Duct Cleaning and Indoor Air Quality Experts
TwitterFacebookGoogleLinkedInYouTube

Clean Coils Make Sense — and Save Cents

Air conditioning and refrigeration coils are sized to match the BTUH cooling requirements of a home or building. Both the condenser and the evaporator coils are engineered to provide optimum heat transfer as required by the area being cooled. Optimum heat transfer and system efficiency, however, is predicated on clean coil surfaces.

The air moving across these coils will in most cases, contain soils such as dust, dirt, pollen, grease, and moisture. Airborne contaminants will settle on the coil surfaces, adversely affecting the coils’ ability to transfer heat. Pollen, bacteria, and mold spores on the evaporator coil will not only reduce heat transfer but will also affect the quality of the air within a home or building.
In addition, the cost of operating dirty air conditioning and refrigeration equipment is greater than you or your customer might suspect. Dirty condenser coils increase power costs. When the coil becomes fouled with dirt and grime, it cannot provide its designed — or, in some cases, even adequate — heat transfer.

Soiling insulates the coils, increasing discharge pressures. Higher discharge pressures increase the amperage draw and run time of the compressor, while simultaneously reducing capacity. Equipment operating with dirty coils can use more than 30% more energy than equipment with clean coils.

The Costs of Dirty Coils Add Up

The cost of dirty coils goes beyond energy use. As dirt and grime collect on the condenser, they restrict heat transfer and cause the compressor to work harder. This adds more heat to the system and causes the head pressure to rise. Rising head pressure will result in a loss of cooling capacity of up to 30%. A 10-ton system with a 30% loss provides only 7 tons of cooling. This loss of capacity will typically be most noticeable on the hottest days when cooling is needed the most.

The bad news does not stop there. Higher operating pressures and temperatures caused by a dirty coil may reduce the equipment’s life expectancy. The elevated system temperature and pressure may lead to the breakdown of the compressor’s lubricant. In addition, acid formation can occur, leading to an acid burnout. Lubricant breakdown and acid formation will seriously compromise the compressor and ultimately lead to equipment failure. Compressor failure means no cooling. No cooling means no comfort for the home or building occupants. And, compressor replacement means a considerable cost to the home or building owner.

Coil cleaning and preventive maintenance enables the servicing technician to offer his or her customers the following benefits:

• Significant energy savings

• Peak equipment efficiencies

• Enhanced reliability

• Longer service life

• Reduced breakdowns

• Improved indoor air quality.

A less tangible yet important benefit is energy conservation. If a large number of systems were properly maintained, significant energy savings would be realized. This energy savings would be most significant in times of high energy demand: the hottest days of the year, when comfort cooling is most critical. Many home and building owners welcome opportunities to practice conservation, specifically in cases when they will realize savings without sacrificing comfort. Most of these equipment owners are unaware of the significant energy savings and comfort benefits of a regular coil cleaning and maintenance program.

 

Don’t Forget Indoor Air Quality Issues

A fouled and dirty evaporator coil creates an excellent harbor and breeding ground for bacteria and mold that can impact a building’s indoor air quality. Cleaning, sanitizing, and protecting the evaporator coil, condensate pan, and surrounding areas is critical. Care should be taken to use the proper indoor cleaners and to treat surfaces with the proper EPA-registered products created for the HVAC industry.

An IAQ perspective will enhance the health, safety, and comfort of the home or building for its occupants.

In addition to the coils, another location in a system that is prone to the build-up of bacterial slime is the condensate pan. As condensate collects in the pan, it can become a breeding place for harmful bacteria. This build-up can cause odor as well as plugged drains and overflows, which in turn can cause water damage. There are multiple products to prevent this bacterial slime from building up in condensate pans and causing these problems.
Cleaning coils and condensate pans and showing customers the value of a coil-cleaning preventive maintenance plan is the first step in helping them solve any IAQ issues they could be having. Don’t underestimate the importance of these steps.

 

Article by: Troy Rybicki is manager of technical training at GW Berkheimer Co. Inc., Portage, IN.

RCS provides commercial, industrial, healthcare, educational and residential coil cleaning services and maintenance programs.

RCS Air Duct Cleaning St Louis Mo

The NADCA Guide to Proper HVAC System Cleaning

 

This time of year the money mailers and coupons are everywhere, the most important thing you can do is to compare the SERVICE not the price.

 

Cleaning your homes hvac system includes more than just the ducts. To completely clean and treat the entire system this is what should be cleaned:

Vent covers, duct work, furnace fan and fan compartment, air conditioning coil, coil compartment and drain pan, lower heat exchanger compartment.

 

This is everything air will pass through in your homes ventilation system. Some companies claim to “clean” or “air wash” the fan or blower in place……this is not good enough if you want to stop air borne particulate, removal, washing and re assembly is the correct way to ensure proper cleaning.

 

Now that you know the proper items to be cleaned we will cover the proper tools of the trade. There are specialized tools just for duct cleaning contractors these do not include:

Carpet cleaning machines, home center shop vacs, attachments for truck powered carpet cleaning machines, leaf  blowers or suckers etc.

They should include HEPA filtered vacuums, large HEPA filtered vacuums to capture the dirt or a truck powered vacuum, agitation devices powered by compressed air or brushes. The goal is to agitate the dirt and debris and capture it.

 

Complete cleaning also needs to have inspection, the company performing the cleaning should have access openings for inspection and cleaning. If a contractor says “we don’t cut into your duct work” this is most likely the wrong contractor for the job. Access openings are necessary for vacuum attachment, insertion of cleaning tools, and inspection.

 

Remember you want trained specialists working on your expensive furnace and duct system, proper training and knowledge take time to develop and to perfect.

RCS spends a considerable amount of money on training and state of the art tools to  ensure a quality job every time.

RCS is one of only a few companies statewide with a powerful gas powered vacuum truck to perform the cleaning. Equipment makes a difference and we can prove it!

RCS provides ventilation cleaning services to Missouri and southern Illinois customers. NADCA trained and certified technicians ensure that standards are being followed and met.

 

 

www.rcsstl.com

www.ductcleanstl.com

Has Duct Cleaning Been Recommended To You?

 

Where do you start? How do you hire the best contractor? Duct cleaning is not as simple as most carpet cleaning, window cleaning etc companies would lead you to believe. It takes a true specialist with proper training, education, and equipment.

 

 

 

You first starting place should be NADCA the national air duct cleaners association. They set the standards, provide education and certify companies. This alone will not guarantee a proper cleaning job.

Consult with your neighbors and friends to see who they used, and where they happy with the job performed. Many sites have contractor reviews: angie’s list, service magic, google places, yahoo, BBB etc. Read the comments left by customers.

 

I highly recommend using a contractor that only performs duct cleaning, remember you want a specialist working on your expensive heating and cooling system.

 

Ask the proper questions, who will come to my home? A sub-contractor? Are they capable of cleaning the entire air handling system?

A complete and thorough cleaning to help asthma and allergy suffers should include cleaning of the supply and return air  duct work interior , vent covers, washing of the fan and fan compartment, washing of the air conditioning coil and coil compartment.

By cleaning all of these components you have cleaned everything that air passes through in your HVAC system.

Experience plays a big part in the quality of service, how long have your technicians been cleaning air ducts?

 

 

vacuum truck

Powerful vacuum truck provides the suction for cleaning.

 

 

What type of equipment do they use? “Negative air” (under suction)  cleaning systems are considered industry standard for duct cleaning.

Roto brush, shop vacuums and carpet cleaning equipment will not provide a thorough cleaning job.

 

 

 

 

Last but not least don’t expect a thorough and professional job for $49.99!  Do you think a company can spend an entire day at your home for that? Through takes time, an average duct cleaning for a 1000 square foot home is about $400.

This may not include the furnace cleaning. Time will range from 4 hours to 6 hours or more depending on the access and dirt load.

 

RCS Air Duct Cleaning has invested thousands of dollars into training, tools and technology. This is the ONLY service we provide, and we are experts in what it takes to be done properly. Contact Us for a free estimate.

Clearing the Air: What an HVAC cleaner should really do in your home

Filthy furnace fan, can you imagine not having this cleaned?

 

(ARA) – Those statistics about indoor air pollution and it’s relation to respiratory problems convinced you it was time to get your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) cleaned. You were even looking forward to the increased energy efficiency that a clean system can provide. But $49 and one very noisy service call later, you’re still sneezing and you haven’t seen any dip in your energy bill.

 

 

 

What happened?

“A very low service charge may indicate the service provider isn’t performing a thorough cleaning and maintenance of your home’s entire HVAC system,” says Matt Mongiello, president of NADCA, the HVAC Inspection, Maintenance & Restoration Association. “He or she may have done nothing more than blow air through the ducts and clean off vent grills inside the home. A cleaning performed to NADCA standards – which are cited by the EPA as a best practice – encompasses much more than just the ductwork.”

 

HVAC companies are among the top 10 industries with the most complaints, according to the Better Business Bureau. So how can a homeowner know if a service provider is doing a good job, or just blowing hot air?

The EPA recommends you interview companies to ensure they have experience working on your type of system, that they will take steps to protect your home and everyone in it from contamination, and that they comply with NADCA’s air duct cleaning standards.

NADCA members carry general liability insurance, have at least one person on staff trained and certified as an Air Systems Cleaning Specialist, and clean and restore heating and cooling systems following the association’s standards and guidelines. A job done to NADCA standards should include:

* A thorough inspection of the HVAC system before doing any work, and full disclosure of any problems discovered during the inspection.

* Examination of metal ductwork at several random sites to ensure the interior surfaces are free of visible debris.

* Cleaning of both the supply and return air ductwork.

* Removal, cleaning and resetting of all supply registers, return air grilles and diffusers.

* Cleaning of the supply and return air plenums.

* Inspection and/or installation of access panels.

* Cleaning of the air-stream side of the heat exchanger and cleaning of the secondary heat exchanger.

* Removal, cleaning and reassembly of the blower motor.

* Cleaning and inspection of the blower blades and blower compartment.

* Cleaning of the evaporator coil, drain and pan. If the cooling coil is clean, light should shine through it when you point a flashlight at the coils.

* Inspection and repair of the coil fins if needed.

* Replacement of air filters.

* Washing of the air cleaner.

While some companies may tout “duct-cleaning” for very low prices, be wary of these offers,

Mongiello, advises. “A cleaning typically costs between $450 and $1,000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system, how easily accessible it is, the climate in your region and how dirty it is,” he says.

Many of those variables will influence how long the job takes, too. Before you hire a contractor, contact at least two NADCA member companies to provide you with a time estimate for the job. “You’ll get an idea of how long the job should take,” Mongiello says. “But in general, a service provider who’s in and out of your home in an hour or less may be leaving out some steps that are necessary to do the job right.”

Finally, Mongiello advises, feel free to stick around while the technicians do their job. “As long as the homeowner’s presence isn’t compromising anyone’s safety, there’s no reason a consumer can’t observe how a job is done,” he says.

To find a NADCA-certified HVAC cleaning company in your area, visit www.nadca.com.

RCS has NADCA certified air systems cleaning specialists on staff, we clean to nadca standards every time.

Contact us  or  314-518-1681

What was Left Behind After a $39.99 Duct Cleaning

Dirt and debris left behing

Dirt left behind after cheap duct cleaning, this is on top of the air conditioning coils. Air passes right through this and into the ducts of the home. This is AFTER the filters!

When called to this customers home the complaint was excessive dirt blowing from her vents.   One week earlier she had a $39.99 duct cleaning performed that ended up costing her $200. When she called them to complain about the cleaning she was told that it was “normal” to have dirt blowing out after a cleaning. And that if she wanted all of the dirt gone it would be $800 to “thoroughly” clean her system.  She did more research and eventually was referred to RCS .

 After a quick inspection the picture above is what we found, they pushed all of the dirt from inside the duct system into the top of the furnace, the air conditioning coil compartment. That other company even claimed to use a “negative air system” to capture all the debris. Does this look captured to you? Is this their “visibly clean” standard?

If this debris where left alone in the summer months it would become wet with moisture from the air conditioning coils, and potentially become a source for mold and fungus growth. rcsstl.com cleaned her entire duct system including wet cleaning of her air conditioning coil.

Consumers do your research! Cheap prices also mean cheap work. Hire a specialist to clean your expensive furnace and duct system. Do not  believe for a minute that for $39 a two man crew with a specialized duct cleaning truck will come to your home for 3 – 4 hours and provide you with a through cleaning.

RCS ONLY service is air systems cleaning, we have the knowledge , training and equipment to be experts in duct cleaning.

Pictures and Content Copyright RCS 2012