Are There Any Environmental Risks of Duct Cleaning in Florida?

Do studies conclusively demonstrate that the particles present in air ducts can cause health issues? The answer is no. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there is no proof that a small amount of household dust or other particles in air ducts poses any health hazard. However, the EPA does not recommend that air ducts be cleaned routinely, but only when necessary. It is important to note that dirty air ducts are just one of many potential sources of particulate matter that are present in homes.

Pollutants that enter the home from both outdoor and indoor activities, such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, or just moving, can cause greater exposure to pollutants than dirty air ducts. Therefore, it is essential to identify and address the underlying causes of any existing conditions before cleaning, reconditioning, or replacing the ducts. You may want to consider cleaning your air ducts simply because it seems logical that the air ducts will get dirty over time and should be cleaned from time to time. As long as cleaning is done properly, there is no evidence to suggest that such cleaning is harmful.

Some research suggests that cleaning the components of the heating and cooling system can improve system efficiency. However, there is little evidence to indicate that simply cleaning the duct system will increase the efficiency of the system. If you decide to have your air ducts cleaned, take the same consumer precautions you would normally take when evaluating the competence and reliability of the service provider. The service provider may propose the application of chemical biocides, designed to remove microbiological contaminants, inside ducts and in other components of the system. Some service providers may also suggest applying chemical treatments (sealants or other encapsulants) to encapsulate or cover the inner surfaces of air ducts and equipment housings because they believe they will control mold growth or prevent the release of dirt particles or fibers from the ducts. These practices have not yet been thoroughly investigated and you should be fully informed before deciding to allow the use of biocides or chemical treatments in your air ducts.

They should only be applied, if at all, after the system has been properly cleaned of all visible dust or debris. On the other hand, if family members have unusual or unexplained symptoms or illnesses that you think might be related to your home environment, you should discuss the situation with your doctor. The EPA has published several publications for guidance on how to identify potential indoor air quality problems and ways to prevent or fix them. Whether you decide to clean your home's air ducts or not, preventing water and dirt from entering the system is the most effective way to avoid contamination. If you think duct cleaning might be a good idea for your home, but you're not sure, talk to a professional. The company that services your heating and cooling system can be a good source of information.