DUCTZ of the Upper Bay Region
DUCT Cleaning FAQs
Duct Cleaning FAQ's
Have Questions? We would love to hear from you with your questions about duct cleaning or dryer vent cleaning,
just call us at 410-692-9775 or you might be able to find your answer below, or you can email us at info@ductz-
The cleaning method deployed by DUCTZ is to use a push/pull method of cleaning as defined in the NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners
Assoc) ACR 2006 and ACR2013 standards.
First, the system is isolated into its two primary air flows (return air flow and supply air flow). The system is put under negative pressure
by attaching a large vacuum/collection unit to the main return air trunk line. We remove the register vents and wash them, and each duct
is sealed to prevent any dust from escaping the system.
All good quality duct cleaners will use high pressure compressed air with air whips and air washes run from each register boot all the
way to the main trunk line to get the particulate airborne into the vacuum stream and to push any debris towards the collection unit. This
agitation makes the particulate airborne and the negative air (vacuum) flow causes it to be trapped in the HEPA filtered collection unit.
DUCTZ of the Upper Bay thinks this is only the start of the process. We then brush the ducts using cable drive rotating brushes (brush
material is selected based on the size and type of duct) to really contact all the surface of the duct (whips and washes only contact some
of the duct surfaces - see the pictures - ). When all the branch duct lines are complete, we clean the return pans, and the main return
trunk and plenum.
The process is repeated on the Supply side by moving the negative air collection vacuum to the supply trunk, and then cleaning each
supply duct in the same manner.
The Air handler (Furnace/Air conditioner) is also thoroughly cleaned. The Blower fan is cleaned with a HEPA vac and air wash process
(type 1 cleaning) or if really encrusted may require the fan assembly to be removed from the system, power washed, reassembled, and
reinstalled (Type 2 cleaning). The Evaporator coils are cleaned by a method appropriate to the condition (Type 1 cleaning consists of
contact vacuuming and air washing the coil. If severely impacted, or if there is significant microbial growth, Type 2 cleaning utilizing coil
cleaning solution and rinses may be used).
Finally, all access holes are sealed according to industry standards, and the air system is tested to assure proper working condition.
There are many different types and configurations of ductwork: bare metal, fiberglass lined metal, spiral metal, flex duct, fiberboard,
concrete slab, etc., all of which require different equipment and cleaning methods. We are fully equipped and experienced to clean all
How long does this take?
Much of the time and cost to clean the system depends on factors such as the location of the system, the number of supply and return
ducts, condition of the system, and the number of air systems. An example of a single family home, with the furnace in the basement, that
has 18 duct vents would usually take 5 to 7 hours to properly clean the entire system. Situations like the furnace being located in a crawl
space or attic, or significantly more or less ductwork to clean also has an impact on the time and price. If the fan wheel, or evaporator coil
require type-2 cleaning, that takes additional time and there may be additional cost. Homes with multiple systems naturally have
additional costs commensurate with the work required to clean them.
What do you consider the “entire system” ?
DUCTZ cleans more than "just the ducts" to consider your air system cleaned. Our Basic processes include many tasks that others
charge extra for, including:
- Clean all accessible ductwork with both brushes and air whipped/air washed while under negative pressure
- Wash all registers(Hand wiping or power washing if required)
- Clean both the supply and return air trunks with brushes and air washes while under negative pressure
- Clean via vacuum and air wash accessible evaporator coil and plenum
- Clean via vacuum, and air wash Blower Wheel and Blower Motor
- Clean Air Handler Cabinet and Plenums
- Remove all trash and debris collected from the duct system
- Seal all access ports to assure no leakage
- Leave premises in as good or better condition than found
Our business is built on reputation and referral so your satisfaction is of our utmost importance. All work is guaranteed.
How do you protect my home?
Respect for your home and belongings is very important to DUCTZ. We call it Total Care. Our technicians will use drop cloths throughout
your home, they wear shoe covers, use corner guards, and even bring their own door mat to wipe their feet as they enter, or come up from
the basement. Any furniture that required being moved is put back in its place. All registers are cleaned and returned to the original
position. Since the entire system is under negative pressure, we assure there is no dirt or dust in the occupied space (it all flows into our
collection unit). When we are finished working, we do a complete walkthru with the owner to make sure everything is up to your
satisfaction. We build our business on referrals, so we do everything we can to delight the customer.
How do I know whether I need duct cleaning?
If the ducts in your home have never been cleaned, it may be good to have it done. Even in new homes, there is often construction debris
in the ductwork and fine particles like drywall dust that can affect your furnace and its performance. You may want to check your return
ductwork since the returns pull air back to the furnace and this ductwork is frequently the dirtiest. The returns are usually larger and easier
to access by removing the grill for inspection with a flashlight and a mirror. Other reasons to consider duct cleaning include: fire, water or
mold restoration, infestation of rodents or insects, installation of a new system, dust from a remodel, pet hair, odors and symptoms of
allergies or asthma or the previous use of an inadequate filter.
How often should I have my ducts cleaned?
After thorough cleaning, the duct system should stay clean for multiple years if properly maintained with a good quality air filter. The filter
should be changed regularly. Some factors that influence frequency are the number of people living in the home, living near a road that
produces lots of outside dust, living near fields or construction zones, the number of pets, having smokers in the home and the efficiency
of the filter. It is usually not annual maintenance, and the EPA recommends duct cleaning on "as needed" basis rather than periodic.
DUCTZ recommends inspection every 3 to 5 years, but cleaning only when necessary.
Do I need sanitizers?
It is not uncommon for microbial growth (mold, fungus, yeast, mildew or bacteria, etc) to be present in the ductwork, the air handler
evaporator coil, in the blower and the air handler cabinet walls in humid climates. The particulate that accumulates in an HVAC system
often presents conditions for such growth, and if moisture is present, it may create a breeding ground. If microbial contamination is
present, it is important to first establish the cause and remediate it, or the contamination will likely return.
Applying sanitizers (Biocide) is not part of a routine air duct cleaning. The source removal techniques used by DUCTZ remove the dirt and
existing microbial growth from the system. Once the food (dust, dirt, skin flakes, pet dander, existing mold, etc) is removed from the
system there should not be a significant need to apply biocides or other chemicals without good reason (such as dead rodents, fire
restorations etc). There are biostats and deodorizers DUCTZ may apply, but our intent is to only use chemicals when they are absolutely
necessary. All chemicals must be approved for use in ventilation ductwork (ask to see the MSDS material safety data sheets) to verify. If
someone advises sanitation (a typical unnecessary upsell), then have him/her show you why it is necessary. The National Air Duct Cleaners
Association recommends that biocides are not to be routinely used inside the duct system.
How do I know whether the cleaning was effective?
The best way to determine whether system cleaning is effective is through visual inspection before and after cleaning. While you can
perform an inspection with a mirror and flash light, or a digital camera, a professional cleaner should be able to allow you better access
to system components. I can tell you, that if there are not access ports that can be easily checked, then your duct system did not get
properly cleaned. In addition, NADCA offers a post-cleaning checklist at the nadca.com site or click this
link: NADCA's consumer checklist
DUCTZ uses "Picture Perfect", a method of taking photos during and after the cleaning to assure the customer that proper levels of
cleanliness have been achieved. A full picture report is sent to the customer post cleaning.
What does it cost to clean the “entire system”
DUCTZ has developed a pricing method that is reasonable for properly cleaning the entire air system. We charge $495 per system and
includes cleaning the air handler by vacuum and compressed air tools (without disassembly) cleaning the blower fan, evaporator coil,
heating coils, drain pan, cleaning any return pans, the return trunk, and the main supply trunks, and up to 10 duct branches. Additional
branch ducts (over 10 per system) are $15 per duct/register. When the air handler requires more aggressive cleaning, disassembly,
and type-2 (wet method) coil cleaning or type-2 blower (removal, power washing and re-installation), or if system access is significantly
difficult due to attic or crawl space conditions, or if there are multiple systems, additional charges are to be expected.
DUCTZ offers a Free assessment and a firm quotation prior to beginning work. We will even evaluate the system for leakage and
repairs if necessary and point those out during the assessment. There are never any surprises.
Beware of companies offering whole-house specials for one low price. Air duct cleaning is not a regulated industry, so it is very easy for
people to get into business using substandard or inappropriate equipment and inexperienced laborers and/or subcontractors. They often
schedule as many jobs in one day as possible. Another unfortunate practice is known as bait and switch. A customer schedules whole
house duct cleaning for an unbelievably low price (such as $99) and ends up with a $700 bill once the work is complete (be sure to read
the fine print in these ads). They charge extra for things normally included in the service provided by DUCTZ that must be completed to
consider the air system clean. If the duct cleaner you hire is in and out within an hour or two, your system did not get properly cleaned.
(We call these guys “Blow and Go” companies).
The EPA clearly states: “It is nonsense to clean ductwork if the air handlers are left untouched. Air ducts deliver exactly what an air
handler drives, and if the ductwork is dirty, so are the air handler’s guts”.
What are the benefits of duct cleaning?
Proper Air Duct Cleaning may Increase system efficiency, reduce the symptoms of allergies and asthma, extend equipment life, increase
airflow, reduce dust, reduce or eliminate musty and/or stale odors and may even decrease cleaning costs.
The list of benefits from duct cleaning is long; however, these benefits are based on need. The benefits you'll receive in your home will
depend on the condition of your ductwork, and of course, the company you choose to clean it.
Since duct cleaning is unregulated in Maryland, there are companies using shop vacuums, carpet cleaning equipment and various other
types of ineffective equipment. Others may have the proper equipment but send out different people constantly who have little or no
training. DUCTZ thinks that the air system should be properly cleaned, and completely cleaned to realize the benefits of improved indoor
The DUCTZ business model is based on referrals from satisfied customers. DUCTZ Professionals are certified, qualified and trained
professionals who use proprietary techniques to clean, recondition and restore heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
DUCTZ professionals are industry-leading advocates for applying stringent indoor air quality (IAQ) standards to HVAC systems. Through
superior air duct cleaning and HVAC restoration, we improve IAQ and bring HVAC systems back to their peak efficiency, leaving our
customers with cleaner air to breathe.
DUCTZ of the Upper Bay Region air duct and dryer vent cleaning
2501 Derby Drive Fallston, MD 21047 ph: 410-692-9775 fax: 410-497-1108
Copyright 2009 DUCTZ of the Upper Bay Region. All rights reserved.