How often do you really need to clean your ducts?

Air ducts, like any other air conditioning system, require regular cleaning to ensure maximum efficiency. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends cleaning air ducts every three to five years. However, in some environments, the need to clean commercial air ducts is more immediate. There are a few factors that influence when it comes to setting how often you should clean your duct systems. Every 3 to 5 years is a standard recommendation, but you may want to consider doing it more often depending on certain factors.

The average duct system must be cleaned every two to five years. If your system is properly maintained and filters are changed twice a year, you can increase the time between professional cleanings. If your system has never been cleaned and has been active on your property for more than three years, it's probably due to a cleaning. Even a single station can accumulate enough dust and dirt in the system to make it less efficient than it was when it was first installed.

Changing air filters frequently is the best way to keep dust, allergens, and other particles out of your home. If you have a newly installed system or a system in a house you just moved into, check the filter once a month to determine how quickly it gets dirty at different times of the year. Most should be replaced every two to three months. Most average cleaning companies don't have access to these tools, making their processes less effective. Start by identifying if the ducts are part of the problem (they probably aren't) and if cleaning them will help (it probably isn't).

However, the EPA takes a different position, noting that duct cleaning has not been proven to prevent health problems. Cleaning your air conditioning ducts can be a project you do yourself, with appropriate instructions from a reliable online source or a DIY manual. When you hire professional duct cleaning companies, they know what to look for for signs of mold and almost always offer a service to eliminate and eliminate the infestation. Another inaccurate statement by most duct cleaning companies and their trade associations is that dirty ducts and equipment overload heating and cooling equipment, resulting in a waste of energy.

However, in large quantities, dust and dirt can pose a danger to air quality, so it is important to check the vents regularly and clean the ducts if an excessive amount of dirt enters the house through the exhaust vents. When mold stays in air ducts, regardless of how often you clean your home, mold will continue to reappear through those spores. While each air duct cleaning company's process will look slightly different, they will all have a similar overall process. The CMHC researchers discovered that, when duct cleaners also cleaned the fan blades, there was a small reduction in airborne particles.

However, duct cleaning doesn't usually change the quality of the air you breathe, nor will it significantly affect airflows or heating costs. And while the equipment and methods used by duct cleaning companies have changed since these studies were conducted, household air ducts haven't. While dirt, dust, hair, and other debris can build up inside these ducts, this doesn't mean you should clean them regularly. Duct cleaning companies often announce health benefits or suggest that duct cleaning will reduce energy bills by improving system efficiency.

Mold and mildew can adversely affect health, so if there is visible mold formation inside the air conditioning system, it's time to call an air conditioning company to clean the vents before mold and mildew spores spread to the rest of the house. While professional air duct cleaning may not seem necessary, you might be surprised at the level of experience it requires.

Rosalind Crapp
Rosalind Crapp

Certified problem solver. Amateur beer trailblazer. Infuriatingly humble music expert. Wannabe social media scholar. Incurable troublemaker.