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Should I Have My Air Ducts Cleaned?

Air Duct Image

How Often Should I Clean My Air Ducts?

Over time, air ducts can be come packed full of dirt and dust that affects both you and your HVAC system.

Dirty Air Ducts = Dirty Air

It goes without saying that if your air ducts are dirty, the air the passes through them will also become dirty.

Overtime, dust, skin cells and other particulates from both people and outdoors make their way into your HVAC system.

Left untouched over time, your air ducts and air returns can become a breeding ground for some pretty nasty stuff and cause both sickness and allergy flare ups.

However, just how dirty should they be before you have your air ducts cleaned?

Visual Inspection

A good way to get an idea of what may be hiding in your duct work is to look at the return vents in your home.

Carefully remove the register and take a look inside. Can you see or feel a good amount of dirt or dust build up?

If so, don’t be alarmed. Air ducts are bound to get dirty over time and will require cleaning. It’s important to note that everyone’s home is different.

If you have many pets, your air ducts will become dirty faster due to hair and dander build up.

Time For A Cleaning!

Signs it may be time for an air duct cleaning include:

  • Visual signs of mold or dirt build up in return vents or other components of your HVAC system.
  • You notice foul smells coming from your vents (a small animal could have made it’s way in)
  • You’ve haven’t had your ducts cleaned at least once in the past 3-5 years.

These are some general rules of thumb when it comes to getting your duct work cleaned. Every home is different and may be able to go longer periods of time in between cleanings.

If you are wondering if you should have your air ducts cleaned, this is a good place to start.


Importance Of Filters

One of the biggest ways you can cut down on the need for duct cleaning is having a quality furnace filter installed and changing it regularly.

Most standard furnace filters are one inch thick and should be changed at least once every 30 days.

You can also have a high-quality media filter installed.

These filters capture a lot more of the airborne particulates and can also be changed less frequently due to their size (approximately 5-6 inches thick).

An electronic air cleaner is another option that you can have installed that electronically traps dirt and other airborne particulates.

These units typically have a high-quality HEPA filter in them that can filter down to a few microns (thickness of a human hair!).

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