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Is Air Duct Cleaning Worth It?

Is Duct Cleaning Worth it or is it a Scam?

Indoor air quality is a growing concern for many households, and an increasing number of HVAC contractors are now offering duct cleaning services to help maintain central air systems and keep the home cleaner. This post will tell you what duct cleaning is and how it can help your home, but whether or not it’s a scam is up to you to decide based on your household’s needs.

From the horse’s mouth: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a statement claiming that routine duct cleaning is not effective at controlling indoor air quality, because the dirt and dust that accumulates in the ducts tends to stick to the sides rather than being released back into the house. One could even argue that ducts help clean your home by drawing in dirty air and then releasing cleaner air while leaving the contaminants behind.

While the EPA does not recommend routine duct cleaning, they do recommend cleaning on demand, which requires routinely monitoring your duct work for contaminants, in addition to leaks and other defects. And the EPA does recommend cleanings for a few specific reasons, which are discussed in more detail below.

What is Duct Cleaning?

Duct cleaning refers to cleaning the ducts, registers, grills, diffusers, filters, and intakes of a forced air system such as central heating and cooling. The ducts on a forced air system are the passageways that the heated or cooled air travels through to get to the rooms it’s needed in. Air travels through the intake register, filter, and diffusers before it enters the ducts for travel and output.

You can limit or eliminate the need for duct cleaning by performing the rest of the cleaning system work and skipping the cleaning of the ducts themselves. Because dirt from inside your home builds up inside the ducts, stopping it at the source—before it enters the actual ducts—is the best way to keep your ducts clean and free of contaminants.

Specific Reasons to Clean Your Ducts

The EPA says the dirt and dust that accumulate inside ducts doesn’t pose a health risk itself, but other contaminants that may enter the duct system can pose a health risk. Therefore, ducts should be monitored for these other contaminants and cleaned accordingly if they are present.

Concerning contaminants. Mold, pests, and excessive dirt or debris are the three big contaminants to look for in duct work.

Mold releases microscopic spores into the air which are hazardous to your health when inhaled over time and can also cause your home and the things inside it to smell musty. If your home has a high interior humidity level, moisture can become trapped in the ducts and lead to mold growth. If you have insulated ducts and the insulation becomes moldy, the ducts can’t be cleaned and will need to be replaced.

Don’t bother to clean or replace your moldy ducts without simultaneously addressing the problem causing the mold, or else it will recur. Look at ventilation-related issues, especially if your air intake is located near a bathroom or other humid part of the home, and consider using a dehumidifier while working on improving your ventilation.

Pests such as mice, rats, and cockroaches can take up residence inside leaky, poorly sealed, or improperly installed ducts. These pests all carry airborne diseases that can be spread through inhalation, so they need to be kept out of all areas of the home, especially places like air ducts where traveling air can pick up and spread their diseases.

The presence of such pests is an indication that the duct work needs to be repaired or replaced, in addition to being cleaned. Regular maintenance and monitoring of the entire forced air system should help prevent pests from becoming a problem. Just as with mold, the places where pests are entering your home must be sealed, in addition to performing the ductwork repairs, or else the problem will recur.

Excessive dirt or debris builds up when filters aren’t changed regularly and ducts are seldom to never checked for leaks, to the point that debris no longer adheres to the ducts. You may see dirt and dust accumulating around the output register and there may even be visible chunks of debris coming into your living spaces through the air system. When dirt from the ducts is noticeably visible around the home, it’s time for some much-needed maintenance and cleaning.

Is Duct Cleaning a Scam?

Duct cleaning is really only a scam when it isn’t needed. But don’t confuse duct cleaning with general heating and air conditioning maintenance. Regular maintenance of your air and ventilation systems helps to make them last longer, improves efficiency, and saves you money.

If you’re not sure about the health of your ducts, please feel free to contact Bob Jenson Air Conditioning and Heating. We’d be happy to help!

Top 10 Best US Cities for Air Quality

Great Air Quality – How it Effects You.

Clean filtered air can remove the tiny particles we can’t even see, which are the ones that cause us the most health issues. These particles cause us to sneeze, can make us ill and uncomfortable. By making sure to breath in clean air we are taking control of our health and safety. Some places in the US have better air quality than others, we look at the top 10:

Top 10 US Cities for Best Air Quality

Do I have to move to get good air quality?

While most of us may not live in cities with the best air, we can still improve the air quality in our homes and keep the bad air out. Air Quality in cities can change from good to bad very quickly. Improving the basic filter in your home with filtration that grabs the stuff you don’t see is important for our health and comfort. Do you have constant allergies? Are you always dusting? Does the air feel fresh inside your home? These are questions to consider when looking to upgrade your air filtration.

Protect you and your family by learning more about how you can control bad air using air quality filtration in your home. We also recommend an air conditioning maintenance on your system at least twice a year, once before summer and once before winter. Call Bob Jenson to get a free in-home, air quality filtration estimate and breath safer, healthier air from now on!

Bob Jenson Air Conditioning Gets a New Look!

Refreshed style shows who we are!

Bob Jenson New Look

We are refreshing our fleet of trucks with a new look you might have already seen driving around San Diego. We have been working with Rheem to make this project happen. We sketched and mocked up the concepts in-house and reached out to CPR Signs to rebuild our logo from scratch and create the final truck wrap for our large box van. Buddy over at Santee BumperDoc took care of re-painting the front of the cab, bumper and installed a new grill to make it look as new. The guys at Line-X in El Cajon sprayed the back step bumper and it looks great. We are really happy to see the quality of work come together from all of these guys. We are working on bringing this look to our entire fleet and will be pulling up in front of your home in style!

How Central Heating System Replacement can Save You Money.

Why replace your central heating system?

A central heating system that is inefficient and not sealed correctly will waste a lot of energy which translates to overpayment on your utility bills! For every dollar you spend to heat your home you want to get back the most heating and comfort possible. The problem is that not all gas furnaces are the same, some have much higher efficiency than others. Also when a central heating system has air leaks, has been poorly installed, or not setup right, you waste that great efficiency.

In the example below we see a basic 80% gas furnace was installed, so for every dollar spent, 10 cents of our heat is lost up the vent pipe in burned gases. This home also has an average duct leakage of 30%, that means we’re losing 30 more cents of our heat into the attic. In total we are wasting at least 40 cents of every dollar we spend on our heating throughout the year. Finally, because there is little or no insulation in attic of this home, the heat produced leaves the home quickly and the furnace will run longer each day, raising your energy bills.
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In this second example the home was upgraded with a 98% efficient gas furnace only allowing a 2% loss up the vent pipe! New sealed ducting was installed as well, with an allowed leakage rate of only 6%. This means that for every dollar spent on the heating in this home a full 92 cents goes right towards the actual comfort of the home. Since the attic insulation is at the proper levels the heat stays within the home, it’s more comfortable, and this homeowner sees an average of 20% less in their energy bills!
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Of course these are simplified approximations of central heating system efficiency and there are many more variables involved as each home has unique challenges that effect overall energy savings. Call Bob Jenson A/C for a free in-home evaluation to determine how you can get the most out of every dollar you spend and increase your comfort and energy savings today!

Other Factors that Effect Heating Efficiency
  • Proper equipment installation & setup
  • Correct furnace size
  • Correct ductwork sizing, layout and balance
  • Programmable or learning thermostat
  • Multi-stage operation
  • Variable speed capability

3 Reasons Your AC/Heating System Needs Regular Maintenance

Why an Air Conditioning Maintenance?

Say it’s really, really hot outside. You hit a button to turn on your HVAC unit. Your home fills with cool air. You relax, and probably take a nap.

But while you’re enjoying that cool air, a lot is going on inside of your air conditioning and heating system that you don’t know about. Over time, lots of little things can go wrong, and eventually that air is circulating a temperature and other things that aren’t ideal.

This is preventable, however. Regular air conditioning maintenance can help counteract the natural wearing down a machine experiences over the course of its usable life. It’s the same reason you get your car and bike tuned up and the same reason you switch out the blades and spark plugs on your lawnmower.

If you can prevent a huge inconvenience (and price tag) with a little preemptive TLC, isn’t that worth the cost of regular maintenance? Here are three reasons your AC/heating system needs check-ups by proven professionals.

Dirt, Grime, Dust, Bugs, and Other Nasty Things

Believe it or not, there are bugs inside of your walls. There is also dirt, dust, grime and other nasty things that can get caught in your HVAC unit and cause damage. Now, that isn’t to say your walls are overflowing with spiders and centipedes; but even the few ladybugs or flies that collect over time can cause trouble.

Picture a logjam on a river. The same concept applies here. Your vents may need cleaning, or at least the filters on the HVAC unit itself. The good thing is that this is an easy fix, and our repairmen can get it done quickly when they come for your routine maintenance appointment.

One Errant Spin

Here’s a major problem that can occur over time without any obvious causes. Whenever a machine utilizes rotating parts, there is a chance that those parts will eventually get out of sync. Any number of things could cause this to happen: extreme temperature fluctuations, surges (which we will discuss in the next section), age, and even nothing at all.

As the fan becomes more and more out of sync, the components that depend on it and that it depends on will also cease to function perfectly. Without properly synched components, your AC and your heat may no longer work up to capacity.

Hopefully you have preventative maintenance conducted before this happens. The experts at Bob Jenson can identify and quickly repair any components of your HVAC unit that are beginning to lose sync or integrity before they become major projects.

Raw Tesla Power

And now we get to perhaps the scariest of possibilities: electrical surges. Your home is powered by an alternating current (thanks in great part to Nicola Tesla). This current, like any other source of electricity, is prone to surges from outside your home and within.

For example, if lightning strikes your home, there’s a very good chance that high voltage current will surge through your electrical wiring at a greater capacity than most electronics can handle. These unprotected electronics blow out, which is why surge protectors were invented. Imagine a piece of string with an enormous knot tied into the middle. If the string is electrical current, the knot is a high voltage surge.

Now picture a string with several small knots tied a few inches apart. These smaller knots represent surges that come from within your home. These are much, much less devastating in nature than lightning strikes, but they can still do damage.

The solution here is to have your repairman test your electrical system to ensure your HVAC unit is protected from both high voltage surges and those normal, everyday surges. He or she will be able to tell if your unit requires a replacement surge protection unit or if yours just needs a bit of tweaking.

We’ve listed three common reasons that your HVAC unit needs regular routine maintenance, but this is far from a comprehensive list. If you suspect that your unit is beginning to act abnormally, or if it is already showing signs of disrepair, call Bob Jenson and schedule your thorough checkup. As the saying goes, prevention is the best medicine.

2012 Angie’s List Award Winner!

Bob Jenson A/C has earned the service industry-coveted 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award, an honor awarded annually to approximately 5 percent of all the companies rated on Angie’s List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service companies. This award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service.

“It’s a select group of companies rated on Angie’s List that can claim the exemplary customer service record of being a Super Service Award winner,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Our standards for the Super Service Award are quite high. The fact that Bob Jenson A/C earned this recognition speaks volumes about its dedication providing great service to its customers.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2012 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, including earning a minimum number of reports, an excellent rating from their customers and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2012 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on

Bob Jenson A/C thanks their customers on Angie’s List who gave their honest feedback about their great experience and know that it’s due to them that they are honored with this award. If you are an Angie’s List member, you can login and search for Bob Jenson A/C to find exclusive deals and discounts for members only!

Looking to decide whether Bob Jenson A/C is the right choice for your next system replacement, repair or maintenance? Check out the Reviews to see what customers are saying.

Welcome to the New!


As you can see things are a lot different around here and we’re real excited about it. We’ve been working very hard to deliver a new experience when it comes to getting information and researching a trusted heating and air conditioning company. We’ve completely redesigned from the ground up for the best web experience possible. Here are some of the great new features:

Responsive Design

We are one of the first hvac companies in San Diego to offer an experience like this. We wanted people to have the same access to the entire site no matter what desktop or laptop screen size they have and no matter what device they are using, be it a tablet or smartphone. With responsive design the site reorganizes and resizes itself to whatever screen your using and it’s really cool. If your on a desktop or laptop try reducing the size your browser window and see what happens to the content! For tablet and smartphone users it means you get the full site, not a cheesy mobile version, and you don’t have to zoom in and out. You can literally navigate our whole site with your thumb while relaxing on your couch, now that’s convenient.

Call Button

Have you ever been browsing a website on your smartphone or tablet and couldn’t find the number to call? Or even if you did, you had to write it down then dial it later? Yeah us too. We’ve optimized our site for a better mobile and tablet experience by having a simple touch to call button at the top of every page. Yep, when you need to contact us just tap it to call our office and speak with a real person, imagine that!


We’ve organized our Home page so you can instantly find what your looking for, whether it’s one of our services, blogposts, or checking our our work, it’s all at your fingertips, and keyboard too. The drop-down navigation bar along the top makes it easy to dig deeper into our site and get more information on specific systems or services or just to learn more about who we are.

Contacting Us

We’ve made it real easy to send us a message or request from virtually any page on our site. You can schedule a repair, maintenance or make a free estimate appointment right online. Every page has a convenient “Quick Contact” form to get what you need fast. When you scroll to the bottom of most pages there’s a “We can Help” button that takes you to our main contact page. And as mentioned above you can call us with one touch!

This new foundation is really just the beginning of what we want to do to make your experience of finding the right heating and air conditioning contractor easier and more enjoyable in 2013, and we hope you like it so far…

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