How Often Should You Clean Your Air Duct


Cleaning air ducts is greatly dependent on environmental conditions and the locality of your house. For air ducts to work at maximum capacity, they need proper cleaning. This article will help you understand. What an air duct is the parts of the air ducts, air duct cleaning tools. When you should clean the air duct.

What is an Air duct?

Air ducts are channels of pipelines that convey air entering via vents to your house or any room in the house for proper ventilation. The purpose of Air ducts is to deliver air at the proper temperature to every corner of your house, so this system makes sure good ventilation, cooling, and heating in the house.

Parts of Air Ducts

Ducts are made up of many parts, which include

  • Isolators for controlling vibration (often, air handler makes ducts tremble, which is responsible for causing noise in apartments or offices in which the system is installed. Hence, isolators play an important role in minimizing and controlling noise to ensure residents’ comfort.)
  • Dampers to control the volume of incoming air (duct system works properly only when the proper amount of air enters vents. Dampers are used to control the volume of air flowing throughout the system. Both manual and automatic dampers can be used as per your need.)
  • Take-offs for diversion of air (If your main duct system is divided into many branches, take-offs are applied in the main duct in order to dispense air into subsidiaries.)
  • Smoke Damper (these are fitted if the duct is passing near a fire curtain.)

Tools used for cleaning Air ducts

A proper and thorough air duct cleaning system can be done by using these tools:

  • Filters (Filters are changed after cleaning the air ducts. So you should choose a good filter that will work best in your system.)
  • Mask (if you are cleaning ducts by yourself, you must use a mask and gloves.)
  • Vacuum (big and powerful vacuum with a large hose is necessary to clean air ducts thoroughly. Vacuum will absorb smut and soot from vents and ducts.)
  • Brush (cleaner can use medium size to clean the inner walls of the duct system.)
  • Drill/Screwdriver (in order to open the nut and screw of vents, you need a drill powerful enough to do the task properly. Screwdriver can be helpful too.)
  • Cloth (You can use Fiber cloth for cleaning purposes.)

When often to clean the Air ducts?

If the installation of your air duct system was proper, it may work effectively and efficiently for a long period of time. It might not need cleaning from 3 years up to 5 years depending upon the material, proper sealing, and installation of the system. If you want to clean air ducts without any professional help, you should read How to Clean Air Ducts Yourself.

Even when you change the filter every six months as per recommended by the manufacturing company or you practice cleaning the floor. There is still a chance that smut and soot might enter your duct system and air duct cleaning should be done. Smut can cause contamination that will affect the quality of air inside your home as well as it will hinder your system from working effectively. This might result in high electricity bills. Dust can also reduce the duration and expectancy of ducts. when any of the following is present in ducts, needs immediate cleaning.

  • Molds

Molds are a significant cause of allergens and problems in the respiratory system. If mold is somehow present in your ducts, it can and will grow all over your house. When cold or hot air flows through the chimney. It will likely cause precipitation in vents and ducts (this problem can happen in humid environments). As mold usually grows inside ducts, vents, and around parts that you can not see through the eye, it might visibly be hard to identify mold. You can identify mold from its distinctive smell.

Air ducts need immediate cleaning if mold is present so the quality of air inside your house will be free from odor. For cleaning of duct, call a duct technician. In order to further control mold growth in your home, you need to apply a dehumidifier in your house or adjust the temperature of the air accordingly.

  • Dust/Dirt

Dust can come into your home anywhere: an open window or door, dirty shoes, or a house pet. Dusting can be helpful in controlling dirt from entering but it still can find its way into your home. With dust comes contamination and smut which affect the quality of air inside the home. Dust is visible through the naked eye so look onto ducts/ vents for dust and around metals in the duct system. If dust is present there, you should open ducts and clean the dusty areas with a vacuum or cloth, or paper towel. Changing the filter on time as per recommendation can be helpful in preventing dirt from entering ducts.

  • Rodents/pests

Air ducts are the perfect place for mice and rodents to hide in. If the sealing of your ducts is not propelling, the rodent will enter your duct through the opening and reside there. If mice are living in your ducts, they will not only cause problems in vents and ducts. But their feces will be a source of contamination in your house and the air inside. You can identify their presence by finding feces in your home and via the smell they cause. The presence of rodents or pests is an indication that not your ducts do need disinfestation and cleaning. But your house does too as they are likely to chew the wiring of your house, especially of air conditioning.

  • Remodeling/Renovation of a house

When you remodel your house or undergo renovation, dirt and smut can enter quickly inside your duct system. If not appropriately covered, construction causes a lot of dust pollution. So it is recommended to have the duct system checked after renovation, and air duct cleaning might be needed.

  • Increased Energy invoice

Suppose there is an increase in your bills. It indicates that you need to have your duct system checked and cleaned, as any leaks or openings will cause an increase in energy consumption. Leaks can be detected if the flow of air or availability of air is not even throughout your home.

Bottom Line

Air duct cleaning can be helpful in improving the air quality of your house. If you observe any mentioned signs, duct cleaning should be your priority as it will improve the life of air ducts.

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