Call or Text 585-270-5836
1197 Mt. Read Blvd - Rochester, NY

Duct Cleaning

The silver bullet to good IAQ   …or is it?

Wise Home Energy does not provide duct cleaning as a service, and we rarely find the opportunity to recommend it. Why? Because we like to provide our clients with science based solutions, and the studies showing improvements resulting from duct cleaning are inconclusive. Don’t take our word for it, see what the EPA has to say;

          “Duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts. This is because much of the dirt in air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space. It is important to keep in mind that dirty air ducts are only one of many possible sources of particles that are present in homes. Pollutants that enter the home both from outdoors and indoor activities such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, or just moving around can cause greater exposure to contaminants than dirty air ducts. Moreover, there is no evidence that a light amount of household dust or other particulate matter in air ducts poses any risk to your health.”

Wise Home Energy typically will only recommend duct cleaning if one or more of the following is present:

  • There is substantial visible mold growth in the ducts
  • The ducts are infested with rodents or insects.
  • Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris.

How to Prevent Duct Contamination

and create a healthy indoor environment

If you are interested in duct cleaning, your ultimate goal is mostly likely improving indoor air quality. The 3 facets to good IAQ are, Air Filtration, Humidity Control and Fresh Air Ventilation.

A key to a healthy home is envelope tightness. How much air moves from inside to outside and vise-versa. And possibly more importantly,  how many pollutants (Particulates and VOC’s) are being transported in that air. A house with a an air leakage ratio equal to the houses square footage is typically good enough to be able to control its indoor air quality, year round, with a minimal impact on overall energy usage.

The tighter the home the better for comfort and IAQ when the air filtration, humidity control and fresh air ventilation systems are designed and used properly. Bringing in and filtering the proper amount of fresh outdoor air helps to change over stale, polluted, indoor air. With diagnostic testing, we can dial in the exact amount of air recommended for your home. And by filtering this air properly, we can reduce particulate build up in your home and ducts. Exhaust or intake fans, ventilating dehumidifiers and heat recovery ventilators are all options for controlling fresh air ventilation. 

A tighter home will also make managing humidity levels year round easier. Ideal humidity levels range from 30 – 60% depending on the time of year. Maintaining this range helps reduce VOC’s, dust mites, viruses, asthma and mold. Exhaust fans, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and properly sized air conditioners are all options for controlling humidity.

Finally, a tighter home leads to better indoor air filtration and ultimately cleaner ducts and cleaner indoor air. For most homes, the filtration system is the furnace filter. Filters are rated in a variety of ways, but the most popular is the MERV rating, the higher the number, the better the filter. Wise Home Energy always recommends at least a 4″ MERV 13 pleated filter. For odor control we would suggest a carbon coated MERV 13 filter. For fine particulate filtration a 4″ MERV 16 filter is ideal. In addition to the filter itself, ensuring the ducts are sealed tight (especially on the return side) and ensuring that no air is bypassing the filter are critical. Additional filtration systems we recommend include photo-caytlitic oxidizers (PCO’s) and room or stand alone air purifiers.

Duct Cleaning

The silver bullet to good IAQ   …or is it?

Wise Home Energy does not provide duct cleaning as a service, and we rarely find the opportunity to recommend it. Why? Because we like to provide our clients with science based solutions, and the studies showing improvements resulting from duct cleaning are inconclusive. Don’t take our word for it, see what the EPA has to say;

          “Duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts. This is because much of the dirt in air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space. It is important to keep in mind that dirty air ducts are only one of many possible sources of particles that are present in homes. Pollutants that enter the home both from outdoors and indoor activities such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, or just moving around can cause greater exposure to contaminants than dirty air ducts. Moreover, there is no evidence that a light amount of household dust or other particulate matter in air ducts poses any risk to your health.”

Wise Home Energy typically will only recommend duct cleaning if one or more of the following is present:

  • There is substantial visible mold growth in the ducts
  • The ducts are infested with rodents or insects.
  • Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris.

How to Prevent Duct Contamination

Target the underlying issues/the importance of envelope tightness

If you are interested in duct cleaning, your ultimate goal is most likely improving indoor air quality.
The 3 facets to good IAQ are, Air Filtration, Humidity Control and Fresh Air Ventilation.

A key to a healthy home is envelope tightness. How much air moves from inside to outside and vise-versa. And possibly more importantly,  how many pollutants (Particulates and VOC’s) are being transported with that air. A house with a an air leakage ratio equal to the houses square footage is typically good enough to be able to control its indoor air quality, year round, with a minimal impact on overall energy usage.

The tighter the home the better for comfort and IAQ when the air filtration, humidity control and fresh air ventilation systems are designed and used properly. Bringing in and filtering the proper amount of fresh outdoor air helps to change over stale, polluted, indoor air. With diagnostic testing, we can dial in the exact amount of fresh air recommended for your home. And by filtering this air properly, we can reduce particulate build up in your home and ducts. Exhaust or intake fans, ventilating dehumidifiers and heat recovery ventilators are all options for controlling fresh air ventilation.

A tighter home will also make managing humidity levels year round easier. Ideal humidity levels range from 30 – 60% depending on the time of year (we strongly recommend to stay on the lower side, especially during winter). Maintaining this range helps reduce VOC’s, dust mites, viruses, asthma and mold (See our IAQ page). Exhaust fans, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and properly sized air conditioners are all options for controlling humidity.

Finally, a tighter home leads to better indoor air filtration and ultimately cleaner ducts and cleaner indoor air. For most homes, the filtration system is the furnace filter. Filters are rated in a variety of ways, but the most popular is the MERV rating, the higher the number, the better the filter. Wise Home Energy always recommends at least a 4″ MERV 13 pleated filter. For odor control we would suggest a carbon coated MERV 13 filter. For fine particulate filtration a 4″ MERV 16 filter is ideal. In addition to the filter itself, ensuring the ducts are sealed tight (especially on the return side) and ensuring that no air is bypassing the filter are critical. Additional filtration systems we recommend include photo-catalytic oxidizers (PCO’s) and room or stand alone air purifiers.

 

 

Indoor air quality  is often 2-5 times worse than outdoor air quality. -EPA

Send Us An Email

1 + 12 =

Wise Home Energy
1197 Mt. Read Blvd.
Rochester, NY 14606
585-270-5836

WiseHomeEnergy.com

 

 

Office Hours:
Monday: 7:30AM–5PM
Tuesday: 7:30AM–5PM
Wednesday: 7:30AM–5PM
Thursday: 7:30AM–5PM
Friday: 7:30AM–5PM

Efficiency First
ReHome NY
Energy Star
Energy Star
Energy Star