Allergy sufferers, smokers, pet owners, new parents, and first-time homeowners all have the same question on their mind: does air duct cleaning work? In a word, yes, but it is still important for homeowners to understand when they should and should not clean their air ducts.
Here’s a handy guide to help you determine whether or not you need the service performed.
CLEAN: If Someone in Your Family Has Respiratory Trouble
People who suffer from indoor allergies or people with asthma can be especially sensitive to irritants in the air. There are many ways to prevent these from building up; regular housecleaning, changing your air filters, and periodic air duct cleaning. If there are allergens hiding in your duct work, they can recirculate into the house. This can cause highly sensitive people to suffer unnecessarily. A cleaning could eliminate these issues.
DON’T CLEAN: Every Year
It is recommended that you have your air ducts professionally cleaned by a reputable company once every 3 to 5 years. When an HVAC system is running like it’s supposed to, there is absolutely no need for you to go poking around looking for dirt and dust.
For one thing, professional air duct cleaning services can be expensive. On average, homeowners can expect to pay anywhere between $400 and $1000 for the service. Secondly, if you are regularly changing your filters, there simply is not enough dust gathering in your air vents over the course of a single year to warrant cleaning.
CLEAN: If You’ve Just Had Renovation Work Done
Your air filters are designed to handle the dust smoke and pollen that is kicked up from everyday living. Heavy duty renovation work however is a different story. There is a significant amount of dust and fumes generated during a renovation, and a lot of it can wind up in your air ducts throughout your home.
If your home is older, there may even be some concerns about lead paint or asbestos. Call a duct cleaning service to make sure all the dust is safely removed.
DON’T CLEAN: If You Plan to Do This Yourself
You risk doing more harm than good if you try to clean out your air ducts yourself. You may perforate or tear your ducts, allowing much more dust to begin circulating, or you may stir up dust and debris without properly removing it. Leave this one to the professionals.
CLEAN: If You’re Moving into a Home That Had a Smoker, Pets, Etc.
There’s no delicate way to put this; some homes just have a certain odor to them. If you are moving into a new home and the previous owner was a smoker, or had pets, or an affinity for very spicy food, those odors may remain in the house, until you literally scrub them out. Part of this process will include thoroughly cleaning your air vents and ducts.
Air Duct Cleaning Scams – Better Business Bureau & Inside Edition:
DON’T CLEAN: Just Because You Saw a Crazy Price in an Ad
Your air ducts may be perfectly clean, or at least clean enough to get you through another year or two, but here you are staring at an ad promising to complete the service for $79. Don’t be fooled! More often than not, these prices are there to let a company get their foot in the door, and then begin adding on charges.
CLEAN: If You Find an Emergency Situation
Mold, insects, or rodents can unfortunately find their way into your air system. If you suspect any of these, call a professional right away. If you would feel more comfortable confirming the issue with more than one company, do so.
Air duct cleaning can be very beneficial to your home, but only if it’s done the right way, and for the right reasons.