Clean air ducts can contribute to a healthier and less dusty indoor environment. The vast majority of allergens and dust enter your home through your HVAC system. Over time, these pollutants can settle and build up in your air ducts—and get released whenever you run the A/C or heater.
Many experts recommend that you have your air duct system professionally cleaned every 5-7 years. However, there are certain scenarios where you should consider a more frequent cleaning schedule. Read on to learn more about the benefits of air duct cleaning and how often you should have your ducts cleaned
What is Air Duct Cleaning?
The HVAC system inside your home brings heated or cooled air into each room through a series of ducts that terminate in the vent you see on your floor, ceiling, or wall. A professional duct cleaning service involves physically cleaning the entire system, including:
- Hand Wipe Inside of Blower Cabinet
- Heat exchangers
- Fan housing, motor, & blower wheels
- Supply & return grilles
- Condensate drip pans
- Cooling and heating coils
After the job is complete, you’ll notice that the various HVAC systems are spotless. You should be able to shine a flashlight into your cooling or heating coils and confirm they’re free from oil and dirt.
If you give your air vents the proverbial white-glove inspection, you won’t notice any dirt or grime on your fingertips. This is how you can tell if the contractor you hired did a good and thorough job.
Benefits of Duct Cleaning
Your HVAC system recirculates the contaminated air inside your home anywhere between five to seven times per day. Having your air ducts professionally cleaned provides a wide range of benefits, such as:
- Elimination of odors
- Cleaner air
- Reduced allergens
- Find and eliminate mold
- Increased HVAC system lifespan
- Cleaner home
Signs That It’s Time to Clean Your Air Ducts
As we mentioned above, the general rule of thumb is to clean your vents every three to five years. For many homeowners, that’s too long to wait. Here are a few signs that indicate you need to call out a professional right away:
Musty odors—Often caused by mold, musty odors are a sure sign that your ducts need cleaning.
Unusually high energy bills—If your energy bills are higher than normal, the dust and dirt inside your HVAC system could be causing the system to work harder and turn on and off more frequently.
Unexplained respiratory or allergy issues—Your HVAC system continually pulls in allergens from the outside and recirculates them several times throughout the day.
Rodent infestation—If you hear scratching or buzzing sounds coming from your vents, rodents or insects have most likely found a way inside. Their droppings can lead to a wide range of health and respiratory issues.
Clouds of dust—Pay close attention to the immediate area surrounding your external vents. If you notice “poofs” of dust that appear when the heating or A/C system turns on, it’s a sure-fire sign your ducts need cleaning.
Moving into a new home—Do you know when the previous homeowner last cleaned the ducts? It’s an important question but one that often doesn’t get asked during the exciting time of moving into a new home. Chances are, the ducts and HVAC system in your new home require a thorough cleaning.
Other Factors to Consider
In addition to the above signs, there are a few other considerations that indicate you should get your system cleaned out more frequently:
Area where you live—If you live in a region that’s prone to high humidity, there’s an increased risk of mold forming inside your ducts or system. Certain areas also have higher allergen counts that can accumulate more rapidly in your system.
Maintenance of HVAC system—How often do you call out a technician to perform maintenance on your HVAC system? If it’s been a while (or never), you can help increase its lifespan by having your ducts cleaned.
Pre-existing respiratory conditions—If you or someone living under your roof suffers from a chronic respiratory ailment, it’s recommended that you get your ducts cleaned once a year.
How Long Does it Take to Clean Air Ducts?
It can take a few to several hours to thoroughly clean your duct system. The overall time it will take is based upon how dirty your ducts are, the level of cleaning your HVAC components require, and the overall size of your entire system. The best way to get a good estimate is to give the licensed professionals at Carroll Plumbing & Heating a call.
Clean Your Ducts and Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
Dirty air ducts can cause a wide range of health issues and lower the lifespan of your heating and air conditioning system. At Carroll Plumbing & Heating, we have decades of experience helping local homeowners clean out their ducts and maintain their HVAC systems.