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Air Duct Cleaning

Americlean Services Corporation is a certified member of NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association), which sets the standards of the industry. We follow their guidelines to ensure that you receive the highest quality of service possible. We’ve helped combat indoor air pollution for satisfied customers throughout Northern Virginia and the greater Washington DC Metropolitan area since 1984.

As your system circulates air throughout a dwelling, the air ducts get dirty by gradually accumulating dust and allergens, most of which are produced by occupants. Pet hair and dander increase this accumulation drastically. This indoor air is recycled through the homes, increasing the accumulation of debris inside the air ducts constantly.

The Americlean Method:

  • First, an access opening is created in the plenum (main duct line next to the air handling unit, typically a furnace or a heat pump). Some companies only vacuum as far as their equipment can reach. Our highly trained and experienced technicians use all the necessary tools to clean the entire system’s ducts.
  • Then our technicians connect the hose from a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filtered high velocity vacuum to the access opening next to the air handling unit.
  • Vent openings are temporarily sealed off to eliminate the threat of spreading dust in the home by concentrating the vacuum’s negative air pressure.
  • Each register on the wall, floor, and ceiling is carefully removed and cleaned using a hand-held HEPA filtered vacuum. (The EPA and NADCA contend that it is impossible to clean a duct system properly without removing all the registers). Many companies do not remove the vents, just to save themselves some time.
  • Specialized electric rotary brushes are used to dislodge the contaminants that accumulate on the inner duct surface.
  • Air-washing devices are inserted to push the remaining debris toward the vacuum.
  • If desired, we vacuum your air handling unit internally to purge it of dirt and contaminants. This can include heating coils, cooling coils, fan blades & housing, filter section, dampers and plenum walls. Although this is an additional service, it is highly recommended.
  • The area surrounding any diffusers, registers, and grilles will be vacuumed to remove dirt and dust accumulation.
  • Air dampers are reset to previous positions.
  • Finally, a pre-cut sheet metal plate is screwed in place over the access opening, then sealed with metal tape to prevent air leakage.

After the cleaning is finished, we re-inspect the air duct system with our fiber optic cameras in order to verify its cleanliness. We encourage you to see for yourself the cleanliness of your air ducts during and after the cleaning process.

Before Duct Cleaning
Before Duct Cleaning
After Duct Cleaning
After Duct Cleaning

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is duct cleaning a dusty process?
Not if it is properly performed. Americlean’s vacuums use HEPA filtration to ensure that 99.97% of particulate matter is contained within the vacuum.

Is using a brush inside the duct work needed?
Yes. Americlean’s electric rotary brushes are long and flexible enough to clean any duct configuration. Some companies use chimney sweep brushes, which simply cannot do the job. Many companies rely on suction alone and do not use brushes in their process. Vacuuming by itself does not remove any debris without direct contact. No matter how powerful the machine is, only internal agitation will remove contaminants. NADCA standards state that agitation devices (brushes) are necessary to effectively clean duct surfaces (ACR: The NADCA Standard for Assessment, Cleaning, Restoration of HVAC Systems, Section 4.3).

Is cutting a hole in the duct work necessary?
Yes. It is the only way to capture the debris before it reaches the air handling unit and its delicate components. They also make your ducts easier to clean again in the future. Without an access opening, the majority of debris would be left behind in the main duct.

Is sanitizing my duct work a good idea?
No, it is not. The EPA has not registered any chemicals as a sanitizing agent inside ductwork. A fungistatic or bacteriostatic agent may be used, but such applications are not recommended as a general practice, unless microbial growth is visually evident. If microbial growth is suspected in a duct system, we recommend testing by an indoor environmental professional (IEP). Fungistatic and bacteriostatic agents applied to the interior of a duct system must be registered with the EPA, because most of these chemicals are classified as pesticides (toxic chemicals).

Dust in a duct system consists predominantly of organic based matter. This is a nutrient source for biological growth and sustenance. Since the food source is removed by professional cleaning methods, the application of a fungistat or bacteriostat as a precautionary measure is redundant.

Why do some companies only charge $99?
The official Fairfax County website warns, “Avoid companies that advertise specials under $200 or less.” Some of these companies claim an EPA certification for duct cleaning, which does not exist!

These low base prices typically get you weak vacuuming of a limited portion of the ducts, without the use of brushes and leaving much of your ducts uncleaned.
Americlean Services Corporation charges upfront for the cleaning of your HVAC air ducts, which will include trunk lines, branch lines, and the return side (the dirtiest part of your duct system).

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