Consumer Warning


There remains considerable controversy over the necessity and wisdom of introducing chemical biocides or ozone into the duct work.

24HR Consumer Information Line:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Among the possible problems with biocide and ozone application in air ducts:

  • Little research has been conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of most biocides and ozone when used inside ducts. Simply spraying or otherwise introducing these materials into the operating duct system may cause much of the material to be transported through the system and released into other areas of your home.
  • Some people may react negatively to the biocide or ozone, causing adverse health reactions.

No products are currently registered as biocides for use on fiber glass duct board or fiber glass lined ducts.

Before allowing a service provider to use a chemical biocide in your duct work, the service provider should:

  • Demonstrate visible evidence of microbial growth in your duct work. Some service providers may attempt to convince you that your air ducts are contaminated by demonstrating that the microorganisms found in your home grow on a settling plate (i.e., petri dish). This is inappropriate. Some microorganisms are always present in the air, and some growth on a settling plate is normal. As noted earlier, only an expert can positively identify a substance as biological growth and lab analysis may be required for final confirmation. Other testing methods are not reliable.
  • Explain why biological growth cannot be removed by physical means, such as brushing, and further growth prevented by controlling moisture.
  • Apply the biocide only to un-insulated areas.

While some low toxicity products may be legally applied while occupants of the home are present, you may wish to consider leaving the premises while the biocide is being applied as an added precaution.

Cleaning and treatment with an EPA-registered biocide are possible. Once fiberglass duct liner is contaminated with mold, cleaning is not sufficient to prevent re-growth and there are no EPA-registered biocides for the treatment of porous duct materials. EPA, NADCA, and NAIMA all recommend the replacement of wet or moldy fiber glass duct material.


Service Areas: Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Fairfax, Falls Church, Sterling, Lorton, Alexandria City, Montclair, Dumfries, Woodbridge, Dale City, Manassas, Tysons Corner, Vienna, Fairfax Station, Arlington, Burke, Chantilly, Centreville, Clifton, Reston, McLean, Great Falls, Oakton, Annandale, Herndon, Dulles, Stafford.