Jan 29, 2018

Ways to clean the Air Conditioning Ducts

For the DIY person, a strong vacuum with a long hose is a great place to start if you have sheet metal ducts.  You can take off all the vent covers and vacuum the dust and debris out of your ductwork, wash the vent covers and you have done a reasonable cleaning.  Many newer build homes have Flex ductwork which is typically made of a wire coil covered by a thin, flexible plastic wall and wrapped in insulation and foil backing. If the flex ducts only have dust or debris, they should be able to be easily cleaned by a qualified professional with the right tools. It is not recommended to try this yourself as you could risk a perforation in the ductwork.  If the flex ducts have mold growth, depending on the level of contamination they could need to be replaced.  Do your research and find at least two more HVAC companies that have a solid reputation and specialize in air duct systems before deciding on any replacements.

Many companies will also suggest using a biocide treatment to your vents to prevent future mold or bacteria growth.  If you have had past problems with mold, it might be helpful.  You still should research the ingredients before you decide if you want it circulating throughout your home’s air. 

If you have hotspots in your home or suspect you may have ductwork damage or leaks, hire a licensed HVAC contractor to conduct a blower door test to help you determine exactly where any leaks could be occurring.

Air Conditioner Leaking Water
AC units are designed to remove moisture from the home, condense it, and drain it from the home. The average central AC unit drains 2 to 4 gallons of water per day. The moisture pulled from the home passes over a coil that guides the water into a drain pan. The pan is connected to a drain that removes the water from the unit and from the home. 

At some point, if not maintained, the drain line will get plugged and leak water back into the attic or closet. These clogs are typically made up of dust, debris, bugs and sometimes algae or mold growing in the moist environment. That buildup turns into a sludge that can slow down or prevent the flow of water, eventually causing a leak. 

Contact your trusted HVAC contractor for a service call. They have the tools to use high pressure water to clean our your condensate drain line so it drains smoothly again.  This is recommended as an annual maintenance item necessary for the best performance of your AC unit.