Air duct cleaning is actually a misnomer
The air ducts are only part of the air conditioning system through which the air you breathe flows. The air from your rooms is sucked into the air conditioning system, flows through the blower fan, is sucked in via the cooling coils and only then fed back into the rooms through the duct system.
A complete cleaning of the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system is required to improve air quality, especially in a humid climate like here in Houston, Texas.
Why waste money cleaning the air ducts. When the air is still flowing through dirt, debris, and microbial growth on the coils, fan, and other parts of the system?
Clean air ducts support the efficiency of the air conditioning system
Cleaner air is only one advantage of what is known as “air duct cleaning”. A key benefit of having a clean AC system (especially with today’s high electricity prices) is that it improves the energy efficiency of your system. The biggest problem area is the cooling or evaporator coils. These are the coils you won’t see that are in the attic. Wherever the main body of your air conditioner is. The coils that you see outside of your home, the capacitor coils, are different. The air in your home never passes over these coils.
It’s called the split system, and that’s how it works. The air in your house is sucked into the air conditioning system and flows over the evaporator coils. Through which cold refrigerant flows. The air is cooled as it passes over the cold coils, and the excess moisture in the air condenses on the coils, much like the moisture in your bathroom when you shower on the relatively cold mirror. At the same time, heat and moisture are dissipated, thus “conditioning” the air in your home.
And what about the big unit outside duct cleaning Asheville? Well, the heat is absorbed by the refrigerant in the coils and flows through pipes to your outdoor unit, the condenser. Here the refrigerant is “condensed” by a pump and the heat is squeezed out of the refrigerant and blown into the atmosphere by a large fan. When you hear the condenser fan running and you put your hand over the device. You can feel the heat that has been removed from inside your home being blown away.
But why are the evaporators (inside) so important for energy efficiency?
The evaporator coils can be several rows deep. As we’ve seen, when the hot, humid air passes over the cold coils, the moisture is constantly condensing. The moisture on the bobbins makes them a perfect medium for picking up dirt and debris in the air. The moisture and dirt on the coils and in the condensate pan into which the water flows. We also provide perfect conditions for microbial growth. When dirt and debris build up on the multiple rows of bobbins, two things happen.
First, the area between the tubes becomes clogged with debris and there is less room for air. Your air conditioner will have to run longer to get the same amount of air to the cooling coils as it did when they were clean.
Second, the air flowing over the coils is now actually in contact with the accumulated dirt, not the coils themselves. Less heat and moisture is extracted from the air as the dirt actually prevents. The air from making contact with the “cold” coils come. Now your air conditioner needs to run even longer because the air passing through the coils is not cooled or dehumidified nearly as quickly as it comes in contact with clean coils. Your system has to run longer and harder to cool your home. Which wastes energy and wears out your air conditioning system.
Don’t waste money on incomplete sewer cleaning
So you can see that especially in humid climates like in Houston, air duct cleaning without pipe coil cleaning is not enough to reduce your energy consumption and improve your air quality. The amount of moisture that condenses on the evaporator coils in our climate makes cleaning the coils essential. Thoroughly cleaning the HVAC system is the only way to go if you are considering air duct cleaning. Everything else is a waste of money in our opinion.
David A. Selter is President of DRYMORE Company in Houston, Texas with decades of experience cleaning ductwork and HVAC systems on the Gulf Coast.