Here's How Often You Need To Clean Your Air Ducts

Any home with an HVAC system will have air ducts running through the walls and ceilings, explains SWAN Heating & Air Conditioning. These air ducts are essentially tunnels that meet up with the various air vents located in each room of a house. When the heating or cooling system is running, the ducts carry the temperature-controlled air throughout your home, keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Unfortunately, these air ducts can also accumulate dirt and other debris over time that can lead to polluted air and worse, clogs. Not cleaning your ducts on a regular basis can also cause damage to the overall system.

So, how often should you be cleaning your home's air ducts? Howard Air recommends a thorough cleaning every three to five years. This duration may be shortened, however, if you notice signs of mold, excess dust, or animal infestations in your home. Following this cleaning schedule has several benefits. First of all, cleaning your air ducts can eliminate foul odors in your home. It can also save you money on electricity bills since your HVAC system will work less to transport air through the ducts. Another great benefit is improving your home's air quality by reducing the number of pollutants and contaminants that are in circulation. Finally, you'll prevent mold and mildew from growing and causing harm to your health. If it's time to clean your air ducts, here are a few tips.

How to clean your air ducts

On Time Home Services suggests that it's best to call a professional HVAC technician to clean your home's air ducts; however, if you're up for the challenge, you can clean them yourself from time to time. To get started, you will need to gather a vacuum, a new air filter, a screwdriver, a toilet-type brush, and some paper towels. Using the screwdriver, remove the air vent covers and wash them. Since your vents are now unprotected, it's a good idea to place some paper towels over the openings to prevent dust from entering the rooms of your home as you continue cleaning. At each opening, you will first scrape the sides of the ducts with the brush before vacuuming as deep as your vacuum's hose allows. Finally, switch out those air filters and replace the air vent covers.

While this cleaning method will take care of the dust and debris that accumulates in the visible parts of your home's air ducts, an HVAC technician will be able to carry out an even deeper cleaning, as per Calvey Heating and Air. They can insert a camera-headed cable into the ducts to determine the amount of debris buildup and better evaluate how to go about cleaning each area. Additionally, the vacuum they use has a much longer hose than a normal household one. A professional will also have the tools to clean other components of the HVAC system and ensure the entire unit is running smoothly.