Frequently Asked Questions: Air Ducts, Dryer Vents & Kitchen Hoods

Atlantic Duct Cleaning offers residential and commercial indoor air quality services for air ducts, dryer vents, and kitchen exhaust systems. As part of our commitment to service excellence, we do our best to share the information that our customers are looking for. We want to help you to decide which service will be the most beneficial to your home or business in Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the Washington, D.C. area. Some of the most commonly-asked questions and their answers are included below, but we’re always happy to answer any questions you may have.

Air Duct Cleaning in the Northern Virginia Area

What is air duct cleaning?

Professional air duct cleaning is used to remove any build up within your ductwork. Over time, these pathways can collect dust, carcinogens, and even mold! Don’t let these issues go undetected. Book a professional duct cleaning service today to be sure you and your family are breathing quality indoor air. Did you know that the average person spends 90% of his or her life indoors? Improve the quality of the air inside your Maryland, Virginia, or DC area home with air duct cleaning service from our team of professionals. During our thorough cleanings, all ductwork passageways will be inspected and sanitized. To clean the supply, intake, and return ducts throughout your home, we use specialized blowers, vacuums, and brushes. We then clean any air handlers, registers, grilles, fans, motors, and coils in your HVAC system.

How often should your air ducts be cleaned?

Typically we suggest a home’s air ducts be cleaned every five to eight years. Homeowners with children, pets, respiratory issues, or a compromised immune system may want to get their HVAC duct system cleaned more often. The better filtration the system has cuts down on cleaning frequency.

Why should you invest in residential or commercial air duct cleaning?

According to The American Lung Association, most people spend almost 90 percent of their time indoors. Cleaning your residential ductwork removes accumulated dust, debris such as cobwebs, and rodent droppings which eases airflow and increases efficiency of the system. That’s not all! A proper air duct cleaning will provide cleaner air and less dust throughout your home or commercial property which provides relief from symptoms related to poor air quality.

How long does an average ductwork cleaning session take?

The typical single family home’s air duct system takes between two to four hours to clean with a crew consisting of at least two technicians. Older homes and those with pets may take longer to clean. Newer homes, townhomes, and condominiums may take less time to clean!

What parts of the ductwork get cleaned?

Within an air system, there are three major parts, including: the supply and return grills; the interior surface of the supply and return vents; and the HVAC system air handler. All three of these components must be cleaned thoroughly! If only part of the system is cleaned, the contaminates on the uncleaned portion will spread to the cleaned sections—undoing the benefits of your duct cleaning service.

Will the duct cleaning process leave a mess in my home or commercial property?

No. Our technicians are equipped with the highest quality and most state of the art duct cleaning equipment. All vacuum devices used in our process utilize HEPA (high efficiency particulate air). This filtration is rated at 99.97% at .3 microns—meaning there will be no mess left behind once the duct cleaning job is complete!

Are chemicals used in the cleaning process?

No. Chemicals are not used unless required by an industrial hygienist or a certified restoration contractor. In the event chemicals are required to perform a project Atlantic Duct Cleaning will only use an EPA registered anti-microbial solution. Application of a mild non-toxic anti-microbial solution may be ordered by a homeowner at an additional charge. If microbial growth is identified or suspected. Application of these chemicals is not recommended as part of a routine maintenance program.

Is it necessary to cut holes in the ductwork?

Yes. We typically have to cut two holes per system in order to clean it properly. One hole will be cut on the supply plenum as close to the furnace/air handler as possible. The second access is made on the return duct near the filter rack/section. All service access covers will be installed in accordance with NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association) and SMACNA (Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association) standards. After the cleaning is done you may notice small one inch round grey colored cap plugs. These plugs are used to seal cleaning access points throughout the system and do not affect system performance.

Why is my ductwork sweating?

The water you see dripping from your ducts is most likely from condensation and is not something to look past. If left untreated, this water build up may lead to leaky ceilings or mold growth. How did this condensation get here to begin with? It likely formed when warm, humid air came into contact with the much colder surface of your home’s ductwork. Once you notice this sweating, it is important for you to call in a team of professional air duct cleaners right away to fix your HVAC issue before your drywall begins to rot and mold begins to grow.

Is duct cleaning worth it?

If you care about the health and safety of your family, friends, or building occupants, then yes! Duct cleaning services use specialized blowers, vacuums, and brushes to clean your system’s air flow path. Not only does a duct cleaning ensure the indoor air quality of your home, it can help boost energy efficiency levels.

Will a duct cleaning reduce my energy bills?

Research by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed that HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to run more efficiently. Why is this the case? Air duct cleaning effectively removes debris from sensitive mechanical components. By investing in a professional air duct cleaning, your system may be less likely to break down and use less energy to produce the same results. Get the most out of your ductwork and cut back on your energy usage by scheduling ductwork cleaning service every three to five years.

Is air duct cleaning necessary?

If you want to breathe clean, filtered air, then yes, it is necessary to have your ducts professionally cleaned every five to eight years. Ductwork cleaning removes any contaminants from these pipes including dust, pollen, bacteria, and mold. Without quality duct cleaning service, you and your family are at a higher risk of breathing polluted air. Keep your family and your coworkers healthy by remembering to schedule regular duct cleaning service with the team of professionals at Atlantic Duct Cleaning.

Learn more about our commercial and residential air duct cleaning services!

Dryer Vent Cleaning in the Greater Washington, D.C. Area

What is a professional dryer vent cleaning?

During a dryer vent cleaning, our team will remove all traces of lint and dust buildup from your dryer and its vents. If lint is not properly removed, it can begin to hold moisture and increase your risk for an electrical fire. Not only will a professional dryer vent cleaning make your home a safer one, it will help increase the energy efficiency of your machine. Without lint build up, your machine will be able to dry clothing in less time and with less energy.

How often should your dryer ventilation system be cleaned?

There are a few factors to consider when determining how often your dryer vents should be cleaning. How old is your dryer? A dryer older than 10 years may need the vents cleaned more often. How often is your dryer in use? Frequently used dryers should be checked periodically! As a rule of thumb, residential dryer vent systems should be cleaned once every two years.

Why should your residential or commercial dryer vents be cleaned?

With a professional dryer vent cleaning, you will reduce the risk of fire from lint build-up in the vents and increase energy efficiency, resulting in lower electric bills. A dryer vent line that is clogged with lint will cause your dryer to work harder, resulting in a shorter life. As a result, a properly maintained dryer vent will help to achieve maximum performance and extend the life span of your residential or commercial dryer system.

How are dryer vents cleaned?

Both residential and commercial dryer vents are cleaned with a brush and a vacuum system that goes through the entire length of the vent. This snaking procedure ensures that all the lint is removed from the vent walls—reducing any build up!

How long does a dryer vent cleaning take?

For a residential property a dryer vent cleaning will take about one hour. However, a commercial property could take longer depending on the size and amount of dryer vents that need to be cleaned.

Atlantic Duct Cleaning offers both residential and commercial dryer vent cleaning service!

Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning in the Southern Maryland Area

Why should you have your restaurant’s kitchen hood cleaned?

A kitchen ventilation cleaning will remove accumulated grease deposits and prevent spontaneous combustion and fire in your hood exhaust system. Cleaning your kitchen exhaust system will reduce the buildup of mold, mildew, and other types of bacteria in the vents—which will help stop potentially dangerous particulates from escaping into your restaurant’s air, lowering the air quality and potentially posing a health hazard to your customers and restaurant staff.

Why does a professional need to clean my kitchen exhaust system?

Restaurant hood exhaust system cleaning requires special tools, equipment and expertise to properly and thoroughly clean the hard-to-access systems. Trained technicians also know how to work safely in your kitchen’s grease-laden environment. NFPA 96 states that “the entire exhaust system shall be cleaned by a properly trained, qualified and certified company or persons.”

How often should your kitchen ventilation system be cleaned?

Systems serving solid fuel cooking operations should be cleaned monthly. Businesses operating on a 24-hour schedule that prepare high-volumes of food should be cleaned on a quarterly basis. Restaurants, usually with a sit-down environment, that prepare food at moderate levels should have their kitchen hoods cleaned semiannually. Lastly, organizations that cook small volumes of food or are only in operation for a few months of the year, such as churches, day camps, seasonal businesses, or senior centers, should have kitchen vent cleaning once every year or every two years.

What is involved in a kitchen exhaust cleaning?

Exhaust cleaning is used by commercial kitchens to remove built up grease from within the ducts, hoods, and vents. Cleaning your restaurant hood is extremely important. If left uncleaned, these exhaust systems can become highly flammable! What is involved in this extensive cleaning process? We clean filters, plenum walls, filter frames, fan blades, drip pans, and most fire suppression equipment. Louvers and dampers can be cleaned as well. Once cleaned, all components will be replaced in their original position.

How long does a kitchen exhaust cleaning take?

This depends on the size of your kitchen and the number of filters you have installed. The average commercial kitchen should plan for about 2 to 3 hours of cleaning service.

Why should I have my commercial kitchen vent hood and exhaust professionally cleaned?

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)-96 section 4.1.5: “the responsibility for inspection, testing, maintenance, and cleanliness of the ventilation control and fire protection of the commercial cooking operations shall ultimately be that of the owner of the system, provided that this responsibility has not been transferred in written form to a management company or other party.” In other words, it is your legal responsibility to keep your kitchen exhaust system clean for the safety of yourself and others. Without proper cleanings, your kitchen is at an increased risk for grease fires.

What is a kitchen vent hood cleaning?

Kitchen hood cleaning removes grease from within the hood of your exhaust system. When you cook, flammable grease is sucked up into your kitchen exhaust, proposing a dangerous threat to the entire building or home. To prevent kitchen fires, commercial kitchens should have vent hood cleaning between two and four times a year, depending on the amount of food prepared each day.

Learn more about our kitchen exhaust system cleaning!

Choose Atlantic Duct Cleaning for Your HVAC Cleaning Services in VA, MD, & D.C.

If you have any additional questions about the services we provide, contact our highly trained technicians. Atlantic Duct Cleaning has been a trusted industry leader since 1995, providing professional indoor environmental solutions that improve air quality in your residence or commercial property. Utilizing the finest equipment available and promoting the highest levels of training and quality standards, Atlantic Duct Cleaning has delivered over 100,000 successful projects in the D.C. area!

If you’re in the Northern VirginiaMaryland, and Washington, D.C. area, schedule an appointment or give us a call at 703-774-9241!

Any commercial duct cleanings will need to call to make an appointment for our technicians to go on site and take a look at the ductwork in order to provide an estimate.