How Often Should I Get My Ducts Cleaned?

January 22, 2021

If you’ve noticed problems with the indoor air quality in your Roseville, MI, area home, dirty air ducts could be to blame. Most people don’t think about their air ducts much, but they’re an important part of your home’s heating and cooling system. Each time your heating or cooling system cycles, some dust, and other particles get into the ducts. Some of it enters your living spaces and circulates through your home, and the rest of it creates a layer of buildup that impedes airflow. Here’s what you need to know about how often to schedule professional duct cleaning and which special circumstances would necessitate more frequent cleanings of your home’s air ducts.

Why Ducts Need to Be Professionally Cleaned

When dust, dirt, and other particles build up in your home’s air ducts, less heated or cooled air can pass through them. Your heating or cooling system will have to cycle more frequently, which leads to excessive wear and tear. The decrease in airflow also affects your comfort. Your home could develop hot or cold spots, leading you to tinker with the thermostat. Dirty air ducts can also result in higher heating and cooling costs, especially if you raise the thermostat in the winter or lower it in the summer in order to accommodate the reduction of airflow. Dirty ducts can also contribute to poor indoor air quality in your home. The air in your home can be two to five times more polluted than the outdoor air. Breathing particles, vapors, and germs into your lungs may contribute to respiratory problems, infections, and difficulty breathing. Regular duct cleaning can help you avoid all of these issues.

Duct Cleaning Schedule for Typical Homeowners

A typical household with no pets, no smokers, and no occupants with respiratory problems or chronic illnesses should schedule duct cleaning every three to five years. If you vacuum at least once per week with a unit that has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, don’t wear shoes in your home and dust a lot, particles and other contaminants won’t build up too quickly. The three- to five-year schedule will keep the ducts clean so that heated or cooled air can flow through them.

Health Conditions That Warrant More Frequent Air Duct Cleaning

If a member of your household has a respiratory disorder or another chronic health condition, you should schedule duct cleaning every year. Some health conditions that warrant annual duct cleaning include chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), asthma, allergies to dust or dander, other lung disease, heart disease, and immune system disorders. People with one or more of these conditions can experience more severe symptoms from breathing a lower concentration of airborne contaminants.

Special Circumstances for More Frequent Duct Cleaning

If your household includes a premature baby, newborn, or elderly person, it’s also a good idea to schedule an annual duct cleaning. These individuals have respiratory systems that put them at a higher risk for breathing disorders and infections. Anyone who is recovering from a severe respiratory illness or who needs to use oxygen should also have their air ducts cleaned every year. If your home has recently been treated for mold, pests, or a similar problem, schedule duct cleaning. The high-power vacuums will remove the remaining materials that could trigger allergy or asthma symptoms.

Duct Cleaning After a Home Renovation

Even if you had your ducts cleaned last year, you might need to have them cleaned again this year if you recently remodeled or renovated your home. Some activities related to home improvements generate a lot of dust and other particles. Refinishing hardwood floors, redoing plaster or drywall, installing new fiberglass insulation and sanding trim are just a few home improvements that release a lot of particles into the air. The heating and cooling system’s intake will pull in those particles, which will settle out into the ducts. As soon as your home remodeling project is complete, have the ducts professionally cleaned.

Duct Cleaning Before a New Heating or Cooling System Installation

If you’ve noticed higher utility bills for no obvious reason, debris in the ducts could be to blame. Poor heating and cooling system performance is a common result of dirty air ducts. Before you have your heating or cooling system replaced, schedule duct cleaning. You might discover that your current system does provide enough heated or cooled air once the duct buildup is removed.

Why You Should Schedule Duct Cleaning After Buying a Home

Purchasing a new home means that you’ll have a lot of maintenance and work to do. Before you move in, have the ducts cleaned. This is especially important if the previous owner was a pet owner or smoker. If the seller couldn’t prove the ducts were cleaned within the past five years, having this done before you move in will improve your comfort and health. You’ll also benefit from the increased efficiency of the heating and cooling system.

How Duct Cleaning Improves Your Comfort

A buildup in air ducts reduces the airflow rate. If you barely feel a trickle of air coming from the vents, you might decide to raise the thermostat in the winter or lower it in the summer. By getting rid of the buildup, duct cleaning allows more of the heated or cooled air to reach your living spaces. The faster airflow rate will improve your comfort level in every room of your home.

Health Benefits of Regular Duct Cleaning Services

Even if you don’t have allergies, asthma, or another breathing disorder, inhaling particles isn’t good for your lungs, nose, or throat. The particles can cause chronic irritation, which leads to more mucus production, inflammation, and irritation. Once the layers of debris are removed from the ducts, you’ll be able to breathe easier. Less inflammation and irritation in your mucous membranes and lungs are also good for your immune system. If you get exposed to viruses or bacteria, you’ll need a strong immune system to fight off the germs.

How Duct Cleaning Improves Heating and Cooling System Efficiency

Dust and debris in air ducts hinder airflow. The heating and cooling system will have to cycle more frequently. This causes a lot of wear and tear on the capacitor, thermocouple, and blower motor. When the ducts are clean, nothing interferes with the flow of heated or cooled air into your living spaces.

Duct Cleaning Could Increase Heating and Cooling System Lifespan

Excessive wear and tear caused by dirty ducts and frequent cycling can shorten your heating and cooling system’s lifespan. Duct cleaning keeps critical components of the system clean. Clean parts are able to move freely, and with less friction, so they’ll last longer and have fewer malfunctions or breakdowns.

C & C Heating & Air Conditioning is Roseville’s trusted provider of thorough duct cleaning services. Homeowners also reach out to us for affordable heating and air conditioning maintenance, repair, replacement, and installation services. Our ductless mini splits and indoor air quality solutions are designed with your comfort, health, and well-being in mind. To learn more about how often to schedule duct cleaning for your household, get in touch with us at C & C Heating & Air Conditioning today.

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