Should I Clean My Air Ducts?

person looking at vent

You spend a lot of time inside. Is the air circulating through your home healthy? Indoor air pollution is an issue of growing concern for homeowners — and that source of pollution might be living in your ductwork. Here's how to tell if your home needs air duct cleaning or decontamination.

What Is Air Duct Cleaning?

The EPA refers to duct cleaning as the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.

Air duct cleaning costs vary but are often evaluated by the following factors: the size of the HVAC system, system accessibility, climate in your home's region, and level of contamination.

Home Air Quality - AllergiesWhy Should I Consider Air Duct Cleaning?

If not properly installed, maintained, and operated, air ducts and their components can become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen, and other debris. It can even lead to mold if moisture is present, releasing spores into the home's living space. Some contaminants can cause allergic reactions in people.

On top of air quality ailments, dirty ducts can do a number on your HVAC system. Dirty heating and cooling coils, motors, and air handling units can make your HVAC unit less efficient. That means your system has to work harder to heat and cool your home. This not only impacts HVAC system lifespan but often leads to a spike in your energy bill.

Some scenarios almost always require air duct cleaning to ensure that your HVAC system continues to operate efficiency — and your air quality remains healthy.

  • Renovations: Did you recently remodel? Your ductwork may need to be cleaned, especially if there was asbestos abatement, lead paint removal, or significant dust. If ducts were not sealed off during home renovations, harmful dust and debris could be lodged inside the ductwork.
  • Rodents and Insects: If there's evidence of animal or insect infestation or nesting in your ducts or HVAC system, have the vermin removed, then clean the ductwork and HVAC unit.
  • Mold: If there is visible mold growth inside the ductwork, your ducts and HVAC system should be cleaned.
  • Contaminants: If noticeable debris, pet hair, odors, or other contaminants are being released into the room through vents, then your ducts may need to be cleaned.
  • Illness: If someone in your family is suffering from unexplained allergies or related illness, you may want to consider having your ducts cleaned to see if the HVAC system is the culprit.

Can I Clean HVAC Air Ducts by Myself?

If you decide to have your heating and cooling system cleaned, it is important to hire a qualified service provider who is capable of cleaning all components of the system.

Failure to clean even one component of a contaminated system can result in re-contamination of the entire system. A qualified service provider will use specialized tools to dislodge dirt and other debris in ducts, then suction them out with a high-powered vacuum cleaner.

One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Southeast Pennsylvania technicians know your central air system inside and out. On top of expert duct cleaning service, we carry exclusive products proven to block airborne irritants and contaminants. When you call your local One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Southeast Pennsylvania technician, ask them about MicroPower Guard®—which pulls 97% of particles from the air. If contaminants are of concern, our OxyQuantum® UV Air Cleaner eradicates bacteria with the power of UV light.

The air you breathe has a big impact on your quality of life. Don't let dirty ductwork harm your health or your HVAC system's performance. Contact One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Southeast Pennsylvania today — so you can breathe easy tomorrow!