Do I Really Need to Clean My Air Ducts?

Duct Vents

Central air conditioning and heating systems circulate conditioned air through a home using a complex network of air ducts. The ductwork system both delivers conditioned air to living spaces and returns household air to the HVAC equipment for re-conditioning. On average, household air is completely re-circulated throughout a home five to seven times a day. Airborne particulates are recycled through the home as well, and a thick layer of dust, grime and debris can accumulate on the ductwork, impacting HVAC efficiency and indoor air quality.

Duct Cleaning Services

Professional duct cleaning services use specialized equipment to clean dust and contaminants that build up within ductwork over time. The services are particularly helpful for households with people who suffer from respiratory ailments, allergies or asthma. Many people are surprised to learn that the air inside of the average home is typically many times more polluted than outdoor air. For consumers with chronic health conditions, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends identifying and addressing possible indoor air quality problems, including duct-cleaning services.

HVAC Energy Efficiency

An accumulation of dust and other particulates in ductwork can have a negative impact on the efficiency of heating and cooling systems in two ways. First, a heavy build-up of debris impairs system airflow, which forces HVAC systems to operate longer to reach desired temperatures. Second, when debris is sucked into return ductwork air channels, the particles can accumulate on system parts and equipment. Because efficient operation depends on synchronized interaction of all HVAC components, dirty, damaged or malfunctioning parts affect the system’s overall energy efficiency.

Does Your Ductwork Need Cleaning?

Signs that your ductwork needs cleaning include an increase of dust build-up in your home’s living spaces, rising heating and cooling bills and a higher instance of respiratory-related symptoms. If indoor air quality is an issue your home, having your ductwork cleaned by a qualified professional can help everyone breathe a little easier. The EPA recommends duct cleaning when:

 •   Mold is present in the ducts or on other HVAC components.

•   Ductwork is infested with insects or rodents.

•   Ducts are emitting dust, debris or particles into the air.

•   Ductwork is clogged with excessive amounts of debris, compromising system energy efficiency.

Duct cleaning should also be considered after completing home renovation or remodeling projects or before moving into a new home. A properly maintained ductwork system will allow air that is conditioned for your comfort and that is safe to breathe to circulate throughout your home for many years to come.