Does Duct Cleaning Require a Licensed Professional?
Duct cleaning may not sound complicated, but it does require a licensed professional. The technician performing the job must have an HVAC license from the state and be certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). We’ll explain the requirements for a professional to perform duct cleaning and other services in Greenville and Spartanburg Counties.
Why You Need a NADCA-Certified Professional
For an HVAC company to be NADCA-certified, it must employ at least one NADCA-certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialist. The association sees air duct cleaning as an opportunity to clean your entire HVAC system. Therefore, in addition to cleaning ductwork and the air plenum, a technician will clean the AC coils, drain pan, condensate drain, blower motor, registers, and grills.
Each system is unique, so the technician must know how to use existing openings. These include return grills, duct end caps, and supply diffusers. If a professional is experienced and reputable, they can be trusted to cut access holes if necessary to clean certain parts of your air ducts. Generally, they’ll employ these two main aspects of HVAC cleaning:
- Loosening Contaminants: A certified technician will use brushes, compressed air, vacuums, and other agitation equipment to loosen dust, dirt, and other sources of contamination.
- Collecting Contaminants: While your heating and cooling system is under negative pressure, fine particles, and loosened materials can be removed without the risk of releasing them into living spaces.
Approved Duct Cleaning Methods
A qualified professional also knows the proper equipment, materials, and products to use, which include:
- Access Tools: Depending on the entry points needed (small holes for optical imaging equipment or larger openings for bulkier cleaning equipment), the technician will need the appropriate devices.
- Inspection Devices: Ductwork cleaning first requires a visual inspection so the technician knows what kind of buildup is inside. They may use a hand-held mirror, a periscope-like device, or a CCTV camera.
- Hand Cleaning Tools: These include manual brushes, power brushes, and pneumatic devices like blowguns, air whips, and air skippers. Gentler techniques are used for fiberglass-lined metal ductwork.
- Vacuum Equipment: Negative pressure is created using vacuum collection devices. The vacuum system may be mounted on a truck or be a portable unit. Some hand-held HEPA vacuums and wet vacuums extract water and debris from ducts.
- Antimicrobial Chemicals: Licensed technicians use EPA-registered sanitizers, disinfectants, and deodorizers on nonporous surfaces. Antimicrobial cleansers are used after mechanical surface cleaning methods are completed and only if necessary.
Can Only NADCA-Certified Professionals Clean My Ducts?
The NADCA Standard for Assessment, Cleaning & Restoration (ACR) is a worldwide benchmark for best practices. It ensures a duct cleaning professional is trained in the latest tools and methods and is a licensed HVAC contractor. At Waldrop, our technicians are trained, licensed, and certified to clean ducts and make indoor air quality improvements in your home.
There are numerous state requirements to become a licensed HVAC professional. The exam for a South Carolina HVAC license covers topics such as air ducts, insulation, adjusting and balancing a system, and working with AC and heating equipment. Your license needs to be renewed every two years.
An HVAC technician must be licensed by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. First, they must complete a two-year vocational program or an apprenticeship and obtain a journeyman certificate. Another year of on-the-job experience, under the supervision of a master contractor, is required. To obtain a master mechanic certificate, one must have at least four years of journeyman experience.
Always Check an HVAC Contractor’s License
A duct cleaning professional must also be licensed by the South Carolina Residential Builders Commission. Being licensed and certified ensures a technician knows how to cut into ductwork and clean dirt, mold, and other contaminants. If a technician is operating without the proper licensure or illegally, they can put your safety, the integrity of your ductwork, and your entire HVAC system at risk.
Call Waldrop for Professional Duct Cleaning
Duct cleaning can improve indoor air quality, eliminate unwanted odors, avoid expensive repairs, and extend the life of your HVAC system. It, along with ductwork repair and replacement, is included in our indoor air quality services. Clients in the Greenville and Spartanburg area rely on us to keep their air ducts in top shape and can save on routine services as members of our Family Service Plan. To learn more or request service, call (864) 536-0887.