How Often Should I Get My Air Ducts Cleaned?

June 1, 2024
How Often Should I Get My Air Ducts Cleaned?

As with anything in your home, your ducts need to be maintained on a regular basis. Duct maintenance includes regular cleanings to get rid of dust, mold, and other debris that might build up. However, the frequency at which you clean your house’s ducts will vary based on a number of factors.

What Professional Groups Recommend

On average, you’re encouraged to have your ducts cleaned every three to five years for best results. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with going more than five years without a duct cleaning as long as you have no concerns about your indoor air quality.

The Other Benefits of a Duct Cleaning

Even if you don’t have any concerns about your home’s indoor air quality, there are a number of other benefits to regular duct cleanings. For instance, it’s possible that pests or other creatures have gotten into a duct from somewhere outside of the house. Getting rid of animals or removing a colony of ants or termites can protect your ducts or other parts of your home from further damage. Finally, removing dead animals or insects can prevent them from spreading viruses through their saliva, blood, or waste.

You’ll also likely notice that your heating and cooling bills are more consistent when you get rid of debris and other gunk built up inside of it. This is because more air gets to each room of the house and arrives there in a more efficient manner. Therefore, your furnace or air conditioner won’t have to stay on as long to keep your residence at a consistent temperature. Ensuring that your heating or cooling system has time to cycle off can also prevent damage to its components. This means that you’ll spend less on maintenance costs while also helping to maximize the useful life of your furnace and AC unit.

Multiple Variables Impact the Cleaning Timeline

There are a number of factors that will determine how often you’ll need to clean your home’s ducts. For example, if you have breathing issues, you may want to have them cleaned every year or two to help ease your allergy or asthma symptoms.

If you have pets, you may need to clean your ducts more often because their fur and dander will get into the air. This will lead to a faster accumulation of debris that can clog your ducts and diminish the indoor air quality.

It may also be a good idea to have ducts cleaned every couple of years if particles constantly make their way into your home from outside. For instance, if you have a lot of plants in close proximity to an entrance of your house, you may be fighting a constant battle against pollen.

Dirt, dust, and grass particles may also make their way into your home’s ducts. This may be especially true if you like to garden, mow the lawn, or engage in other activities that get you or your clothes dirty. You should also be wary of particles making their way from your car or bike into your house.

You Might Want to Consider Having Ducts Sealed

If you do have to have your ducts cleaned more than once every 36 to 60 months, you may want to simply have them sealed. Doing so can prevent a significant amount of dust, dirt, and other debris from getting inside of them, which means that you won’t have to do as much to maintain them.

Having ducts sealed can also minimize the risk of damage to a duct or other problems such as sagging. These issues can result in air simply falling through the cracks on their way to whatever room that air is supposed to be heating or cooling. Damage to the duct may also reduce its useful life and require extensive repairs to your HVAC system.

Ultimately, sealing your ducts can save time and money both now and in the future. The team that arrives to service your home will be able to talk more about the process and the potential benefits of such a decision.

Steps You Can Take to Help Your Ducts

There are several relatively easy steps that you can take to improve your indoor air quality and keep your ducts as clean as possible. First, you should make sure to change the air filters as directed by the manufacturer. Typically, an air filter will last for 30 to 90 days before it becomes too clogged to work properly.

Once an air filter becomes clogged, it will reject additional contaminants and allow them to settle on your furnace or simply float in the air. Eventually, those contaminants will make their way into the ducts where they’ll stick or be transferred around your house multiple times.

You can also have your pets groomed to reduce the amount of fur and dander that they throw into the air. If you have carpeted floors, you should have them cleaned once a year to get rid of dust, dirt, or liquids that can be trapped inside of them. Contaminants that are trapped inside of a carpet can be thrown into the air whenever you walk on it.

Any liquids that are trapped in the carpet can be a breeding ground for mold and mildew. They can also create powerful odors that waft through the house. Regular dusting or sweeping sessions are ideal if you have wood floors, as they get extremely dirty over a period of hours or days as well.

If Your Indoor Air Quality Seems Fine

Of course, you may not have allergies, have a lot of plants in your yard, or have pets living inside of your house with you. In such a scenario, it may be fine to simply clean your air ducts more than every five years, assuming that everything seems to be functioning properly.

You may still want to have your ducts inspected every few years, though, to ensure that there’s nothing wrong with them. A regular inspection can reveal gaps, mold growth, or other issues that might not be obvious unless you look for them.

It’s also important to keep in mind that ducts do have a useful life. Depending on what material they’re made of, they could last for as little as 25 years or as long as 75 years. Regular inspections can give you a better idea of whether they should be replaced due to old age or because they aren’t compatible with the new furnace that you just installed.

If you need help with duct cleaning or other indoor air quality services, get in touch with Brennan Heating & Air Conditioning today. We can also help with any plumbing issues that your home might have as well as install a generator in your house. Finally, our team can install a heater, maintain a furnace, or work on ductless systems to ensure that your Seattle, WA home is comfortable throughout the year.

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