Fire Hazards | EPA Consumer Checklist | Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Breathe?
EPA Consumer Checklist
- Learn as much as possible about air duct cleaning before you decide to have your ducts cleaned by reading this guidance and contacting the sources of information provided.
- Consider other possible sources of indoor air pollution first if you suspect an indoor air quality problem exists in your home.
- Have your air ducts cleaned if they are visibly contaminated with substantial mold growth, pests or vermin, or are clogged with substantial deposits of dust or debris.
- Ask the service provider to show you any mold or other biological contamination they say exists. Get laboratory confirmation of mold growth or decide to rely on your own judgment and common sense in evaluating apparent mold growth.
- Get estimates from at least three service providers.
- Check references.
- Ask the service provider whether he/she holds any relevant state licenses. As of 1996, the following states require air duct cleaners to hold special licenses: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan and Texas. Other states may also require licenses.
- Insist that the service provider give you knowledgeable and complete answers to your questions.
- Find out whether your ducts are made of sheet metal, flex duct, or constructed of fiber glass duct board or lined with fiber glass since the methods of cleaning vary depending on duct type. Remember, a combination of these elements may be present.
- Permit the application of biocides in your ducts only if necessary to control mold growth and only after assuring yourself that the product will be applied strictly according to label directions. As a precaution, you and your pets should leave the premises during application.
- Do not permit the use of sealants except under unusual circumstances where other alternatives are not feasible.
- Make sure the service provider follows the National Air Duct Cleaning Association's (NADCA) standards and, if the ducts are constructed of flex duct, duct board, or lined with fiber glass, the guidelines of the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA).
- Commit to a preventive maintenance program of yearly inspections of your heating and cooling system, regular filter changes, and steps to prevent moisture contamination.