does not have any known hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious injury. The OSHAct also requires employers to obey occupational safety and health standards created under it. Employers should be reasonably aware of the possible sources of poor air quality, and they should have the resources necessary to recognize and control workplace hazards. It is also their responsibility to inform employees of the immediate dangers that are present. Specific state and local regulations may apply.
The following information may be helpful to your doctor or your employer to figure out if there is an IAQ problem at your workplace:
- Do you have symptoms that just occur at work and go away when you get home? What are these symptoms?
- Are these symptoms related to a certain time of day, a certain season, or a certain location at work?
- Did the symptoms start when something new happened at work, such as renovation or construction projects?
- Are there other people at work with similar complaints?
- Did you already see a doctor for your symptoms, and if so, did the doctor diagnose an illness related to IAQ?
If I think there is an IAQ problem at work or I think my office or building where I work is making me sick, what can I do?
If you are concerned about air quality at work, ask your employer to check the ventilation, heating, and air conditioning systems and to make sure there is no water damage. If you think that you have symptoms that may be related to IAQ at your work, talk to your doctor about them to see if they could be caused by indoor air pollution.
Under the OSHAct, you have the right to contact an OSHA Office (see a map of OSHA offices) or to contact OSHA's toll-free number: 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or TTY 1-877-889-5627. Workers who would like a workplace inspection should send a written request (see area office addresses). A worker can tell OSHA not to let their employer know who filed the complaint. It is against the Act for an employer to fire, demote, transfer or discriminate in any way against a worker for filing a complaint or using other OSHA rights. For more information on filing a request for an on-site inspection and the investigation process, see the webpage. States with OSHA-approved state plans provide the same protections to workers as federal OSHA, although they may follow slightly different complaint processing procedures.
You may also request a Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). At no cost to employers or workers, NIOSH may investigate workplace health hazards in response to requests from employers, employees and their representatives, and federal agencies. For more information, see NIOSH's Health Hazard Evaluation Program.