Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How often should I have my air ductwork cleaned?

The standard answer in this industry is every 3 to 5 years.  However, you need to take several things in to consideration, a more frequent air duct cleaning should be performed if:

1) there are residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system

2) there are smokers in the house

3) there are shedding pets in the house

4) there has been recent remodeling work

5) there are numerous occupants in the home

6) you are not very tidy

7) the cold air return vents are located on the floors versus on the walls

8) you are moving into a new home

These are just a few of the reasons why one might consider a more frequent air duct cleaning schedule.

If you are unsure as to weather or not you are due for an air duct cleaning, remove one of the cold air registers in you home and have a look inside, if you don't like what you see then hire a professional air duct cleaning company.

Q. Should I have my air ducts cleaned before I move in to my new house?
As your house is newly built, it's not unusual that quite a lot of the construction debris like sawdust, drywall, and even concrete lumps would remain in the air ducts.  Sometimes even items such as left behind lunch bags and pop cans can end up in the air duct system.  Leaving them uncleaned would obstruct the airflow in the ducts and having the dust circulate through your furnace can cause even more dust in your home.  As a matter of a fact, most new houses are located in a community that is under construction, which means its environment is much dustier. So it's a good suggestion to have your new house cleaned before you move in.

Q. How do I know if they are dirty?

- If your furnace/air conditioner filter loads up very quickly with dust and debris shortly after replacement, it is a good idea to have a thorough duct cleaning.

- If you have ever experienced a problem with moisture in your ducts, this may result in mold growth in the duct work. In this situation you must correct the moisture problem first then have the ducts cleaned afterwards.

- A newly constructed house or a house following major renovations is a prime candidate for duct cleaning.  This is due to the large amount of dust that can be raised during building or the renovation project (as indicated in the new home section).  The dust and debris is even more likely to enter the duct system if the furnace or A/C is running at any time during the renovation.

- If you are having trouble with furnace airflow, a duct cleaning will quite often solve the problem. Cleaning of furnace and air conditioning components such as air cleaners, filters and AC Coils can make a big improvement in air flow provided that the problem is related to dirt build up on these components.

- If you have ever looked into a cold air return register and noticed an accumulation of dust and debris, you may want to have your ducts cleaned as it is a good indication as to what the entire system looks like.

- If your furniture accumulates a thick coating of dust shortly after you've dusted, this may be a good indication that your ductwork is dirty.

Q. Should I have my house sanitized?

Sanitizers are anti-microbial chemicals applied to the interior surface of the air ducts, designed to control microbial contamination. Before any sanitizers are used, the system should be thoroughly cleaned. It is critical that any anti-microbial treatment used in your system be registered by Health Canada for the intended use in ventilation systems. Ask to see the chemical’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

We use Benefect Botanical disinfectant, which is hospital grade pure Botanical product, meaning no chemicals whatsoever.  It has a  99.9999% kill rate on mold, fungi and germs.  It is less toxic than vinegar.  No rinsing or wiping is needed nor necessary.  It is 100% all-natural, biodegradable, renewable ingredients.  Benefect is approved by the EPA and Health Canada as a ventilation disinfectant and is actually safe enough to ingest. (link here to:

Q. Can Carpet Cleaning companies do the job?

Be very skeptical of carpet cleaners that claim to be able to clean your air ducts with their extraction units, those units are simply not designed for anything other than carpets or other various forms of floor coverings.  Just as our duct cleaning equipment is not capable of cleaning your carpets, neither is carpet cleaning equipment capable of cleaning your air ducts.

"If a carpet cleaning company fails to follow proper duct cleaning procedures, their cleaning can actually cause more indoor air quality problems.  Inadequate vacuum collection systems  can release more dust, dirt and other contaminants into the indoor air than if they had left the ducts alone"  Reprinted from an EPA study released in October 1997.

Q. Why is there such a price difference between quotes for duct cleaning?

Many customers wonder why Duct cleaning company A charges $99.00 for their service, while Duct cleaning company B charges $500.00 for the same service.

Company ‘A’ is often considered a ‘blow-and-go” organization.   Consumers should beware of “blow-and-go” air duct cleaning companies as these companies often charge a nominal fee and do a poor job of cleaning the heating and cooling system. These companies may also persuade the consumer into unneeded services with and/or without their permission.  These extra services may include things like charging for:

-Creating extra access holes

-Cleaning the A/C coils

-Cleaning the furnace conveyance compartment

-inspecting the humidifier

-cleaning the air cleaner

-doing a carbon monoxide test

and the list goes on....

Companies such as Company B that charge a hefty price, are often companies that are subcontracting their services out, in other words you may think that you are hiring that "Big Department Store Chain" when in actual fact they are subcontracting their work out to other duct cleaning companies.  Companies that operate in this fashion are typically more expensive because there are several people sharing a piece of the same pie.

Power Vac East believes that offering a full comprehensive service combined with quality workmanship at a fair price, will continue to keep us at the forefront of this industry.

Q. How long should it take to clean a typical residential HVAC system?

The amount of time it takes to clean a residential HVAC system depends on many variables such as the size of the home, the number of systems, the extent of the contamination and the number of HVAC cleaners performing the job.


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