How Often Should Air Ducts Be Cleaned?

signs of dirty air ducts

How Often Should Air Ducts Be Cleaned?

From unpleasant smells to high energy bills or even health problems, the signs of dirty air ducts can present in a variety of ways. At Energy Saving Pros, we can help you protect your health, your home, and your wallet with professional duct cleaning services. We put together this guide to help you understand how often your ducts should be cleaned and how to tell when it’s time for a cleaning. 

Why Should You Have Your Air Ducts Professionally Cleaned?

According to the EPA, American homes often have higher concentrations of air pollutants indoors than out—by as much as five times more in some cases. Poor indoor air quality can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms or make them worse. To improve your indoor air quality, you can regularly vacuum carpets and rugs, wash sheets and curtains, and change your HVAC filters. 

However, if your air ducts are dirty, they will only continue to recirculate polluted air throughout your home. A certified HVAC professional can thoroughly clean your air ducts to ensure your family breathes healthy air for months and even years to come. 

How Often Should Your Air Ducts Be Cleaned?

To extend the life of your HVAC system and improve your home’s air quality, your air ducts should be professionally cleaned once every three to five years. If you’ve never had your ducts cleaned, or if you just moved into a new home, you should schedule a cleaning as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea to clean your air ducts shortly after building or remodeling your home to get rid of construction dust and debris. 

When Is the Best Time to Get Your Air Ducts Cleaned?

The best time to schedule an air duct cleaning is in the late spring or early fall, since you are less likely to need heating or cooling during those seasons. However, if you notice any signs of dirty air ducts, it’s best to schedule a cleaning sooner rather than later. In between professional cleanings, make sure to vacuum over and around your vent covers to help reduce dust buildup. 

Five Signs of Dirty Air Ducts

1: Dust Build Up

If it seems like you keep finding layers of dust throughout your home no matter how often you clean, it’s time to call in an HVAC professional. Sudden dust buildup is a sign that your HVAC system isn’t working properly, whether from dirty air ducts or another issue. Regular duct cleanings, however, can help reduce dust buildup and prevent system malfunctions. 

2: Mold Growth

Mold inside your HVAC vents may be difficult to detect, but it can cause health problems in your family. If you notice mold growing around your vent covers or a musty odor coming from your vents, don’t hesitate to schedule a duct cleaning. Investing in an air purifier and a solar attic fan will help reduce humidity and mold growth in other areas of your home, such as your attic.  

3: Rodent or Insect Infestations

Mice, insects, and other pests may make their way into your home’s ductwork. Their nests and droppings can then contaminate the air your system circulates through your home. If you notice unpleasant smells, rodent droppings, insects, or chewed up items around your vents, you may have an infestation. 

4: Clogged Air Filters 

You should change your HVAC air filters every three months, but if they get clogged more frequently, it’s a sign to have your air ducts professionally cleaned. Clogged filters place unnecessary stress on your HVAC unit, which can cause malfunctions and higher energy bills. Remember to check your filters at least once a month to look for dirt and debris buildup. 

5: High Energy Bills

Because dirty air ducts make your HVAC system work so much harder, they can lead to higher energy costs. Unnecessary stress can also cause your HVAC unit to fail, so if you ever notice a sudden increase in your energy bills, schedule a cleaning as soon as possible. Having your ductwork regularly cleaned can help you avoid unexpected expenses like additional HVAC maintenance or repairs.  

Sacramento Air Duct Cleaning Services

If you notice any signs of dirty air ducts, the experts at Energy Saving Pros can help! We offer professional duct cleaning services to residents in the Greater Sacramento area. We also offer a wide range of energy saving services that can help improve your home’s air quality and energy efficiency. Call 916-259-2501 today to schedule a free consultation. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (7/19/2022). Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash