How quickly your air ducts get dirty depends on several factors, including how frequently you use your HVAC, the size and age of your home, how often you replace your air filters, and more. On average, experts recommend cleaning your air ducts at least once every 3 to 5 years.
In all likelihood, you don’t clean out your air ducts that frequently. In fact, you may not even know the last time someone cleaned them. You may even be thinking “if I haven’t had any problems with my air ducts up until now, why clean them?” We’ll answer some of your questions and concerns about cleaning your air ducts below:
Why should I clean my air ducts?
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends you clean your ducts if you have any of the following problems:
- There is substantial mold growth on sections of your heating and cooling systems
- Your ducts are infested with pests like rodents or insects
- Your ducts are clogged with excessive accumulations of dust or other debris
Accumulations of mold, dust, and other particulates in your ducts will circulate your home’s air supply as air passes by them. These particulates may not necessarily be directly hazardous to your health, but they may exacerbate existing problems, such as allergies or asthma.
Keep in mind: these problems are likely symptoms of larger problems unrelated to duct care. If you don’t solve those underlying problems, these symptoms will recur regardless of duct cleaning.
What can I do to protect my air ducts between cleanings?
There are a number of things you can do to better protect your air ducts from contamination between cleans. Things like:
- Making sure you’re using the best possible filters offered by your HVAC provider’s manufacturer
- Changing your filters regularly
- Doing regular inspections of your ducts to make sure air isn’t bypassing filters through gaps or loose fittings
- During HVAC maintenance, make sure to clean out the drain pans and cooling coils
- Vacuum and dust your home regularly
Where does the three to five years estimate come from?
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) suggests that you have your home’s ducts professionally cleaned every three to five years. Whether you do it sooner or later depends on your home’s needs. If your ducts do a lot of hard work nonstop, you may prefer to clean your ducts more frequently.
If you find that your ducts need cleaning more frequently than that, then you probably have a larger problem to worry about. It could be that there are leaks or breaches in the system that are allowing unwanted dust and dirt into interior components. In that case, we recommend hiring an HVAC specialist to inspect your HVAC system. They’ll be able to tell you what’s wrong and how to fix it.
If you want additional help answering any of these questions, get in touch with the team at Mike Diamond. We have trained HVAC technicians on hand to help you make sure you’re doing the right thing when taking care of your home’s ductwork. We’re also available to fix problem areas, update outdated work, and change filters as needed. Give us a call anytime.