Post by guest estate manager Martha Locke featuring Estate Managers Coalition member Fresh Aire Duct Cleaning.
Summer is winding down and I had the thought that this must be the perfect time to do some essential duct cleaning. The windows have been left open for a few months – many estates do not use screens – animals are darting inside and out bringing all sorts of impurities with them, the breeze has been blowing throughout the home, spreading allergens, etc.
Not knowing anything about indoor air quality, I asked Diane Leriche at Fresh Aire Duct Cleaning to school me! If I am armed with the right information I will be able to keep the air in my principal’s estate fresh and clean, ensure the fine furnishings and artwork are not being damaged and make sure the family and their pets are staying healthy.
I found out that there is no set time of the year to clean air ducts – anytime is a good time. Pet dander gets pulled into the system and builds up all year long. Germs and bacteria thrive in a dirty air environment and circulate throughout the home every time the system is used. That said, Fresh Aire advises having air ducts cleaned well before the summer heat is in full force, especially if your principal cranks the AC during the summer months. (FYI – many people wait too late and attempt to schedule duct cleaning during the summer heat, making it difficult to get the appointment they want – due to so many requests!)
Fresh Aire cleans anywhere the air blows. First, all systems must be turned off during the cleaning (temperature controlled systems can be reset after cleaning by your air conditioning contractor). The HVAC unit is opened up and all the parts are cleaned. Fresh Aire then moves throughout the estate, covering each work area in order to protect the home and prevent the cleaned areas from being re-contaminated.
The ductwork is located behind the walls and the tubing is similar to a tree with branches. Then the vents in each room are removed so that the inside of the ducts are easily accessed.
The vent is cleaned and then a high-powered air wash brushing system is used to scrub down each “branch.”
This brush is on a flexible cable and is snaked down the duct line back and forth to remove all the old dirt. During the brushing step, the dirt is sucked out of the system by use of a high-powered negative air vacuum system. When this is completed, the entire system will blow fresh and clean once again.
Rodents and other vermin can be difficult to remove from a home as they use the duct system to travel, hide and escape being caught.
Fresh Aire combats this problem by using a camera to inspect inside the ducts prior to cleaning. Also, rodents have been known to damage the inside of the duct system and this needs to be assessed prior to beginning any cleaning. With the camera they are also able to document the extent of contamination so they understand exactly what they are dealing with.
Per an allergy doctor, should the family you work for have allergies, asthma or other health sensitivities, the system should be cleaned once a year. Otherwise, it is best to clean the system every two to four years. This will ensure clean air quality and prevent excessive dust and dirt from blowing out of the vents and circulating throughout the house. Pets also suffer from the same sensitivities as their owners so a clean air duct system is important for their health as well.
Another very important benefit to keeping air ducts clean is that a dust free environment is vital in preserving your principal’s art collection and fine furnishings. Additionally, a clean HVAC unit does not have to work as hard as a dirty system, resulting in home savings in energy bills. As an estate manager, protecting our principal’s valuables and saving them money at the same time is an important part of our role.
Fresh Aire Duct Cleaning is a family owned business, founded in 1979 by Daniel and Diane Leriche. Their expertise includes all types of HVAC duct systems, dryers, exhausts and ventilating systems. They are referred by hundreds of contractors, have earned the reputation of being the Vendor Choice for Estate Homes and take pride in delivering the finest service possible in a professional, friendly and efficient manner.