Air Duct Cleaning: Four Benefits

Posted on December 29, 2020.

Vent on green wall into room

When is the last time you had a thorough air duct cleaning? Air ducts are responsible for circulating air from your heating and cooling system, spreading it to each room throughout your home, and keeping you comfortable all year round. This air fills your living spaces. This is the air that you and your family breathe. As such, you want it as clean as possible.

You can accomplish this through a thorough air duct cleaning, which removes dust, mold, and other debris trapped in the air duct system. Using heavy-duty vacuums, a professional duct cleaner will remove all those harmful, odor-causing elements in your ducts and stop them from circulating in your home. This includes cleaning the supply and return ducts, in addition to, the diffusers and registers located throughout the rooms of the home.

If you are thinking about having your air ducts cleaned, here are a few duct-cleaning benefits that you may not know.

1) Cleaner Air for Your Living Spaces

With professional cleaning, your air ducts will be completely cleared of dust that accumulates within the system. When dust accumulates, your HVAC system will ultimately circulate it throughout your living spaces, affecting the quality of air in your home. Dust settles on furniture, bed, dishes – pretty much anything that is not sealed in a bag or box – and then you end up breathing it in. A thorough air duct cleaning reduces the amount of dusting you will need to do around the home, as well.

2) Improved Air Flow with Air Duct Cleaning

As dust, mold, contaminants, and other debris accumulate in air ducts, they block the system’s incoming/outgoing airflow. Clean air ducts allow larger volumes of clean air to circulate throughout the home. This air is also more likely to maintain its temperature over extended periods, which provides less strain on your HVAC system. Consequently, this will lower the cost of utility bills. You can save on your energy dollars because a clean system can operate at peak efficiency and provide the most cost-effective performance.

3) Reduces Allergens and Irritants in the Air

Beyond dust, your air ducts can accumulate other harmful contaminants, such as mold spores, bacteria, pollen, mildew, and pet dander. These contaminants put allergens and irritants into the air, affecting people who suffer from allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues. Even among healthy individuals, allergens and irritants entering the nose and lungs can trigger sneezing and coughing, as well as sinus and bronchial problems. Cleaning your air duct system promotes healthier living. When you have unclean ducts, the bad air in your home will keep circulating.

4) Removes Unpleasant Smells and Odors

Have you ever left your home for a few days, whether for vacation or a business trip and come back to notice an unpleasant odor? That is exactly what others first notice when they come into your home. Because you live there, you have likely grown accustomed to your house smells. Every time you turn on your air system, you are just pushing all those odors throughout the house.  An air duct cleaning will get rid of those bad household odor particles, leaving you with a better smelling home.

Are you looking for professional air duct cleaning? Contact the expert home cleaners at ServiceMaster today! With a wide variety of professional service offerings, we are the premier provider of HVAC cleaning in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area – find out why by getting in touch with our dedicated team today!

Get in Touch! Contact ServiceMaster of Minneapolis today by calling (612) 354-5466 or filling out a form on our contact page. We are here whenever you need help cleaning your residential air duct system– get in touch now!

This is an updated version of a blog originally posted on May 18, 2018.  You can read the original here.

Fire Hazards – Part Two: Why Should I get my Chimney Cleaned?

Posted on December 15, 2020.

roaring fire in a fireplace


After an inspection shows you need to have your chimney cleaned, a chimney sweep will come and remove soot, blockages, and built-up creosote from your chimney liner, firebox, smoke chamber, and damper.   Cleaning your chimney regularly will maintain the safe operation of your chimney and/or heating system.


What is Creosote and why must it be removed?

Creosote is a highly flammable substance that builds up inside your chimney or liner as a result of burning wood. It takes only a small accumulation of creosote glazing to create the potential for a chimney fire. The rate of accumulation can be higher if you practice poor burning practices or have a burning appliance or stove that is not working efficiently. Different types of wood create different amounts of creosote when burned. Pine causes a rapid build-up of creosote and should be avoided as a regular source of wood. Creosote can also reduce the draw of the fireplace and reduce efficiency.


Rachel Ray is informing the public about creosote after she lost her upstate New York Home in 2020 from a creosote fire.  She got emotional on her show after recalling details of the fire and discussing Christmas decorations.  Her home was engulfed within minutes and she was unable to save anything but herself!  She states she had her chimney checked and cleaned twice each year.

Creosote buildup is dangerous.  Fires are unpredictable.  Your best bet to avoid fire damage and chimney fires is to have your chimneys inspected every year and cleaned when advised.


What will a chimney sweep do?

A chimney sweep will seal off the area with plastic and lay down drop cloths to ensure the area stays clean.  During the process of cleaning your chimney flue, there will be vacuum suction to ensure all the debris and soot from the rotary-powered brushes stays out of your home. Then, the chimney sweep will clean the smoke chamber and remove all of the ash from the collection bin.   The whole process is quick and painless for the homeowner.


How often must I have my chimney cleaned?

It is recommended by the National Fire Protection Agency that you clean your chimney once a year.  This depends greatly on the wood-burning habits and what type of wood you are burning regularly.  It is recommended that you not burn pine wood on a regular basis as it builds up creosote rapidly.

Please remember, if you find yourself in need of disaster restoration services, you can call ServiceMaster 24/7/365. Our disaster restoration specialists are always available to answer the phone and get you and your property back to normal as soon as possible.

Fire Hazards – Part One: Chimney Inspections

Posted on December 11, 2020.

chimney in front of night sky
Chimney Inspections can help you reduce fire hazards and can save you costly repairs.

Fire Hazards: A two-part series on Chimneys & Fireplaces and what you need to know–

Before you hang the stockings in front of the chimney with care, consider what care your wood-burning fireplace requires. Wood Burning Fireplace maintenance helps reduce fire hazard risks.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends a chimney inspection every single year. Chimney inspections ensure that all your systems are in working order and operating as they should. Most homeowners then have a chimney sweep clean their chimney every year as well. The timeline for having your fireplace cleaned depends on how often and how much you burn in your fireplace. The recommended checks occur yearly, more if you burn a lot or notice performance issues.

Odor can be another warning sign. If you smell a campfire after your fire is out, you may need to have your chimney checked again. You need to clean your chimney more often if you burn pine or burn wood on a regular basis. A chimney inspection will tell you if you need your chimney swept and cleaned as well. Do not risk the chance that an undiscovered defect in your chimney could turn into an expensive repair, or worse yet, a chimney fire. We are damage restoration experts, and we see the devastation from chimney fires.

Even if you only use your fireplace minimally an inspection is still advised annually to look at all the heating venting systems, chimneys, stove systems, and furnace flues in your home. During these inspections, many defects or issues can be easily detected. Some of these may require action even if cleaning is not needed.

When You Need a Chimney Inspection

You need a chimney inspection if you have not had your chimney inspected in the last year and you are burning fires in your wood-burning fireplace. Equally important, you will want a chimney inspection if you have not burned wood in your fireplace for a while. Before you burn, it is best to know if pests or rodents have taken up residence and caused any damage or blockage. A chimney inspection will reveal this knowledge for you.

You need a chimney inspection if you have had any performance issues with your fireplace.

You will want a chimney inspection if you have recently purchased a new home with a wood-burning fireplace, and it was not part of your initial inspection.

So again, before you hang the stockings by the chimney with care this holiday season, think about giving your chimney some care with an inspection and chimney sweep if necessary. This is part one of a two-part blog on Fire Hazards.

Remember, if you find yourself in need of disaster restoration services, you can call ServiceMaster 24/7/365. We are always available to answer the phone and get to you as soon as possible.

Fire Safety to Prevent an Unfortunate Holiday

Posted on December 7, 2020.

close up of a decorated Christmas tree
Decorated Christmas Trees are lovely, but keep yours watered to prevent fire hazards this holiday season.

Holiday Fire Safety Tips from ServiceMaster of Minneapolis and the surrounding Twin Cities area. We are Fire Damage Restoration Specialists.


Holiday decorations are responsible for a surprising number of fires each year. Follow these tips to prevent an unfortunate holiday.

Be sure to keep your holiday decorations several feet away from all heat sources. Fireplaces, heat vents, and space heaters can be major fire hazards if precautions are not taken. Keep your items several feet away from any source of heat.

Real vs. Fake Trees:

If you use a real tree, check the water level every day. A hydrated tree is less likely to catch fire. Plus, a well-watered tree looks better for longer.

You can also check the needles of a real tree to see if the tree is hydrated. Broken needles and crispy needles mean the tree needs to be removed from your home.

If you are planning to purchase an artificial tree, look for “fire-resistant” on the label. Keep in mind that “fire-resistant” does not equal “fire-proof”. Keep your tree away from heat sources.

Holiday Lights:

Check string lights for frayed wiring or cracked sockets. Check all extension cords for fraying or exposed wires. Discard any damaged components.

Only string the recommended number of strands of lights together. Do not overload your electrical sockets.


Keep illuminated candles within sight. Blow candles out before leaving a room. Or better yet, opt for flameless candles. You can even get scented ones. We like these ones!


Minimize distractions while cooking. The holidays are a busy time filled with distractions. However, cooking is a major source of house fires. Keep an eye on your food and you will be less likely to have a cooking-related fire.


Maintain your fireplace. There is nothing like a wood-burning fireplace to warm your hands and heart at this time of year. Over time, a substance called creosote builds up inside your chimney walls. Creosote is highly flammable and a very small flame can turn into a major fire in as little as thirty seconds.


We hope by following these guidelines your holidays remain safe and fire-free.

If you find yourself in need of fire damage restoration services, ServiceMaster of Minneapolis and the surrounding Twin Cities area proudly provides fire and water damage restoration for homes and businesses. Call us for dependable service from a local business. 612.213.3712

This is an updated blog.  You can click here to read the original, which was Posted on December 17, 2014. 

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