Air ducts need cleaning for many reasons. Air vents are often cleaned because of a unique event or concern. Many homeowners want their air vents cleaned on a regular basis on account of health worries or environmental factors relevant to the location where they live. Routine air vent cleaning is a pro-active method to protect your family’s health as opposed to a reactive strategy and waiting for a excuse to clean your air vents, regardless of whether it be one the items listed below or a family member becoming ill.
The Environmental Protection Agency Air duct cleaning recommends having your air ducts cleaned if:
• You can see visible mold growth inside your ductwork or on other components of your heating and cooling system
• Your ductwork are infested with rodents or insects – cleaning will remove the pests and whatever attracted them to your ducts
• Your vents are clogged or air flow is severely restricted
Other reasons to have your air ducts cleaned include:
• Recent remodeling created a lot of dust – cleaning will prevent the dust from being distributed throughout the rest of your home
• Residents have health concerns associated with dust, mold, pollen, pet dander, etc.
• Water entered the system from a pipe break, storm, fire, etc.
• During routine service of HVAC components mold was found or significant amounts of dust and debris was released into the duct system that the homeowner does not want distributed throughout their house by their duct system
A small volume of household dust in your air vents is acceptable. If no one in your household suffers from allergies, unexplained symptoms or sicknesses and if, following a visual inspection of the inside of the air ducts, you don’t see any indication that your air ducts are contaminated with large deposits of dust or mold (no musty odor or visible mold growth, getting your air vents cleaned is in all likelihood not warranted.
If residents are experiencing unusual or unexplained medical problems or illnesses you suspect may be related to something in your house, the EPA recommends discussing the problems with your doctor. The EPA has published a guide on identifying possible issues related to indoor air quality and techniques to prevent them (The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality) available at
A large number of people have their air vents cleaned as part of a household upkeep schedule because it seems reasonable that air ducts will get dirty over time and should be cleaned from time to time like everything else. There is no evidence that suggests that this regular cleaning can do harm to a system if it is done properly.
If an air duct cleaning company does not stick to proper air vent cleaning procedures, the cleaning can make your air quality worse. For instance, if the contaminates dislodged from the ducts by the technician’s brushes are not adequately removed by a vacuum system these contaminants will be released into your house. Further, an unskilled air duct cleaner can damage your air vents or heating and cooling system causing high priced repairs or replacement or a less effective system.