What You Need To Know About Cleaning Your Air Ducts

close up of vent on the wall

How often do air ducts need to be cleaned? That may have some matter of debate, but most experts would say on average to have them cleaned every 4-5 years. While this can feel like a simple task, it is important that someone knowledgeable about ductwork, and with access to the proper cleaning tools, to do this work for you. 

Why Air Ducts Need to Be Cleaned

There are different reasons to clean your air ducts, whether health or cleanliness, it is important to do. Of course, if any of these reasons feel more imperative at a specific time, there is also no reason you cannot have them cleaned before the typical 4-5 year timeframe. 

  • Health problems: Allergies are a big reason for keeping your ducts clean. While small amounts may not seem a big deal, it can lead to an overall poorer quality of life if someone has to suffer daily while indoors. This can be as small as daily sneezes or a stuffy nose with no known culprit, or can be as bad as unexplained illnesses. 
  • Overall cleanliness: No matter how clean we feel our home is, dust will eventually accumulate inside your ducts. Depending on climates and other indoor and outdoor factors, mold is also a potential issue for your air ducts. Regular cleaning will rid your home of an excess of these particles swirling about your air without you knowing. 
  • Quality of air flow: Beyond having clean air, large buildups of dust or other debris can lead to clogged ducts and reduced overall air flow. A subsequent problem with this is lower efficiency with your HVAC system, and potential problems or repairs that may need to be done because of it. 
  • Other Circumstances: Issues outside of the norm, like infestations, large amounts of mold, or serious health issues may be problems that can be rectified with a good air duct cleaning. These are the times when it would be good to clean your ducts outside of the typical 4-5 year schedule. 

Signs You May Need Your Air Ducts Cleaned

Beyond the normal reasons we have air ducts cleaned, there can be signs that a cleaning needs to take place. Knowing these signs can be beneficial to your health, as well as allow new homeowners to gauge if a cleaning is needed in a previously occupied house. 

Some of these problems we listed earlier, like unexplained health issues or allergic reactions, or infestations you can’t seem to be rid of by other means. Other smaller signs may be increased utility bills, which could signal a clog or other obstruction in your ducts. 

There may also come a time when a home is due for a replacement rather than a repair or cleaning. Most ductwork lasts for about 15 years, although that can depend on the frequency and thoroughness of the maintenance that has been done. When ductwork gets too old, replacing may better serve overall efficiency rather than continuing to repair it.

How Air Ducts Should Be Cleaned 

Air ducts should always be cleaned by a professional who has the proper equipment. For the same reason ductwork does not need to be cleaned too often, having improper equipment or inexperience in cleaning could lead to other problems. 

One of the issues with improper cleaning supplies is increased pollutants in the air. Cleaning inevitably pushes up the dust and particles that are settled in your ducts, and if equipment isn’t made to properly vacuum or clean those particles, they will end up in the indoor air. 

Another problem is making sure ducts are well taken care of, and having someone clean them who is not a professional can lead to broken parts or improper maintenance that can cost you way more than you expected in repairs or long-term issues. 

If you think your home is in need of duct work, or have concerns about any of the problems listed above and would like an inspection, feel free to contact us to learn more about what our certified HVAC technicians can do.