How To Know If A Professional Duct Cleaning Is Right For You

Posted on: 4 December 2015

Around this time of year, lots of HVAC companies start to advertise their duct cleaning services.  Here is a quick breakdown of what happens when you get your ducts professionally cleaned, and how to determine if this is the right course of action for your ducts at this time.

How Ducts Are Cleaned

There are a few different methods that HVAC companies use to clean ducts with. Many companies actually use a combination of the following methods:

  • Hand-Held Vacuum: This method is generally used in combination with another method. An HVAC mechanic would use a large vacuum that has a high=efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter with a brush attachment to clean your ducts.
  • Air Sweep: With this method, an HVAC technician would use a vacuum system that is mounted to their truck in order to break up any dust and debris inside of your ducts. A compressed-air hose is worked through the ducts in order to slowly clean them.
  • Mechanical Brush: A truck mounted vacuum system is used along with a rotating mechanical brush to clean your ducts. This method works best on newer duct systems. The rotating brush can damage older systems.

Signs Your Ducts Need Cleaned

Generally, you can figure out if your ducts need to be cleaned by taking a couple of seconds to shine a light into a few of your ducts. If you notice or see any of the following things when you shine a light into your ducts, they probably need to be cleaned:

  • Cobwebs
  • Dead insects
  • Rodent droppings
  • Dust bunnies
  • Various dirt and debris
  • Mold

If your ducts have one or more of the above things inside of them, it is probably time to clean them. Cleaning your ducts will remove all the items listed above. You'll no longer be breathing air that has to push past all of those obstacles.

Signs Your Ducts Are Just Fine

If you don't see very much debris inside of your ducts when you inspect them, than you can probably wait another year to have your ducts cleaned. Your ducts do not need to be cleaned every year, so if they look relatively clean to you, you may be able to get away with just cleaning them out with your own vacuum cleaner and waiting until next year to have them professionally cleaned.

Just like the rest of your house, sometimes your ducts need to be cleaned. Take a flashlight today and inspect your ducts. If they are full of debris that you can see, just imagine what you can't see!