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Do I Really Need My Air Handler Cleaned?

Male blowing air through a straw.
Should I have my air handler cleaned?

It's a common question, "Do I really need my air handler cleaned?"

Tampa Air Systems Certified Ventilation Inspector, Chris Thome, says that "an air duct cleaning without having the Air Handler cleaned is like blowing through a straw with unbrushed teeth. Would you rather smell the breath of someone who brushed their teeth or someone who didn't?

Consider that your mouth is like the Air Handler for your HVAC system. Even if you're blowing through a very clean straw, not unlike duct work, the air passing through it will stink until the teeth get brushed or the unit gets cleaned.

What's worse, is If your AHU is still dirty after you have your air ducts cleaned, the air that passes through the dirty AHU recontaminates your duct work with whatever is still inside the Air Handler.

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) states, "Air duct cleaning is a misnomer. In actuality, the entire HVAC system should be cleaned. Failure to clean all components of the system can result in recontamination of the entire system, thus minimizing the benefits of cleaning.

Just as you wouldn’t clean only half of your living room floor, you also would not want to clean only part of your HVAC system. NADCA recommends cleaning the entire HVAC system, including the following components:

air ducts, coils, drain pan, registers, grills, air plenum, blower motor and assembly, heat exchanger, air filters and the air cleaner."

If you've been wondering if you really need your Air Handler cleaned, the answer is "yes"...if you want your HVAC system and duct system cleaned properly. But hey, if you don't mind a little bad breath, you can take your chances.

To read more about proper air duct cleaning:

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