Maintaining and Cleaning Air Ducts

Your home accumulates as much as 40 pounds of dust every year. That’s a lot of dust in your home and in your air!

Luckily, it doesn’t have to stick around for you to keep breathing in. You can help remove most of this dust by regularly maintaining and cleaning the air ducts in your home.

Most people know they need to clean and maintain their furnace and furnace filters. However, many of us overlook the necessity of cleaning our air ducts too. Your air ducts are what circulate air from your HVAC system throughout your entire home. By cleaning them, you can help remove dust and allergens and improve the air quality in your home.

When to Clean Your Air Ducts

Unlike your furnace filter, your air ducts don’t need to be cleaned and replaced every couple months; they actually only need cleaning every couple of years. But that doesn’t mean you can put off having them cleaned. As a general rule, you need to have your ducts inspected and cleaned once every 3-5 years. The frequency of duct cleanings you need specifically depends on:

  • The number of people in your home
  • If you have pets
  • Recent renovations
  • Allergies or conditions like asthma
  • If you smoke in your home

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there are several warning signs telling you when you absolutely need to clean your ducts:

  • There’s dust blowing from the grating
  • You suspect mould in your ducts
  • There are signs of pests in your ducts

Of course, it’s best to clean your ducts well before these signs appear, but if it’s been a while since your last cleaning, it’s probably time to book one!

What Does a Duct Cleaning Include?

Duct cleaning services are much more than just a brief overview of your duct system; they include a full inspection and cleaning of your entire duct system. A typical cleaning will cover all your:

  • Air ducts
  • Air registers
  • Diffusers and grilles
  • Heat exchangers
  • Heating and cooling coils
  • Drain pans
  • Fans
  • HVAC units


Properly maintaining your home’s air system is crucial to protect the health of your home and family. Poor maintenance can also cause a stream of interrelated issues in your home. Some of the key benefits of air duct cleanings include:

Reducing Dust and Allergens

Over time, dust, dirt, and hair build up in your home’s air system. There can also be a build up of allergens like pollen and mildew. If left unclean, these particles recirculate in your home and negatively impact people with allergies or breathing conditions.

Improving Indoor Air Quality

You want to ensure your ducts are only circulating clean, fresh air. By regularly cleaning your ventilation system, you can provide clean air to everyone in your home. People with young children and pets need to be especially proactive with duct cleanings because of the additional dirt and hair they often bring in after playing outside!

Protecting Your HVAC System

Your furnace and ducts work together to clean and circulate air in your home. If dust and allergens build up in your ducts, it can negatively impact your HVAC system. Build-ups of dust and allergens forces your furnace to work harder, straining and possibly damaging the entire system. Regularly cleaning your ducts helps prolong your furnace lifespan and helps you save on costly (avoidable) repairs and maintenance.

Saving on Energy Bills

If your HVAC system is overworked, your monthly energy bill will definitely see an increase. When your ducts are dirty, your HVAC system has to work even harder to heat and cool your home. Cleaning your ducts regularly gives them a break and saves you money at the end of the month.