Do You Need Your Air Ducts Cleaned? Here’s How to Tell

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Most homeowners don’t give much thought to ductwork. After all, your ductwork is out of sight, so it’s easy to forget about it. Unfortunately, since ductwork is hidden, it’s hard to know when it needs cleaning. But clean ducts can help you save money and energy, keep your home clean, prevent fires, and extend the life span of your HVAC system. So how do you know if you need your air ducts cleaned? 

How Often Do You Need Your Air Ducts Cleaned?

Some aspects of HVAC care should be done regularly, like replacing air filters and scheduling routine HVAC maintenance. Air duct cleaning, on the other hand, is a different story. According to the EPA, you don’t need air ducts cleaned routinely, but they do require cleaning on an as-needed basis. 

Since it can be hard to know when your air ducts need to be cleaned, here are signs to look out for: 

Mold 

If you or an HVAC technician find mold on parts of your HVAC system, then there might be a mold accumulation in your air ducts. It’s also possible to see mold growth around your vents or in your ducts. 

If you think you have mold, it’s best to have a professional HVAC technician take a look at your HVAC system and ductwork. If a mold problem is verified, then it’s a good idea to have your air ducts cleaned, but that’s not all. 

It’s also essential to fix the problem causing mold in the first place. A professional HVAC technician can solve the underlying issues causing mold growth before you have your air ducts cleaned. 

Your Home is Very Dusty 

Every home has dust, regardless of regular cleaning. But if you notice that surfaces in your home are constantly covered in dust, even after you’ve cleaned, you may need your air ducts cleaned.

Dust build up around your vents and registers are also good indicators to look out for.  The same goes for if you find excessive dust on other components of your HVAC system. 

If you experience these problems, then remove vent covers and take a good look at your supply and return vents. If there is excessive dust, pet dander, or debris build-up, then you should call a professional ductwork cleaner.  

Weak or Inconsistent Air Flow 

If you notice that air is not blowing out of your vents as strongly as it used to or as it should, then you may need your air ducts cleaned. The same applies if you notice that airflow is less in some rooms than others. 

Exessive dust and debris build-up or large obstructions in your ductwork can block the air. Ductwork cleaning can remedy this problem. 

Rodent or Insect Infestation 

Pests can enter your home through the smallest and most unexpected cracks and spaces. These pests can cause serious damage to your HVAC system. Chewing through wiring, making nests in ductwork, and dying inside HVAC equipment can all interfere with HVAC efficiency. As can leaving behind debris, droppings, and more. Pests can also lead to other problems like illness and unwanted odors. 

If you hear, see, or smell evidence of rodents or insects in your ductwork, it’s best to take action immediately. 

Unexpected Spikes in Energy Bills 

Many things can cause sudden spikes in energy bills, such as common problems with your air conditioner or if you need a furnace repair or replacement. But, if your energy bills increase significantly and there’s no other explanation, it might be due to clogs or leaks in your air ducts. 

Your Home Was Recently Renovated 

While there are many ways to protect your HVAC system during renovations, construction creates a lot of dust and debris. Unless your HVAC system is completely covered and kept off during the entirety of construction, then this dust and debris will make its way into your air ducts. 

It’s a good idea to at least have your ductwork looked at after a renovation. 

Dirty Air Filters 

An important component of HVAC maintenance you can do yourself is changing your air filters. You should change your air filters every 30 days. But, if you notice that your air filters are excessively dirty when you change them, or in between changes, then you may need your air ducts cleaned. 

New or Increased Respiratory or Allergy Problems 

Dirty or clogged air filters don’t necessarily equal increased respiratory or allergy problems. But air ducts are responsible for circulating air around your home. If that air is full of dust, pollutants, and allergens, then it can lead to increased sensitivities. 

If you or a member of your family notices new or increased respiratory or allergy problems, and no other causes can be identified, it might have to do with your air ducts.

You Have Pets 

Having pets doesn’t mean that you need to have your air ducts cleaned all the time, but it does increase the need for air duct cleaning. Pets can introduce more pollutants, dander, and particles into your home. These  can all find their way into your air ducts leading to build-up and clogs. 

Make sure to keep your HVAC and your furry companions healthy by following these HVAC maintenance tips for pet owners. Also, keep in mind that you may need to keep an extra attentive eye out for signs that you need your air ducts cleaned. 

Inspecting Your Air Ducts

If you suspect that you need your air ducts cleaned and want confirmation, you can always check your air ducts yourself. All you have to do is remove your air vent or register covers and take a look inside. For a better look, you can use a flashlight or take a picture with the flash on. If you have a selfie stick, you can get your camera further in your vents for an even better view. 

If you need help determining whether or not you need your air ducts cleaned, or if the causes of the signs mentioned above are from another component of your HVAC system, contact Airxperts. We’re here for all your HVAC needs. 

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