Many homeowners often ask themselves if they should have their air ducts cleaned. Cleaning is a service offered by some HVAC companies as part of their maintenance package, promising cleaner air and improved efficiency. While these claims may be appealing, you may ask yourself whether it is actually important for your home and if it will deliver the promised results.

Evidence to Support Cleaning

Currently, there is no strong evidence to support the theory that cleaning your air ducts will prevent health issues or improve HVAC efficiency. While there is evidence that having dirty coils, air handler units or motors will make your HVAC equipment less efficient, there is no research to prove routine duct cleaning will reduce dust in your home. While this may seem like duct cleaning is a waste of time, there is some evidence that giving your air ducts a little attention can help you to deal with specific problems to keep your system running efficiently. After all, if there is any kind of obstruction in your ductwork, it will force the system to work harder to deliver heated or cooled air throughout your living spaces.

When Cleaning is Necessary

There are some very specific signs that determine when air duct cleaning would be highly beneficial. The most obvious is rodent droppings or insect bodies in the ducts. Not only will the by-products from these unpleasant materials circulate in your indoor air, but they are also a sign that you may have rodents or insects living inside your air ducts.

Another sign that cleaning is necessary is if there is a moldy or musty smell coming from your HVAC system. Mold develops because of trapped moisture, so it is important to have an experienced HVAC technician inspect your ducts. Mold spores can travel throughout your home, compromising your health and encouraging colonies to develop in other areas of your home.

Finally, you may want to consider duct cleaning if anyone in your family is experiencing unexplained Allergy Outbreaks. If you’ve taken steps and precautionary measures to ensure that your home is decontaminated to avoid an allergy related illness, it is a good idea to consider duct cleaning.

Should You Clean Your Ducts

If your ducts are clogged up with debris or dust, it is likely to have detrimental effects on your system efficiency. The air inside the system needs to properly circulate to maintain your desired temperature inside your home, so if there is an obstruction, the system will be forced to work harder and harder.

While duct cleaning may not be necessary for many homes, both the National Air Duct Cleaners Association and the EPA agree that duct cleaning does provide some benefits. The EPA recommends cleaning, but only if there is evidence that the ductwork or HVAC unit has become contaminated. Many homeowners can immediately improve indoor air quality by regularly changing furnace filters and having the equipment serviced regularly without a need for duct cleaning. Properly installed and sealed air ducts should rarely need cleaning, but if you feel your home would benefit, ensure that you hire an experienced HVAC professional to avoid any potential problems.