The sole reason you pay a professional to clean the air ducts for you is because it is too tricky and complicated to clean it yourself. So how do you know that the professional did a good job of it? How do you make sure that the air ducts are as clean as the professional claims them to be? No individual paying a good amount of money to get the ducts thoroughly cleaned will just take the professionals word for it, and neither should you. So how do you make sure that all the components are cleaned? Following checklist will guide you to thoroughly check each and every component to make sure everything is as it claims to be-100% clean!
General: Did the service provider have access to all the areas of the heating and cooling system? These include the humidifiers, fans, ductwork, coils etc. Ask the professional regarding these areas and also the plenum. Plenum is one of the most essential components and requires to be thoroughly cleaned, because this is the space where air moves and is mixed. This can be the joist space, the duct or a wall cavity.
Cooling and Heating Components: Check the cooling coils to see if they are clean. An easy way to do that is to flash a light in the cooling coil. If the light shines through on the other side then coil has been properly cleaned. Also make sure that the coil fins are evenly spaced and straight. Many times they are smashed or bent over, which can affect their performance. Also make sure that the heating components are visibly clean.
Blower: The blower blades should be free of debris and oil. Also check the blower compartment for dust and debris.
Plenums: The plenums filters should be according to the recommendations of the HVAC system manufacturer and able to fit in properly.
Metal Ducts: The only way to make sure that the metal ducts are thoroughly cleaned is to choose a number of random sites including the supply and return sides in the system.
Fiber Glass: Check the fiber glass for any abrasions or tears and also ensure that the material of the fiber glass is in good condition and visibly clean.
Access Doors: The access doors should be properly attached to the metal ducts with the help of screws, mastic, rivets etc. Many times they are attached only with the help of duct tape which is not the recommended way to do it. The best way to see whether the access doors are properly closed is to check them when the system is running. Make sure that there is no air leakage through the access doors apart from maybe just slightly.
System Operation: This is the most important part as it ensures that the system is operating as well as it should be. Monitor the system for a few days and check for any unusual noises, creaks or leaks. Be sure to speak to your service provider beforehand that you will be monitoring the system for a few days and come up with an agreement for a follow up if needed.
This checklist will help you understand your system and its workings and at the same time ensure that your air duct cleaning service provider did a good job.