The Environmental Protection Agency recommends having duct cleaning done periodically to improve the cleanliness of the home. Studies do not conclusively indicate that cleaning out ducts prevents health problems, but it’s natural to presume that dirt and dust can eventually build up over time. A poorly trained service provider can do more harm than good, though, so it’s important to vet several contractors before deciding who to hire.
The EPA says you should have duct cleaning conducted if there is substantial visible mold growth inside the sheet metal, ducts, or other components of the heating and cooling system. If a contractor says the mold is hidden deep within the ductwork, do not be afraid to ask to see proof. In some cases, it’s worth having a lab analysis done to verify that the substance is, in fact, a dangerous mold. Keep in mind that the conditions will not improve unless the moisture and humidity issues are addressed. You should also consider a thorough duct cleaning if your system is infested with vermin – like rodents or insects – or if your vents are releasing tufts of dust because the system is so clogged.
To hire the best duct cleaning crew, avoid anyone who makes a sweeping claim about the health benefits of duct cleaning. Ask for references – and call them – to ensure there is a track record of satisfied customers. Contact the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against the company. Get an estimate in writing that includes the total cost and scope of the project before any work is done.