Everything You Need to Know About Furnace Duct Cleaning

A happy family enjoying the clean air from their newly cleaned ducts. With winter weather on the way, it’s time to start thinking about maintenance for your home or business’s heating systems. That means in part having your furnace ducts cleaned.

Furnace ducts are the ducts the deliver heat from the furnace to the rooms of your home or building through plastic or metal vents in the walls, floors, or ceilings. Forced air furnaces are the most common home-heaters in the U.S., so proper maintenance is something that many Americans need to be familiar with. However, proper furnace and furnace duct maintenance is something that required professional experience and training to do properly, so when it’s time for either it’s best to call in the experts.

If you need furnace duct cleaning services in Connecticut, call the experts at Preferred HD today at (860) 613-1130 or contact them using this convenient online form.

Why do I need to get my furnace ducts cleaned?

In short: because they’re probably dirty. Furnace duct-work is a buildings respiratory system. Dirt, dust, pollen, mold, hair, allergens, and other contaminants all accumulate over time inside. When you turn your heat on for the first time in summer (or after a long summer of central air use), those contaminants mingle with your home or office’s indoor air. In fact, normal HVAC systems recirculate the same air and contaminants up to seven times per day. This can have big effects on your health.

Regular cleaning of your furnace ducts removes these harmful pollutants and makes your air more healthful and pleasant to breathe (especially in the winter, when opening a window is at its least appealing).

Plus, according to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, regularly cleaned ducts can result in money-saving energy reduction. Dust and other contaminants accumulate and clog up the proper function of your HVAC system, making it work harder and use more energy to do its job. A clean HVAC system is a happy one, and a happy one is a lot cheaper.

How often should I have my furnace ducts cleaned?

This varies depending on a few different factors. With regular use, most experts suggest every 2 – 5 years. Err toward five if you use the same duct-work for both heating and central air conditioning, if you have long-haired pets, if you have hardwood floor instead of carpets, or if you live in a part of the country with high levels of pollen or air pollution.

Get your ducts cleaned right away if you notice any of the following:

  • Mold growing inside the duct-work.
  • An insect or animal infestation.
  • A visible cloud of dust when air exits floor or wall vents.

How long does furnace duct cleaning take?

Usually the process is no more than a few hours, though with special circumstances or large or commercial sized buildings, that will naturally be extended. Contact us for an exact estimate.

To learn more about furnace duct cleaning and other HVAC cleaning services in Connecticut, contact Preferred HD today!

Why You Need to Clean Your Air Conditioner Coils

AC Coil CleaningYour air conditioner works hard to keep your home or business cool and comfortable during the hot summer months, but like everything in life, it needs a little maintenance to stay running in tip-top shape. This means about every six months depending on your specific situation, your AC coils need to be cleaned. Why clean your AC coils? The following three reasons are convincing arguments for the importance of keeping your air conditioning unit free of buildup and dirt.

It Keeps the AC Unit Running

An unmaintained air conditioner is going to have a harder time cooling your home. Because the
coils aren’t clean, the built-up contaminants act as an obstruction and the machine will need to work harder. Imagine trying to sprint through a crowd of people—even if you are a fast runner, the crowd of people are going to prevent you from running at your full potential. The stress from the extra effort of working against such obstructions may cause your AC to break and need repairs. If the damage is too severe, you may need to completely replace your AC unit entirely. Would you rather pay for a regular AC coil cleaning or a brand new AC unit?

It Saves You Money

Your air conditioner lets you live comfortably in your home, and you pay good money each hot, summer month to keep your home cool. By not having your AC coils cleaned, you may end up paying more money on your utility bills. Since the AC unit has to work harder if it has dirty coils, it takes longer and uses more energy to cool your home. You may not notice the change in energy costs immediately, but over time the difference between maintaining and not maintaining your AC coils and unit could mean big bucks.

AC Coil CleaningIt Keeps You Healthy

Of course you want to stay healthy, but are dirty AC coils really going to effect the air quality of your home or office? Yes! Dirty air conditioner coils mean dirty air, so cleaning your coils can reduce airborne contaminants in your home or office. Contaminants such as these can cause irritated sinuses and allergic reactions as well as increased symptoms of asthma and other respiratory problems.

Have your coils cleaned about every six months and keep a regular maintenance schedule to ensure your AC unit runs at its highest potential. This can save you money on repairs and utilities, and cleaner coils means cleaner air for your home or office.

For air conditioner coil cleaning in Connecticut, contact Preferred Hood & Duct. Based in Middletown, CT, Preferred Hood & Duct has over 20 years of experience cleaning air ducts, kitchen hoods, dryer vents, and more. Call us today to learn more at 860-613-1130 or get a free quote by filling out our online form.

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How Often Should I Have my Air Ducts & Vents Cleaned?

If you’re a homeowner with an HVAC system that hasn’t been cleaned in a while, you may be asking yourself: How long can I go before I have to have my air ducts cleaned? The answer depends on a lot of different factors, and will be different from home to home. Here are some of the most common answers you can expect to hear when asking about HVAC and other duct and vent cleaning.

Home HVAC & Air Ducts

According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, most home owners should get their ducts cleaned every three to five years. If any of the following applies to you it might be wise to err toward cleaning your ducts every three years rather than five.

  • A shaggy dog on a wood floor, which may cause air ducts to need more frequent cleaning.You have one or more highly allergenic pets, like long-hair cats or dogs.
  • You or someone in your home is particularly sensitive to dust or other allergens.
  • Your ducts are made from fiberglass instead of sheet metal (fiberglass accumulates more dust).
  • You have hardwood floors instead of carpets (carpets gather dust that otherwise gets sucked into the air system).

No matter how long it’s been since your last service appointment, you should get your ducts cleaned right away if you notice any of the following symptoms.

  • You see or have reason to suspect mold is in the air ducts.
  • You see, hear, or otherwise notice any kind of vermin infestation.
  • You find black debris around the outside of the air vent register.
  • You see a visible cloud of dust when air exits heating or conditioning vents.

When to Clean Your Dryer Vent

A clogged dryer vent in need of dryer vent cleaning services.Cleaning your HVAC vents and duct-work is important to your health and well-being to be sure, but neglecting the maintenance of your dryer ducts can by downright deadly. Don’t believe us? The National Fire Protection Association estimates that more than 15,500 house fires were caused by dryers in 2010. When too much excess lint accumulates in your dryer vent, it can easily catch fire. But how often should you have your dryer vent cleaned?

Again, this depends on a lot of variables. If you have pets and a large family that requires several loads of laundry per week, you may need to clean your dryer ducts as frequently as every six months. However, if you live alone and only do laundry every couple of weeks, you might be able to safely go for two years or more.

  • Here are some signs that your dryer vents need to be cleaned sooner than later.
  • Clothes take longer to dry than normal, or require more than one drying cycle to complete.
  • Clothing seems unusually hot to the touch after drying.
  • You notice a musty odor in clothing after they’re dry.
  • The lint trap is gathering larger amounts of debris than is normal.

If you’re in Connecticut and think it may be time to have your air ducts or dryer vent cleaned, call Preferred Hood & Duct at (860) 613-1130. With free quotes, fair prices, and the customer service that’s second to none, Preferred HD is the best option for Connecticut homeowners. Click here or call to request a quote today.

Clean Ducts Mean Less Allergies

If you're having symptoms of allergies at home, consider cleaning your air ducts. Are you sniffling more than usual in your own home? Have you been coming home from work to a night of sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes? If you’ve tried vacuuming, scrubbing, and wiping down every surface you can find, the culprit might be out of your line of sight. You might need to take a look at your home’s air ducts.

Air ducts which are a part of either your home heating or air conditioning systems can accumulate dust, mold, and other allergens when they’re not in use. When you turn them on as seasons change, those atmospheric contaminants get pumped into the air and can aggravate people with allergies.

How can you know for sure if your ducts are to blame for your allergy symptoms?

  • Allergy symptoms are lessened or absent when you’re out of the house. If you’re only suffering at home, you know it’s something inside.
  • You’ve tried cleaning everything else. Allergens like dust mites can accumulate on bedding, curtains, and upholstery, and bathrooms are a prime location for mold to grow. If you’ve already done deep cleaning of all those possible problem areas to no avail, issues with your ducts are likely.
  • You’ve just turned on the central air or heating system. If your allergy symptoms correlate closely with the start of hot or cold seasons, it might be because of accumulated dust or mold in the vents.
  • There’s visible mold or dust accumulation when you look inside your ducts and vents.

Pollen, dust, and other allergens can accumulate in your home's air ducts. If any of these sound familiar, it might be time to call in an expert. A certified air cleaning specialist can come in for a consultation, often free of charge, and tell you what’s going on with your duct-work, and how to take care of it as quickly and safely as possible.

But don’t take our word for it. According to the EPA you should have your home’s air ducts cleaned if:

  • The surfaces of your ducts or other components of your heating and cooling system have a substantial amount of visible mold on them. An air duct cleaning service may be able to show you this mold, if it is present.
  • You have rodents, insects, or other vermin infesting your ducts.
  • The ducts are clogged with dust and debris.
  • Dust or debris is being released into your home through your system’s air supply registers.

If you’re in Connecticut and think you might need to have your home or business’s air ducts or HVAC system cleaned, call Preferred Hood and Duct at (860) 613-1130. With years of experience and full certification from HVAC Inspection, Maintenance, and Restoration Association, they’re the best team in the state for all your duct cleaning needs. Use the number above or this convenient online form to get a free, easy, no obligation quote.

Why Cleaning Your Kitchen Exhaust System Can Save Lives

Kitchen exhaust cleaning services in ConnecticutFires can be devastating to any business, and many people don’t know about the hazards they’ve created until it is too late. If you own a restaurant or a business with a commercial-sized kitchen, you may be putting yourself and your employees at risk without knowing it. Over time, grease builds up within the kitchen air ducts, hoods, and exhaust systems. It can accumulate to hazardous levels and easily ignite with any minor spark, causing devastating damage and potential injuries or fatalities.

Where Does the Grease Come From?

Exhaust systems are built to pull smoky, grease-filled air out of the kitchen, through the exhaust duct, and out into the air. Grease and other substances are carried up into the vents and ducts and collect on the inner walls. As more and more grease collects, the walls of the vent grow coated in accumulated substances.

Why Is It Hazardous?

The National Fire Protection Association says the majority of restaurant fires start on cooking appliances and flare into the kitchen exhaust. Why are greasy vents so dangerous? If not cleaned regularly, the grease and pollutants can build up within the kitchen exhaust system and become a fire hazard. Not only is the accumulation of grease extremely flammable, but if left unmaintained, grease can continue to accumulate until it restricts airflow through the vent. This not only creates a greater fire hazard, but also effects kitchen air quality.

How Is The Exhaust System Cleaned?

Professional hood and duct cleaners will disassemble areas of your kitchen exhaust system to scrape and wash out accumulated grease and pollutants. Most insurance companies require kitchen exhaust systems to be cleaned at least twice a year to avoid the accumulation of hazardous grease, but the frequency of cleanings should depend on the business’s cooking habits. The following schedule is recommended by Fire Marshals:

  • Solid fuel cooking operations should have monthly cleanings.
  • High-volume cooking operations such as 24-hour cooking, charbroiling, or wok cooking should be cleaned four times a year.
  • Moderate-volume cooking operations should be cleaned twice a year.
  • Infrequent cooking operations like churches, camps, or seasonal businesses should be cleaned yearly.

After the cleaning, the business should receive a certificate with the cleaning service’s name on it and the date of the cleaning. This documentation helps business owners keep track of when their system was cleaned and when they will need to do it again.

For hood, duct, and exhaust cleaning services in Connecticut, contact Preferred Hood and Duct at 860-613-1130. Other services include HVAC system inspections and cleanings, dryer vent cleanings, coil cleanings, and more. Improve your indoor air quality and prevent hazardous conditions by properly maintaining your home and business’s air ducts and vents.

3 Important Reasons to Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned

Before and after duct and vent cleaning

Whether you are at home or at your business, air quality, energy conservation, and safety are three main concerns. Believe it or not, the cleanliness of your air ducts can affect all three of these factors. Many business and home owners put-off air-duct cleanings because the problem is out of sight and therefore out of mind, but ignoring the buildup of harmful dust and pollutants in your air ducts will only lead to more problems. It’s a scary fact that the average six-room house collects 40 pounds of dust each year, and considering that most people spend 60-90 percent of their time indoors, the accumulation of dust in your air ducts can affect your health, safety, and energy costs. That’s why we recommend cleaning your air ducts every three to five years.

1) Improving Indoor Air Quality

Your air ducts have a large impact on the air quality in your home or business. They collect dust, dander, allergens, and chemicals, all of which can be harmful to people with asthma, other respiratory conditions, autoimmune disorders, or allergies. For example, according to Total Health & Better Health Magazine, one out of every six people with allergies suffer directly because of fungi or bacteria in the air duct system. Similarly, poor indoor air quality is ranked by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as one of the top five environmental hazards to public health. By cleaning your air ducts on a regular schedule, your air will be cleaner and you will be healthier.

2) Conserving Energy

As energy costs sky-rocket, most homes and businesses are doing their best to conserve energy and save money. Some people unplug their computers at night, others shut off the lights when they’re leaving the room, but cleaning your air ducts can be another effective means of conserving energy and getting more bang for your buck. Many people don’t realize that it only takes one millimeter of dirt to decrease the efficiency of a heating or cooling coil by up to 21 percent. The accumulation of dust and contaminants forces your heating and cooling systems to work much harder, thereby causing a larger exertion of energy. Cleaning your air ducts also has the following advantages:

  • Decreased costs on technical maintenance
  • Longer lifespan
  • More efficient and effective operation

3) Preventing combustible hazards

If dust accumulates in a confined area and under the right conditions, it can become combustible. In order to combust, the dust must be the right concentration and particle size, but the dangers of combustible dust are not worth the risk. Many people have died in combustible dust explosions over the years in incidents that could have been prevented with proper cleanings. Prevent the accumulation of combustible dust in your air ducts and vents by cleaning them regularly.

For professional duct cleaning services, contact Preferred Hood & Duct at 860-613-1130. We offer residential and commercial air duct cleaning services, dryer vent cleaning, HVAC vent cleaning, coil cleaning, and many other heating and air conditioning services.

 

The Dangers of Combustible Dust: What It Is and How to Prevent It

combustible dustAlmost any construction, metal-working, or manufacturing business can be in danger of creating and gathering combustible dust in their vents and air ducts. If left to accumulate, combustible dust can cause severe explosive destruction costing your business thousands of dollars in damages and threatening the lives of your employees. Dust explosions often occur in grain elevators, coal-fired power plants, woodworking facilities, and chemical manufacturing plants. To better understand the dangers of combustible dust, it is important to know what it is and how it can become so explosive.

What is Combustible Dust?

Combustible dust is any accumulation of fine particles that can catch fire and cause an explosion. While some materials are not combustible in their normal form, they can catch fire and explode if broken down into fine particles of a specific size and concentration.  This can be any of the following materials and more:

  • Sugar
  • Starch
  • Flour
  • Grain
  • Tobacco
  • Plastic
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Wood
  • Rubber
  • Aluminum
  • Zinc

Combustible dust explosions are not only extremely destructive, but they can also cause harm and take lives. In 2008, 14 workers were killed and 40 more were hospitalized in a sugar dust explosion in Georgia. In 2010, three workers died due to a titanium dust explosion in West Virginia. Combustible dust is not something to take lightly. If the right conditions are created, it can occur and cause devastating effects. In order for the dust to combust and cause an explosion, it needs the following:

  • Accumulation of combustible small particles as fuel.
  • Oxygen.
  • A source of ignition, such as a spark or intense heat.
  • Dispersion of combustible dust particles into a cloud of the right concentration.
  • Some form of confinement for this dust cloud.

How Can I Prevent a Dust Explosion?

The best way to prevent a combustible dust explosion is to clean your vents, air ducts, rafters, and other collection surfaces at regular intervals throughout the year. Conduct frequent inspections of open and enclosed areas for dust accumulation and make sure to clean these areas regularly. It is best to create some kind of written guidelines for dust inspection and control. To avoid a chance of ignition, make sure you control friction and mechanical sparks as well as smoking and open flames, and adequately maintain all power tools and electrical equipment.

Don’t put your business or employees at risk. Prevent combustible dust explosions by cleaning your vents and air ducts regularly so harmful particles can’t accumulate.

To learn more about air duct cleaning services for your business, call Preferred Hood and Duct at (860) 613-1130.