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How Often Should I Have My Ducts Cleaned?

Do you have pet hair and dust accumulating in or around your vents? If there’s a noticeable plume of particulates whenever your heating or air conditioning system gets turned on, it might be time to have your ducts cleaned out. Read on to learn more about how often you should get this done as well as what signs to look out for.

Why it’s Important to Have Your Ducts Cleaned

Your HVAC system has a big job to do. It heats and cools your home, dispersing air all through it to keep you comfortable. HVAC systems incorporate an air filtration system designed to catch and remove particles floating around, which would otherwise pollute the air quality indoors. However, these air filters can only do so much. Over time, as pet dander, dust, dead skin cells and other particles accumulate, it can build up in the vents and cause allergens and dust mites to thrive. This can eventually impact your overall health and comfort.

When to Get Them Cleaned

To improve your indoor air quality and reduce the presence of these particulates, it’s best to have the ducts cleaned every two to three years if not more frequently. However, this can vary depending on certain factors. If you live in an older home with lots of dust and you own a pet, for instance, then you should aim to have them cleaned annually.

Warning Signs that it’s Time for a Duct Cleaning

Thick, Fuzzy Coating on Vents

The first sign is usually a noticeable build-up of dust on and within your ventilation. If you keep vacuuming the grate, yet there’s a new layer of dust caked on each week, it’s time to get it cleaned by an experienced professional.

Dirty Air Filter

The air filter for the HVAC system is another good indicator. If it’s clogged and dirty, it means the airflow is being negatively impacted by the amount of dust in the duct network. Swap it out as soon as possible, ideally with a MERV or HEPA filter. This should be done once a year at a minimum.

Dust Accumulation in Motor and Blower Fan 

You can also take a look at your furnace to see how much dust has accumulated. When you open it up, inspect the motor and blower fan. If there’s a lot of dust, it will inhibit system performance and energy efficiency. It can also make equipment more difficult to keep well-maintained. Schedule an expert cleaning to mitigate these risks.

Inspect Your A/C Coil

Dust around the coil of the air conditioning unit can indicate the presence of a clogged filter. Take off the back panel and have a look to see what condition it’s in. In some cases, it may need to be replaced as well.

Problems Caused by Dirty Ductwork

More Work for Your HVAC System

When the ducts are clogged with dust and debris, it forces the HVAC system to work twice as hard to heat, cool and disperse air. This means it will run longer, use up more energy, and cost you more each month.

Reduced Equipment Lifespan/Reliability

When the HVAC system has to work longer and harder to operate, it increases the wear and tear of it, decreasing the lifespan of the unit. This could require more frequent repairs or an entire replacement much sooner than expected.

Contaminated Air

In addition to dust and pet dander, dangerous particulates can develop in the ducts and contaminate the air. This includes mold spores, microorganisms from cat litter, pollen, fungi and more. Without regular cleanings, the ducts can become a veritable petri dish for bacteria to thrive in, which can cause allergies and respiratory problems.

If you think it’s time to have the ducts cleaned for your home or business, our team is here to help with friendly, fast, and effective service. We leave nothing to chance, ensuring you have absolute peace of mind. To learn more, contact us at Power Vac of Ottawa for a cleaning!