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On Keeping Your Ducts and HVAC System Clean: An Interview with MJ Palazzolo of Safety King, Inc.

By MJ Palazzolo

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Safety King is Michigan's most experienced air duct cleaners. We provide commercial, residential, and industrial air duct systems. My father started Safety King in 1969. We run a fleet of monster power vacuum trucks which are operated by highly skilled NADCA certified technicians. We are focused on air duct cleaning, dryer duct cleaning, and cleaning of HVAC components like fans and coils. We also offer Aeroseal duct leakage diagnostics and sealing.

What are the toughest indoor air quality issues for homes in Michigan?

Poor design and lack of maintenance are the cause of many of the IAQ issues we see. Some systems have mold issues but this is not as big an issue in Michigan as it is in other regions of the US. We also encounter some asbestos on ducts systems. In some cases this can present an IAQ issue. By far the biggest IAQ issue we find is excessive dust.

Please explain the basics of how these issues are professionally treated?

Education goes a long way on all these issues. We can help with some design issues by using the Aeroseal system to measure and seal duct leakage. As a state licensed pesticide applicator we have the ability to treat mold using EPA registered anti-microbial treatments. When we encounter asbestos we can sometimes work around it. It depends on the location and condition of the suspect material to determine if it presents a hazard. When we have issues beyond our area of expertise we refer one of the many specialists with whom we network.

What are other common duct issues that homeowners should be aware of?

Most homeowners simply have no idea of how much dust, dirt, and debris the duct system harbors. Since the air ducts are out of sight they are often out of mind. In addition to the "normal" contaminants we often find construction debris, dead bugs, and drywall dust. And about 50% of household dust is from dead skins cells which we constantly are shedding. That means the when you move into a new home you are actually breathing the skins cells from the last people that lived there. We recommend air duct cleaning every 3-5 years as the ducts usually warrant a cleaning by that time.

If left untreated, what are some examples of how HVAC systems and people can be affected?

Some people have allergies and asthma that can be greatly aggravated by dirty air ducts. Dirty systems are also less efficient so it ends up costing more to run them. But the one thing that most people can relate to is having too much dust.

What can homeowners do to help make sure their duct system is always running optimally?

Get the ducts cleaned as part of your regular maintenance. Get a good air filter and change it on schedule. Both these things will help reduce household dust and keep the system running efficiently. And everyone should have their equipment checked by a reputable licensed contractor every year or two.

How much time does it take to clean the air ducts in a home?

The typical single family home's air ducts take between two and four hours to clean.

Does the cleaning process make a mess?

No. The powerful vacuum trucks we use provide the most suction in the industry. The vents are covered with a specialized film to ensure that the contaminants remain in the ducts until they are removed. All the dirt and debris is sucked into the hose and out into our trucks. Our crews wear shoe covers and we also lay protective coverings underneath our equipment.

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

You can get lots of information including monthly specials by visiting our website at www.safetyking.com or ring us toll free at 1-800-AIR-DUCT.

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About The Author

Mike S. Palazzolo, founder and owner of the company, started our company in 1969. Over...

Phone: 1-800-249-3828

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