There are two main ways that your ducts can get clean and those include contact cleaning and negative cleaning. Contact cleaning is just what it sounds like. Service people will use a machine that will clean your ducts by coming into contact with the inside of your ducts. The downside to these systems is that the openings to have to be minimum sizes, depending on your device. Sometimes the holes can be as small as 5 inches, but with others it could be larger or smaller. Most contact cleaning systems include a hose that can go deep into your ducts. The newest ones can even be controlled via a remote. They have motors which cause brushes at the end of the hose to swirl around and remove a lot of gunk from your ducts.
With the negative air tactic, a negative air machine is used to create negative pressure inside of your ducts to force the dirt and yucky stuff off the sides while any entrance to the ducts are completely blocked. Once the negative pressure is applied, your technician will then use a tool to brush all of the excess dust and remains out of your ducts. This method might take a bit more time than contact cleaning but works just as well, in fact, some industry professionals think that this method gives a better clean than contact cleaning.
One thing to note is that both of these methods of duct cleaning are completely valid, and no matter which method your technician uses, they still need to clean all of the components of your ducts including supply ducts, return ducts, grills and registers and your air handler. The type of cleaning that your HVAC company provides could affect your bottom line, because certain machines might take a bit longer or require more than one technician.
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