When to Clean Your Air Ducts?

When to Clean Your Air Ducts

Your health is directly related to the indoor air quality around you. The presence of dust particles, irritants, pollen or mold spores in your air conditioning systems can be extremely dangerous to inhale.

Just like any other HVAC system, air ducts require regular maintenance to ensure maximum efficiency. Here a question arises: When to clean your air ducts?

As a general rule of thumb, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends air duct cleaning every 3 to 5 years.

What is air duct cleaning?      

Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems.                                                                                                   

Air ducts are passageways that transport cooled and heated air throughout your house. Just like any other HVAC system, air duct cleaning and regular maintenance ensure maximum efficiency. If not cleaned timely, the accumulated dust and dirt gets filled with contaminants and air pollutants that can not only harm your indoor air quality, but can also cause your hvac system to work harder. 

Consequently, this not only increases your energy bills, but it can also significantly shorten the life expectancy of your system.

Your home’s cooling system will perform better with regular maintenance, and air duct cleaning to ensure the longevity of your entire HVAC system. 

When to Clean Your Air Ducts?

When to Clean Your Air Ducts

If you are uncertain about when to clean your air ducts and how often you should do it, here are some common signs of dirty air ducts which can cause duct porblems in long run.

Ducts clogged with dust and debris

In normal situations, air ducts do not expel visible dust or debris when the heating and cooling system is switched on, and the air starts to flow through the ducts. Therefore, if you see visible presence of dust is probably a clear sign of dirty air ducts.

Dusty surroundings

If you notice:

  • Your home or commercial area seems dusty. 
  • Every surface is coated with dust immediately after cleaning the area. 
  • If you notice dust coming out of the vents every time the HVAC system kicks on. 

These are signs of dirty ducts. You probably need to have your ducts cleaned.

Remove a vent cover filter and take a look into the ductwork. If the metal is covered in dust and you see dust and dirt both inside and outside your ducts most likely need to be cleaned. 

Make sure you replace your HVAC system air filters frequently to prevent future dust buildups. 

Ducts Infested with Insects

Even the cleanest homes can have dirt, dust, pet dander, and all sorts of harmful contaminants lingering in the air ducts. From time to time, mice, squirrels, rodents and insects can make their way into your air ducts. They leave behind all sorts of bacteria and droppings. This allows tiny fecal spores to sweep along the ducts. These spores can then make their way into your home and contaminate the quality of the air you breathe. 

Keep in mind that a bacterial infestation might require more than air duct cleaning. If the issue is overlooked, it could lead to serious damage to the hvac equipment as well as to the health. Moreover, an HVAC system that doesn’t work efficiently, leads to higher energy bills.

Frequently clogged filters

No doubt filters need to be changed periodically however, they shouldn’t be clogged after every few days of replacing them. If you have to change hvac filters every now and then this could be an indication of a deeper problem. This is a sign that you need to check on the air ducts.

Rising Energy Bills

Your heating and cooling costs should be relatively predictable from year to year. If you notice that your electricity bill has suddenly sky-rocketed, dirty ductwork might be to blame.

With the continuous use, the ductwork can get accumulated with too much dirt that air can not flow freely and efficiently through your home’s hvac system. Thus both your furnace and air conditioner are forced to work harder to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. This causes higher utility bills for you and your family.

Related: Energy saving tips for your HVAC system

Unpleasant odor from ducts

Another evident sign of the presence of debris in your commercial or industrial hvac duct system is the ducts emanating unpleasant odor. It is a sign you should conduct serious ventilation system cleaning. It is best to consult an expert technician who can inspect the air ducts for anything that could be emitting the bad smell.

Strange and unusual noises in the ductwork

If you have lived in your home or owned a building or comercial area with an hvac system installed, you definitely know how the hvac system sounds when it is operational. Your ductwork shouldn’t make a lot of noise while operating. If you hear anything more than the general motor sound, your ducts could be experiencing some problems.

Inadequate air flow

Air that travels through the duct work should deliver relatively consistent airflow from room to room. If you notice that a bathroom, bedroom, or other room in your home doesn’t receive the same level of airflow as other rooms,  inconsistency could be the reason. Dirty air ducts, accumulation of debris in your air ducts, any leaks you have in your ductwork ultimately decreases the efficiency and increase your energy bill. 

All of this causes your system to have to work harder. Hiring an air duct technician to clean your ducts won’t only remove harmful contaminants, but can also rule out potential leaks. 

Hire a Professional

When to Clean Your Air Ducts

If you are not sure when to clean your air ducts, its always good to call a professional. Cleaning your home’s air ducts is an intricate process and is not something you should attempt to do on your own. It’s a complex process that requires specialized tools and advanced knowledge of HVAC systems.  Make sure you choose a qualified contractor to ensure the job is done right. 

Alturas HVAC contractors in los angeles are skilled in providing all types of hvac cleaning and miantenece services. We have professional HVAC air duct cleaners who use commercial-grade vacuum systems and powered brushes to loosen and remove dirt and debris from your home’s or commercial HVAC system. Our Air duct cleaning professionals are also trained to diagnose other hidden problems in an HVAC system that a homeowner may not be able to identify. 

When to Clean Your Air Ducts FAQ’s

How do I know if my air ducts need to be cleaned?

There are many signs that shows that your air ducts needs cleaning. Have your air ducts cleaned if:

  • Are visibly contaminated with substantial mold growth, pests, or vermin. 
  • The ducts are clogged with substantial deposits of dust or debris.
  • There is an inadequate airflow across the house.
  • You hear strange noises from the duct or sense an unpleasant odor
  • Your electricity bill has suddenly sky-rocketed. 

Can air duct cleaning cause damage?  

If  the cleaning is done properly, no evidence suggests that duct cleaning would be damaging. Ducts should be cleaned as required. But It is still best to call a professional duct cleaner to avoid any damage. 

Can you clean your own air ducts?

Cleaning air ducts is not a do-it-yourself job. It requires special tools, such as a high-powered vacuum and rotary brushes, that are not often found with everyone. Furthermore, an improper cleaning job could damage the ducts, resulting in expensive repairs. We recommend scheduling regular air duct cleaning services from a professional HVAC technician to keep your system in the best possible shape.

How often to clean air ducts?

Experts advise having your air ducts cleaned after every 2 to 3 years to prevent greater problems before they start. However, homes with pets or children with allergies or respiratory problems should have their air ducts professionally cleaned more frequently than the recommended average.

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