There is a trend now for people to be hyper-aware of everything that is affecting their health. Certainly, air quality is a part of that concern. Air ducts pull air from your home into your HVAC system, then the air is cooled or heated and pushed back out through the ducts into your home again. Many new air duct cleaning companies are popping up and claiming that having your system cleaned out will dramatically improve your family’s health and is a necessary part of its regular care. We are here to tell you that, generally speaking, most people’s ducts do not, in fact, need to be cleaned often. There are specific circumstances that we would recommend having them cleaned, but it should not be considered part of your yearly maintenance plan.
Generally, your air ducts do not need cleaning regularly, we suggest only every 5-7 years along with the rest of your system. Most systems are self-sufficient for a long time because of the filtering that occurs at the intake of the ducts. These filters typically take care of most of the particles that could get into your system and prevent them from being re-circulated around your home. As long as you maintain your filters, your ducts should be good for the long haul.
Another reason to think twice about having ducts cleaned is possible damage to your system. Vacuums, dusters, and other devices are being stuck into your system to clean it out. If you do decide to have your ducts cleaned it’s very important to hire a reputable HVAC company. You don’t want to end up paying more money to repair damages that could have been avoided in the first place.
With all that being said, there are some reasons you might want to get your air ducts cleaned out. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that only in specific circumstances do your air ducts need to be cleaned out. We will go over these below:
If you notice mold growing in any part of your HVAC system, it’s time to give us a call. Mold can only be officially be detected by a lab. Before you spend the money, verify what you’re seeing is actually mold (and not a mold-like substance). If you have an insulated system with mold growth, the insulation needs to be replaced- not cleaned. Lastly, whatever is causing the mold needs to be addressed, in addition to the cleaning, or the problem will just repeat itself.
Rodent or insect infestations are a good reason to have your ducts cleaned or replaced, depending on the severity. There is also a bigger possibility that they can damage your filters, causing them to be ineffective at getting rid of hairs, dandruff, and feces that linger and cause sickness.
Fuel Burning Furnace
If you own a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, it is best to have your system inspected before using the heat every year. You run a higher risk of suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning if your ducts aren’t functioning properly.
We personally recommend also adding to these to the list: getting your ducts cleaned whenever you move into a new home and if someone in your home is suffering from a severe allergy. When you purchase a home you never know what was going on in it before you lived there. Not everything gets reported to your realtors and it’s better to be safe than sorry. If someone in your family is suffering from severe allergies, especially one that seems to only be around in that house, cleaning your ducts would be worth it. We have experienced this problem first hand and benefited from the positive results.
Ultimately, having your system cleaned out has not been proven to help your overall health. It seems that this is mainly only a trend and shouldn’t be done on a regular basis. Only in certain circumstances is it necessary, otherwise, every 5 to 7 years is sufficient.