How Often Should I Clean My Air Ducts?

Air duct cleaning

Short answer: We recommend that homeowners clean their air ducts at least once every five years. However, the service frequency depends on several factors, including climate, health conditions and pets. Since you should be replacing your HVAC air filters every two to three months anyway, this is a great time to look for signs of dirty ducts. 

Why are clean air ducts important?

The air that doesn’t come through an open window or door enters your home through air ducts. The labyrinth of ductwork hidden in your home delivers fresh air to you and your family at a specific temperature. Maintaining your HVAC system and your air ducts is the first step to ensuring healthy indoor air quality.

Over time dust, allergens and debris can build up in your air ducts. This not only decreases the efficiency of your heating and cooling appliances (and costs you money) but also contaminates the air in your home. Since air ducts are out of sight, it can be easy to overlook the importance of cleaning and maintaining them.

Consider the following factors when deciding how often you should clean your ducts.

Factors Affecting How Often Your Air Ducts Should Be Cleaning

You Have Pets

Homeowners who live with pets will benefit from more frequent cleanings: usually every two years, more frequently if there are more than a few pets in the house. Fur and dander can affect even those who don’t have animal allergies, as people can become sensitized after prolonged exposure and eventually develop allergies. Additionally, pets can bring allergens from outside in on their fur. These contaminants find their way into your ducts and build up over time. 

You Have Allergies or Asthma

Individuals with allergies or asthma will benefit from biennial (every two years) air duct cleaning. Those who live in dry (dusty) or humid, mold-prone climates should also consider having their ducts cleaned every two or three years. 

You Just Moved In 

If you recently moved into a home or apartment without any air-duct-cleaning service history, it’s best to have the service done so you can start fresh. 

How Do I Know When I Need to Clean My Air Ducts?

1.Dirty Filter or Duct Wall

When you replace your HVAC air filters every two to three months (which is important for keeping contaminants out of the HVAC system), examine the filter, and shine a flashlight down the ducts. If the filter has captured significant debris or you can clearly see build-up on the duct wall, it’s time to call the experts.

2.New Allergy Symptoms or Respiratory Problems

Allergy symptoms outside of allergy season, as well as allergy symptoms you haven’t had before, are often an indicator of poor indoor air quality. You may see sinus issues as a sign of a cold, but if you seem to frequently develop symptoms that affect breathing, air quality may be the culprit. Check those ducts if these problems occur.

3.Dusty House

Significant dust build-up around the house, especially build-up that occurs soon after cleaning, can also be an indicator of dirty air ducts.

4.Pest Signs

If you ever hear or see signs of rodents or pests in your air ducts, cleaning them as soon as possible should be a priority.

5.Inexplicable Energy Bill Increase

Has your energy bill gone up recently, and you can’t seem to find an explanation? Your air ducts could be clogged with debris, forcing your HVAC system to work harder. Get a professional duct inspection and, if necessary, duct cleaning. 

Professional Air Duct Cleaning

Air Duct Cleaning is most thorough when left to the experts. Rainbow International uses high-powered vacuums and specialized rotary brushes to clean you air ducts. This state-of-the-art equipment removes the harmful contaminants in your HVAC system. Just call 855-724-6269 or schedule an appointment online.

Clean indoor air doesn’t stop there. Aire Serv’s air-quality cleaning checklist can help you maintain healthy air quality outside of your ducts. Aire Serv is our sister company in the Neighborly network of trusted home service providers.