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How Often Should Ventilation Ductwork Be Cleaned?


How Often Should Ventilation Ductwork Be Cleaned?

open vent with tube running into it in homeWhen was the last time you thought about cleaning the air ducts in your home? If you’re like most people, it’s been a while since you considered an air duct cleaning.

Your air ducts help your heating and cooling system work properly, and the HVAC system uses them to circulate clean, crisp air to every part of the house. But just like your air conditioning and heater, they require occasional maintenance to do their job. Even with the best filters, dirty ducts will eventually be something you need to handle.

Without proper cleaning, your air conditioning system will suffer. Dirty air ducts affect your indoor air quality and cause dust build-up in the rest of your HVAC system as well.

Getting professional air duct cleaning services is one of the best things you can do to improve your air quality and the effectiveness of your HVAC. But how often should you get duct cleaning done? Let’s look at what the professionals say.

How Often to Get Professional Duct Cleaning

professional cleaning ventilation ducts in homeMany HVAC and duct cleaning companies (like the National Air Duct Cleaners Association) recommend having your ventilation ductwork cleaned every two to five years. There are a couple of things that factor in to how often duct cleaning is necessary for a home.

  • Dust Buildup: If you have a dusty home or own furry pets, your duct system might need more servicing than another home. More dust and debris buildup means that your duct work will start blowing those particles into your home.
  • Changing Air Filters: Replacing your system’s air filter is an important part of regular upkeep and helps your entire system performance. It also extends the time that your air vents will stay clean!
  • Health Concerns: If you have family members who suffer from respiratory problems like allergic reactions to mold spores or household dust mites, there could be major health benefits to more frequent cleanings.

Signs It’s Time to Call Your Local Air Duct Cleaning Experts

dirty air vent in houseStudies from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other organizations have shown that for many homes, minor particulate matter in the air ducts poses little threat to health and your system’s efficiency. This doesn’t mean you’ll never need a cleaning, but it does mean that a little dust in your ducts won’t necessarily affect your energy efficiency or blow mold into your living space.

Not sure if it’s time to get your air ducts cleaned? There are a few indicators that you can keep an eye out for if you’re not sure! It’s time to call a local, professional duct cleaner company if:

  • When a visual inspection indicates that there’s mold growth on the duct surfaces, you have a problem. Visible evidence of mold can also be accompanied by a musty odor, and you’ll likely have visible growth on other parts of the system like the condensate drain pans, blower fan, and air handling unit. Cleaning your heating and cooling system, including the ventilation system, is vital to getting rid of the musty smell and removing the mold spores from the air you’re breathing!
  • If there are (or have been) rodents or insects living in your ducts, it’s time for a professional duct cleaning. Otherwise, you’ll be breathing the airborne particles and other debris from the infestation!
  • Dust and debris can build up over time or from home renovations. You’ll need an air duct cleaning if ducts are clogged so much that the supply registers are blowing particles into your home.

Why Clean Air Ducts are Important for Your Home

Properly maintained air ducts impact your home in two major ways.

attic with ductworkFirst, when debris in the air ducts adheres to the surfaces of the vents and system, it dramatically impacts your indoor air quality. Clean your air ducts when too much dust builds up, preventing health problems and poor air quality.

Second, heating and cooling systems are just that: systems. When one part has an issue, it can have a negative effect on the other parts as well. Dirty vents and poor indoor air quality can cause build-up of mold and dust on the actual HVAC system faster. This means that an air duct cleaning can keep the rest of your system more energy efficient and cleaner. (But don’t forget to schedule your seasonal maintenance for your system!)

When You Should Call Your Local Air Duct Cleaning Company

The best time to have your ventilation ducts cleaned is during spring or fall when they’re not being used as much. The cleaning process shouldn’t take too long with a professional, but you still want to plan the cleaning when you aren’t going to need your AC or heat as often.

If you’d like to learn how often your ventilation system should be serviced, talk with a professional HVAC technician in your area. A company like Right Time HVAC can offer expert advice about how often to schedule ductwork cleaning and how it can help improve the overall quality of air in your home. If you’re in the middle Tennessee area and think it might be time for a cleaning, give us a call today!

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