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3 Sure‑Fire Signs You Should Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned

You know that dirt and debris can collect inside your ducts. But when is it too much? When should you get them cleaned?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) answers that question in their paper Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned?. Here are their 3 situations when you should consider cleaning your ducts.

“Ducts are infested with vermin”

If your ducts are infested with rodents or insects, you should have them cleaned. You’d do the same if any other part of your home was infested, right?

After all, the feces, saliva and body parts of cockroaches and other pests can cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma symptoms, especially in children.

Contact a pest control expert to get rid of the infestation, and then a duct cleaning expert to remove any allergens still in your ducts.

“Dust and debris… are actually released into the home from your [air vents]”

If you notice dust actually blowing out of your air vents when your air conditioner, furnace or heat pump turns on, you should have your air ducts cleaned.

But don’t stop there. Have your air ducts checked out for leaks. One of the most common reasons for that excessive dust buildup is leaky air ducts.

Learn more in our article: Why Does My Home Get So Dusty So Fast?

“There is substantial visible mold growth”

We agree with the EPA that if you have mold inside your ducts or on other parts of your heating and cooling system, you should get them cleaned. This can help reduce the chance of mold spores being released into your home’s air.

But, this has to be done by mold remediation specialist. These companies are specially trained in the safe removal of mold from your home. So if you suspect there might be mold in your ducts, here’s what to do:

  1. Call a mold testing company to come take a sample. They’ll send a sample of the junk in your ducts to the lab to see if it really is mold. Lots of things look like mold that aren’t actually mold. If it is mold…
  2. Hire a mold specialist to remove the mold from your home. They’ll remove or clean and disinfect anything with mold on it.
  3. Fix the source of the mold growth. If you clean out your ducts but don’t fix the problem that caused the mold in the first place, you’ll have moldy ducts all over again. In most cases, that means removing the source of the moisture and sealing the ducts to keep mold spores out.
  4. Repair, replace and/or seal your ducts. Once the mold has been fully removed, you may need to replace, repair or seal your air ducts (the mold company doesn’t usually do that for you.)

Still not sure if you should have your ducts cleaned?

The EPA has this recommendation:

If you think duct cleaning might be a good idea for your home, but you are not sure, talk to a professional. The company that services your heating and cooling system may be a good source of advice.

And it’s true! We’d be happy to check out your ducts for you and give you our advice. Just schedule an appointment with us.