FAQ

How to Make a Living in the Indoor Air Quality Industry

What is Air Duct Cleaning?

Air duct cleaning is a full scale cleanse of ventilation systems and ducts involved in your central air systems and any other ventilation systems. Dryer vent cleaning is an important job to consider doing as well. If your dryer duct becomes riddled with lint it becomes a fire hazard and is potentially dangerous to both you and your loved ones. Professional cleaners will have the proper dryer duct cleaning equipment to get the job done and get it done well.

According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, a 6 room house on average collects about 40 pounds of dust every year! That dust contains millions of dust mites that can carry or provide host to a slew of different bacteria, fungi, and mold. This is not something you probably wanted to hear. The central air you use to heat and cool your house is going through these vents and it is estimated by the EPA that indoor air can be anywhere from two to five more times polluted than outside air. Aside from the negative health risks, this can also make for your bills to be much higher. If the system is too clogged to work at its best, it’s going to have to use up more energy to accomplish the same jobs. 

DIY vs. Professional Air Duct Cleaning

Pros

  1. Cheaper
  2. Can get enough cleaned to make a difference

Deciding to do your own air duct cleaning can be cheaper if done with simpler tools as opposed to paying between $500 and $1000 dollars for the professionals to handle it. It will be nice to know that even with simple hand tools and a new furnace filter, you can remove as much as 80% of dust and pollutants removed!

Cons

  1. Won’t be able to reach some areas without proper equipment
  2. Somewhat long and tedious process
  3. Air duct cleaning equipment is expensive

The downside to a DIY air duct cleaning is that without proper equipment, there are some areas that you will not be able to reach with simple hand tools. It can also be a difficult process including the time it takes to learn how to do it and actually doing it. When you opt to do the whole thing yourself, it’s entirely possible that you might break something and end up costing yourself more money than it would have cost to simply have it done professionally.

However, if you are still geared up and ready to do it on your own here are some of the things you will need:

  1. New Furnace Filter
  2. Vacuum(“Shop Vac” preferably)
  3. Brush(stiff bristled)
  4. Screwdriver(correct type to take off vents)
  5. Paper Towels

Cleaning your air ducts on your own is a long process. If you wish to know more about DIY air duct cleaning you can go here for more information.

Air Duct Cleaning Industry

Air duct cleaning technicians make about $14.00 an hour based on the national average as of June 2017. It is a relatively small industry with much room for expansion and relatively low barriers to entry. If you wanted to start your very own air duct cleaning service you could easily enter the market and not have to worry too much about competition. It’s not all fun and games though so be aware of high costs involved.

This business may have low competition, but getting into the market may be more costly than it is beneficial. As far as training goes you have a few options. You can work under an experienced air duct cleaner, take a six-month course for basic certification, or even get a two-year associate’s degree at a college. It is also recommended by the EPA to hire cleaners from the National Air Duct Cleaners Association Registry. In order to be listed on their registry you have to take a $395 course with the NADCA, and pay the annual membership fee of $825.

The prices mentioned above only get you where you need to be in terms of specifications. You still need to purchase the proper equipment which can run you anywhere from $1000 to $7000 dollars. If you really want the proper equipment it’s going to be closer to the $7000 figure. This would include a portable vacuum system with cameras, negative air machine, and any desired air duct cleaning accessories. This is a really great investment in order to guarantee a completely thorough job. Any air that has been contaminated needs to be removed safely after cleaning, which can be done with the specific vacuum effect negative air machines will provide you.

Alternatives to Opening Your Own Air Duct Cleaning Business

After all of these startup costs and fees, you need to be sure you can effectively market yourself to people in the area you are trying to provide service. This can be a tricky process, especially for something that is not extremely popular yet. However, there are other options that could be a safer bet if you feel this is too much money or too much work. 

There is the option of getting involved in a franchised business, much like someone would do if they wanted to open a Quiznos. The nice part about opening a franchise is that a lot of the legwork involving a new business is clear cut and the business comes with a prior reputation. This means it will be much easier to market yourself to customers if you are a part of a big name business in the industry. Furthermore, if you decide to work with a franchised company you will be able to receive very specific training as to how things need to be done.

An Intro to Duct Cleaning Chemicals

What You Need to Know About Duct Cleaning Chemicals

HVAC duct systems will become dirty over time and can cause occupants of a home or business to suffer from coughing, red eyes and other problems. This makes it imperative for those engaged in the duct cleaning business to impress on these occupants the need for a regularly scheduled cleaning program.

Proper duct cleaning is important to any homeowner or business who has a problem with dirty ducts. Any company engaged in duct cleaning should read the national company NADCA’s study entitled “Chemical Product Application in HVAC Systems”. They conclude that cleaning materials are best used on blowers, coils, hard surfaces and so forth. They also impress that all antimicrobial pesticide solutions must be registered with the EPA if they are to be used in an HVAC unit.

Professionals engaged in duct cleaning realize the importance of having the right solutions to effectively clean, as well as remove, the odor that is often present in ducts that have not been cleaned for a long time. There is a wide choice of air duct cleaning chemical biocides, which makes it important to examine the properties of each in order to select the best type offered.

Different types of duct cleaning biocides include:

  • A mild bacteriostat and fungistat that removes mold, mildew or bacteria odors. Most types are unscented and inhibit the regrowth of odor–causing microorganisms. This is a mild cleaner that does not require people to vacate the area.
  • The second solution is stronger, has low toxicity and is completely odorless after it is dry. This solution requires occupants to leave the property. It is not recommended if the building occupants are sensitive to chemical treatments.
  • The third solution is one of the strongest air conditioning duct cleaning chemicals. It will remove 100% of odor and disease causing organisms on non-porous and hard surfaces. All of the building’s occupants must evacuate for a minimum of one hour after application. This particular chemical is not designed for use on areas such as a fiberglass duct board or porous duct surfaces.

When working with this particular type of air duct cleaning chemicals, it is important that the workers be properly protected with gloves, goggles and other protective equipment. This will help avoid any injury that might happen on contact with the cleaning solution.

As an HVAC Provider, Carpet Cleaner or General Contractor, it is important that we use HVAC duct cleaning chemicals that are EPA approved for the job. This will assure our customers receive the best service possible. With the right equipment and chemicals, this will not be a difficult task.

Your Basic Intro to Contact Air Duct Cleaning

What is Contact Air Duct Cleaning

Home and business owners go through the day without a thought given to the air they breathe. It comes in, is filtered by the lungs and is expelled. Naturally, the cleaner the air the healthier it is for one’s body. This makes it important for a duct cleaning business to keep air in a home or business clean and easy to breathe.

The air ducts in a home or business need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Fortunately, today’s market offers superior equipment and materials for an HVAC business, carpet cleaners, and general contractors.

Foremost on the market are the new superior 2HP, 8HP, and 12.5 HP compressors, which allow a professional duct cleaner to choose one that will fit their particular needs.

Portable Air Compressors:

These include 2HP, 8HP, and 12.5 HP units as follows:

The 2 HP is designed to plug into a regular 15 amp electrical outlet.

The 8HP is a gas powered portable compressor mounted on a two-wheel frame. This is designed to clean coils, blowers etc. This particular unit has a number of attachments and can be conveniently fitted into a van.

The 12.5 HP is a two-stage unit that is designed to fit on a truck. It provides the option of a 12-volt battery or being hooked on to the vehicle’s electrical system and is fully equipped.

Duct Cleaning Equipment Packages:

This is an excellent choice for large or small businesses that furnish a duct cleaning service. These are available from a small EZ Package to an Industrial Package. This allows a business to obtain a bare essentials package or one that contains all the bells and whistles.

These packages are designed to fit a company’s personal needs. They range from a light package designed for pre-cleaning and hand vacuuming main ducts to a commercial package that contains all equipment needed.

The commercial package includes a SuperMAX Negative Air Machine, Hose, Fogger, Chemical 4 gallon Multi-pack, Hose Adapter, Power Brush, 2 Foggers, Marketing Kit, 12 Filters, 14 Foam Register Plugs, an Air Whisk, Vent Vac III, a Back Pac and a Sidewinder.

Also, new to the market are Electrostatic Air Filters which improve air flow while removing things such as pollen, bacteria, mold spores and other damaging microns. In addition, they are easily cut to any size required. With all the things that are floating in the air, it is important that every means possible is used to provide clean air for our customers.

A profitable duct cleaning service requires quality equipment and experience in this area. Necessary equipment is now available online at reasonable prices, which make it possible to perform surface duct cleaning or do a complete duct cleaning. In either case, it is important to do the job professionally and satisfy our customers.

Negative Air Scrubber 101

What is a Negative Air Machine?

A negative air machine is a unit that provides a high CFM (Cubic Feet of air Movement) with very low ‘static pressure’ (water-lift).  There are several machines on the market to provide the amount of CFM one needs to do a specific job.  

Air-Care manufactures 3 different TurboJet Max negative air machines which provide the various CFM of air flow, and all units must have HEPA filtration.  Air-Care’s negative air machines have a 3-stage filter system, and all particulates and contaminates remain within the unit’s HEPA filtration system.

What is a Negative Air Machine Used For?

A negative air machine is used to created “negative air pressure” in any given area, and it may be used to confine contaminants in a given area of a room, building, etc.  Negative air machines can also be used as an “air scrubber” to filter out small air particulates in a room, homes, or commercial buildings.  

Clean air machines have also be known for use in “mold remediation”.  The primary use for Air-Care’s negative air machines is being used for cleaning HVAC ducting systems.  This method of cleaning is called the “push/pull” or “negative air” method of air duct cleaning.

How Many Negative Air Machines Do I Need for a Duct Cleaning Job?

One negative air machine providing a minimum of 2,000 CFM filtered air is sufficient to clean one air duct system measuring 2-5 ton units and up to a 2,000 SQ. foot home.  If the home is larger and has multiple HVAC systems, this is the minimum for each air system.  

The TurboJet Max II negative air machine provides 2,700 CFM and is recommend for these types of home and light commercial duct cleaning work as well.  The TurboJet SuperMax provides over 3,500 CFM of negative air is perfect for most residential homes and commercial work.  Multiple SuperMax units may be used in the larger commercial air duct systems, or ‘sectioning off’ the air system to do one area or ‘zone’ at a time.