Duct Cleaning FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Is duct cleaning really necessary?

Just like any other cleaning, if, when, and how often it’s necessary to clean your ductwork depends on how dirty it gets and how much it’s affecting your family’s health. The only difference when it comes to ducts is that you often can’t see the dirt or airborne contaminants that have built up inside.

However, you can see some of the signs. If you suspect your ductwork may be at compromised by airborne contaminants, mildew, bacteria, vermin, or simply caked with dust or dirt, you should consider a photo inspection to check for dirty ducts.

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What are some signs that my ducts may need to be cleaned?

Just because you can’t see inside your ducts, doesn’t mean there aren’t signs of uncleanliness. If you experience any of the following, you may need your ducts cleaned and/or sanitized:

  • Dusty or dirty air blowing out of your vents
  • Abnormal amounts of dust on your furniture, even with regular dusting
  • Foul or musty-smelling air emitting from your ducts
  • Recent flooding, moisture, or sewer problems that may have entered into your ductwork
  • Recent vermin infestations (including mice, rats, cockroaches, or other insects)
  • Persistent cold or allergy symptoms that are otherwise unexplained

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Can I clean air ducts myself?

You can clean the registers and grills with a normal dust cloth or vacuum, but getting inside your ductwork is next to impossible for the average homeowner and strongly discouraged.

Duct cleaning professionals, such as those at Universal Duct Cleaning™, use special HEPA vacuums that use the same technology employed in hospitals and operating rooms to capture all the dust, dirt, airborne contaminants, and debris found inside your ducts and ensure it doesn’t enter the air inside your home.

A trained technician can also tell what kind of ductwork you have and clean it appropriately, since not every material is safe to vacuum in the same way. Sheet metal, for example, requires much less care than fiberglass

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What is the difference between duct cleaning and duct sanitation?

The difference between duct cleaning and sanitation is that duct cleaning is mechanical and sanitation is chemical. Cleaning is done with a HEPA vacuum and special brushes designed to remove dirt, dust, debris, and other physical objects. Duct sanitation, on the other hand, applies a chemical that kills bacteria and/or airborne contaminants.

Sanitation is needed less frequently than cleaning and should only be done by an experienced professional.

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Can I spray my ducts with normal household cleaners?

It is not recommended to spray your ducts with normal household cleaners. Unlike other hard surfaces, anything sprayed inside your ducts has the potential to be introduced into the airstream and spread all over your house. Only chemicals that have been specifically approved for duct cleaning should be used, and then only on non-porous surfaces.

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Will duct cleaning aggravate household allergies?

Actually, duct cleaning may be especially useful in households where one or more members have severe allergies because it can remove dust, dirt, and other allergens that are particularly bothersome to the affected individual.

Because our technicians at Universal Duct Cleaning™ use HEPA vacuums to ensure virtually every particle that’s touched goes into our filter or vacuum and not into your home, the quality of your air should not be affected by duct cleaning – except for becoming purer when we’re finished.

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How often should I get my air ducts cleaned?

Duct cleaning is highly individualized and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The short answer is “whenever they get dirty.” If you begin having some or all of the signs and symptoms of dirty ducts listed above, call Universal Duct Cleaning™ for a photo inspection to determine whether your ducts are at fault.

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Why should I get my dryer vents cleaned?

Clogged dryer vents are fire hazards and the cause of many conflagrations and fire-related injuries and deaths. Although your lint trap is your first line of defense, it is not even close to adequate when it comes to protecting your home, since only a small portion of the lint from your clothes is caught in the trap. The rest travels down into the vent where it can block the airflow.

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How often do I need my dryer vents cleaned?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends cleaning your dryer vents at least once a year and more often than this if there is evidence that your exhaust is blocked, such as your dryer overheating or clothes that are still damp at the end of the cycle.

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I know people who never clean their dryer vents – why should I?

If you play with matches you may not start a fire – but then again, you may. Furthermore, every dryer is different. Some traps are more effective than others and some people’s clothes create less lint. Some people do a couple of loads of laundry in a week and others do more than that in a day. Thousands of house fires are started by dryers each year and many of those are caused by poor cleaning and maintenance. Don’t risk being part of this year’s statistics.

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Why should I hire you instead of your competition?

At Universal Duct Cleaning™, we’re committed to excellence in everything that we do. We start each visit with a free photo inspection to allow you to see exactly what’s in your ducts and to evaluate our cleaning plan for yourself. Then expertly-trained technicians use the best vacuum techniques available to make sure that your ducts are as clean as they can be. We follow up each visit with a service call to make sure you’re completely satisfied and if anything wrong, we return and fix it for free.

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