Health Risks of Duct Cleaning in Palm Beach County FL

Are you considering having your ducts cleaned in Palm Beach County, FL? It's important to understand the potential health risks associated with this process. Some companies are promoting a duct cleaning method that uses high concentrations of ozone in the duct system. The EPA notes that ozone is a highly corrosive and toxic gas that is harmful to humans at any concentration. Therefore, it is imperative (if using this method) that occupants are clear and stay away from the house until ozone levels return to normal.

In general, ozone concentrations of five to seven parts per million are needed to remove microbial contaminants and other bioaerosol contaminants found in pipelines. While it has been shown to be effective in killing dust mites, bacteria and germs, the EPA notes that dead toxins, such as the corpses of dust mites and incapacitated mold and other bioaerosol agents, can be just as allergenic as living ones, if not more so. In addition, if the duct network is wet, only the surface layer containing contaminants will be affected. Ozone, being very corrosive, has the ability to fade carpets and curtains and to oxidize or oxidize metals if not properly controlled.

The EPA and most experts generally do not recommend the use of biocides, air fresheners and cleaning agents in filters or duct systems until they are specifically approved by the EPA for that purpose. Some aggressive cleaning agents that kill germs and bacteria can also damage the delicate lining of human lung tissue and, in themselves, be carcinogens or allergens. The general conclusion about duct cleaning is that aerial sweeping and mechanical brushing methods appear to be only modestly effective in the short term and, in the long term, can be effective in reducing air contaminants. A more effective approach is to properly select the ducts before construction and to keep the air conditioning system clean by properly filtering and maintaining the drip tray and cooling and heating coils once a year by a qualified service contractor.

Ozone cleaning methods and the use of biocides, germicides, cleaning agents, and deodorants should only be used with great caution and only if approved by the EPA for that purpose. Duct cleaning has never been proven to actually prevent health problems. Nor do studies conclusively demonstrate that the particle (p. e.g.) levels in a home increase due to dirt in the ducts.

This is because much of the dirt in the air ducts adheres to the duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space. It's important to note that dirty air ducts are just one of the many possible sources of particulate matter that are present in homes. Contaminants that enter the home through both outdoor and indoor activities, such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, or simply moving around, can cause greater exposure to contaminants than dirty air ducts. In addition, there is no evidence that a small amount of household dust or other particles in air ducts poses a health risk.

Duct cleaning has never been proven to actually prevent health problems, according to the EPA. Most dust, dirt, and other contaminants stick to duct surfaces and never re-enter the space. There are no real studies to show that particle levels in a home increase due to dirt in the ducts. Their conclusion was that duct cleaning using air sweeping and mechanical brushing methods was only modestly effective in the short term in improving indoor air quality.

In addition to cleaning air ducts, they offer services such as cleaning dryer vents, air purification and air conditioning maintenance to ensure that indoor air is clean and healthy. In addition, some companies use duct sealant to complete the cleaning process, claiming that it strengthens the duct. As a general rule, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends cleaning air ducts every 3 to 5 years. If no one in your home has allergies or unexplained symptoms or illnesses and if, after a visual inspection of the inside of the ducts, you don't see any signs that your air ducts are contaminated with large deposits of dust or mold (with no musty smell or visible mold growth), you probably don't need to clean your air ducts.

Air duct cleaning service providers can tell you that they need to apply a chemical biocide to the inside of the ducts as a means to kill bacteria (germs) and fungi (mold) and prevent future biological growth. However, there is little evidence that cleaning only the ducts improves system efficiency. Most organizations that deal with duct cleaning, including the EPA, NADCA, NAIMA, and the National Association of Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors (SMACNA), do not currently recommend the routine use of sealants to encapsulate contaminants in any type of duct. The smooth surfaces of these ducts facilitate cleaning and the zinc coating serves as a fungicide that prevents the growth of mold and mildew.

While cleaning your air ducts can have some benefits, it's only sometimes necessary and can even cause more harm than good. The air sweep method in which compressed air is introduced into the duct to remove dirt and debris and is transported downstream through the duct and out of the system by vacuum collection equipment. For more than 30 years, Duct Doctor USA has been providing quality air duct cleaning for residential and commercial customers. Studies also suggest that cleaning techniques that agitate duct systems, in particular fiberglass ducts, may pose a greater problem by loosening fiberglass particles from the duct plate.

If enough dirt and moisture are allowed to enter the duct system, there may not be a significant difference in the speed or extent of microbial growth in internally lined or bare sheet ducts.