HVAC Air Duct Cleaning & Dryer Vent Cleaning Procedures in these areas:
Southern MD, Calvert County, St Marys County, Charles County & Anne Arundel County


The objective of "source removal" duct cleaning is the removal of all dirt, debris and other contaminants from the ductwork and HVAC system.

This is recognized as the only acceptable form of cleaning and decontaminating of air duct systems.


Before Air Duct Cleaning Prince Frederick

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After Air Duct Cleaning Prince Frederick

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The typical cleaning method is described below:


The supply and return ductwork are "zoned" or separated from the air handling unit so they can be cleaned separately. This is typically done to keep dirt and debris from entering the coils, heating elements and blower.

An access hole is cut into the supply plenum and a powerful vacuum is connected to the duct with a quick-connect attachment collar. The supply registers are covered, except for one or two furthest from the air handler/furnace. The negative air machine is then turned on to create a negative airflow within the supply ductwork.

Each branch is cleaned separately starting with the branch furthest from the air handler. The register and boot area are vacuumed then dirt or debris runs into the main branch.

The branches can then be cleaned by running the forward air-sweep assembly down each run to push dirt and debris forward into the main run. (The branches can also be cleaned using the reverse air-sweep if access to the duct is available.

The main run is then cleaned using the reverse air-sweep assembly to dislodge debris accumulated in the duct. It also pulls the loosened debris backward toward the power vacuum, to be captured in the multi-stage filtration/collection system.

Once all the supply side of the system has been cleaned, the return duct system is then cleaned using the same method.


At this stage the coil can be cleaned. The motor and blower are also cleaned using the following methods:

  • Type 1 Cleaning - Air washed and contact vacuuming.
  • Type 2 Cleaning - Wet cleaning with acceptable cleaning solutions.


If biocides are used, then select only products registered by the Environmental Protection Agency for such use. Product use should be consistent with the manufacturer's directions and pay careful attention to the method of application. (PROPER CLEANING MAY RESULT IN THE REMOVAL OF 98% OF THESE TYPES OF MICROBIAL LIFE.)

Secure access holes using galvanized sheet metal patches (screw and tape patches to create air tight seal).

Restart HVAC system to make sure everything is functioning properly.

Every season you should have your heating/air conditioning contractor check your system to make sure everything is functioning properly. Regular maintenance and upkeep is essential for maintaining a clean running and efficient system.


Don't let “BLOW AND GO” duct cleaners take your money.



Dirty Floor Register Huntingtown
Hepa Duct Vac Calvert

Service Time


This type of extensive cleaning service generally take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, depending on the size of the residence. According to the EPA the average duct cleaning job will cost anywhere between 400 to 1000 dollars. This depends on your location, the size of home and number of systems to be cleaned. Commercial jobs are priced differently.

There are some companies that characterize themselves as air duct cleaners, yet the services they provide are limited to "vent cleaning." Rather than use compressed air and air agitators to clean the return and supply duct lines, in conjunction with cleaning inside the air vents, these companies will simply remove the grills/vents and clean inside the vents with a basic vacuum. This is an improper way to clean ducts and is not mandated by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association. Without targeting the dirt/dust/debris that has built up on the walls of the return and supply duct lines with compressed air, the duct system are not truly clean.


Air Duct with Insects Debris Calvert
Cleaned Air Duct Calvert

For more information on having the air ducts in your home cleaned, please go to the EPA website.


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for Air Duct Cleaning or Dry Vent Cleaning

Dryer Vent Cleaning Procedures In these areas:
Southern MD, Calvert County, St Marys County, Charles County & Anne Arundel County



Why Clean Dryer Vents?


The Hows and Whys of a Dryer Fire


A clothes dryer works by forcing hot air through a turning drum which dries wet clothes by the moving hot air. Lint is created from the clothes as the water is removed and is trapped by the dryer’s filter. Some of the lint is carried through the venting system with the moist air and the accumulation of lint, both in the dryer and in the dryer vent, reduces the airflow and cre­ates a highly flammable fuel source.

Clothes dryer fires account for about 15,600 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 400 injuries annually.

Eighty percent of clothes dryer fires in structures occur in residential buildings.

Annually, 12,700 clothes dryer fires occur in residential buildings resulting in 15 deaths and 300 injuries.

“Failure to clean” is the leading factor contributing to clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.

In addition to the accumulation of lint, blockage in dryer exhaust vents also can occur from the nests of small birds and animals or from bends in the venting system itself. A compromised vent will not exhaust properly to the outside and if enough heat is produced to ignite the lint itself or nearby combustible items, such as the clothes in the dryer or combustibles left nearby, the engi­neered safety mechanisms are compromised and fire ensues.


Dry Fire Calvert MD

Dirty Dryer Exhaust Calvert

Annually, 12,700 clothes dryer fires occur in residential buildings resulting in 15 deaths and 300 injuries.

“Failure to clean” is the leading factor contributing to clothes dryer fires in residential buildings.

In addition to the accumulation of lint, blockage in dryer exhaust vents also can occur from the nests of small birds and animals or from bends in the venting system itself. A compromised vent will not exhaust properly to the outside and if enough heat is produced to ignite the lint itself or nearby combustible items, such as the clothes in the dryer or combustibles left nearby, the engi­neered safety mechanisms are compromised and fire ensues.


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When Residential Clothes Dryer Fires Occur


People typically do laundry at all times of the day and all year long. Clothes dryer fires increase in frequency begin­ning in the early morning and occur fairly regularly between the hours of 8 a.m. and midnight. There is a constant peak between noon and 5 p.m. and again after the dinner hour. Interestingly the peak month for clothes dryer fires is January. Notably, clothes dryer fires show a slight increase during the winter and spring months from November until the end of April. The quantity and type of clothing worn in cooler months may be the defining factor in the monthly occurrence of dryer fires.


Leading Factors Contributing to Residential Building Dryer Fires


Proper maintenance for clothes dryers involves removing the lint from the traps, vents, and surrounding areas of the dryer. The leading factor contributing to ignition of dryer fires is operation deficiencies-specifically, "failure to clean." Failure to clean a dryer accounts for 70% of dryer fires.


Clothes Dryer Venting Systems


For optimal venting the exhaust should vent directly outside the house. New construction trends now situate wash­ers and dryers in nontraditional areas of the house, such as upstairs bedrooms, hallways, bathrooms, kitchens, and closets which require longer dryer vents, turns and bends in order to reach an outside wall. Dryer vents cannot be longer than the equiva­lent of 25 feet (5 feet is added to the actual vent length for each 90-degree bend in the vent). When lint has to pass through an exhaust that is under a floor or through walls and is more than 6-feet long, it is almost impossible to propel all the lint out of the vent. As a result, lint can accu­mulate in pockets along the vent where they are harder to reach and clean. Thus, it is crucial for homeowners to also regularly inspect and clean out the dryer vent.

All manufacturers now state in their manuals not to use plastic flexible dryer ducts between the vent and the clothes dryer. However, many homes, as well as some new construc­tion homes, continue to use plastic flexible ducts. The plastic itself can provide additional fuel for a fire as well as flexible foil.

Flexible vents are not the best choice for venting clothes dryers. Flexible vents can sag, allowing lint to build up and catch on fire if it comes in contact with a sufficient amount of heat. If a fire starts beneath the dryer when the motor over­heats, then the drafts from the dryer can pull that fire up into the duct and venting allowing a house fire to develop.

Other extremely serious dryer hazards occur when dryer vents do not terminate exhaust to the outside but to the attic, crawl space, chimney or interior walls, which can cause indoor air dete­rioration and mold buildup. Small birds and animals that nest in dryer vents also can obstruct air flow and prevent the lint from properly venting to the outside.


Dirty Dryer Vent Calvert

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Clean Dryer Vent Calvert

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Proper Dryer Maintenance


By observing a few simple indications of poor system per­formance, one can examine the dryer components for any blockage or excessive heat. If you notice heavy clothes such as blue jeans or towels taking a long time to dry, or clothes feel hotter than usual at the end of the cycle, then a clogged dryer vent exhaust is likely the problem.

Disconnect, clean, and inspect the dryer duct and venting every couple of years, or hire a professional company to clean the dryer components. Some dryer vents may need more frequent inspection, such as in homes with complex construction where the dryer vents exceed 6 feet from the outside, or with smaller stack dryers and dryers that are older and do not have moisture sensors or high tempera­ture safety limit controls. This will reduce the fire risk and increase the dryer’s efficiency.

Outside wall dampers should have a covering that will keep out rain, snow, and dirt. However, do not use wire screen or cloth of any kind to protect the exhaust opening. It can collect lint and clog areas of the dryer vent. In order to deter birds and small animals from nesting in vents, make sure the dryer vent system and damper are working suitably.


Several recommendations for clothes dryer safety include the following:


  1. Never put synthetic materials such as rubber, plastic, foam, or pieces of cloth that have been used to sponge up flammable liquids in the dryer, even if previously washed.
  2. Clean the lint out of the exhaust pipe and the rear of the dryer regularly.
  3. Inspect your lint filter for rips each time you use it. If you see any rips, replace immediately.
  4. The exhaust pipe should be as short as possible and have limited bends to allow for adequate airflow.
  5. The American Household Appliance Manufacturers Association (AHAM) recommends the use of UL- approved rigid aluminum or steel duct or spiral-wound aluminum flex hose, NOT white vinyl hose.
  6. Never let your clothes dryer run while you are out of the house or asleep.
  7. Have gas-powered dryers inspected by a professional annually to ensure that the gas line and connection are intact.

Conclusion


Remember, the leading factor contribut­ing to ignition of dryer fires is operation deficiencies - specifically, "failure to clean." Failure to clean a dryer accounts for 70% of all dryer fires.

If you do not feel comfortable cleaning or inspecting the dryer vent yourself, you can call a duct cleaning service. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), a nonprofit educational organization, also provides information on clothes dryer fires and can provide a list of CSIA-certified dryer exhaust duct technicians.

A substantial proportion of clothes dryer fires are small and confined to the object and room of origin. The dollar loss generally relates to the damage to the clothes dryer itself and the clothes inside. However, the rate of injury indicates that these fires require attention, highlighting the need for residences to keep fire extinguishers and working smoke alarms near the clothes dryer. More information about how you can help prevent clothes dryer fires can be obtained from your local fire department or the NFPA.


Service Areas

Air duct & Dryer Vent Cleaning Prince Frederick, Air duct & Dryer Vent Cleaning Huntingtown, Air duct & Dryer Vent Cleaning Owings, Air duct & Dryer Vent Cleaning Sunderland, Air duct & Dryer Vent Cleaning Dunkirk, Air duct & Dryer Vent Cleaning Lusby, Air duct & Dryer Vent Cleaning Solomons, Air duct & Dryer Vent Cleaning St Leonard, Air duct & Dryer Vent Cleaning Chesapeake Beach, Air duct & Dryer Vent Cleaning Charles County, Air duct & Dryer Vent Cleaning St Marys County, Air duct & Dryer Vent Cleaning Anne Arundel County, Air duct & Dryer Vent Cleaning Prince Georges County