Princeton Capital Blog

Should You Get Your Ducts Cleaned?

November 5th, 2013

shutterstock_106953338Should You Get Your Ducts Cleaned?

You’ve gotten the coupons for $39 to clean out your HAVC ducts, and they’ll throw in cleaning out your dryer vent.

But is it a good deal to get them cleaned?

Well, it’s always a good idea to keep your dryer vent cleaned out. Twice a year, you should take off the soft duct that connects the dryer to the vent and clean it out (don’t be surprised by what you find, even if you clean out the filter after every load). If you have a lot of lint, you will probably want to hire someone to clean out the dryer vent from where it connects the dryer to where it exhausts on the side or back of your house. It can be a fire hazard if it builds up too much.

But What About the HVAC Ducts?

This is where the big question mark comes in.

If you change the filters in your furnace twice a year (Spring and Fall), then you probably don’t need to get your air ducts cleaned.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has this to say:

Knowledge about air duct cleaning is in its early stages, so a blanket recommendation cannot be offered as to whether you should have your air ducts in your home cleaned. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urges you to read this document in it entirety as it provides important information on the subject.

Duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts. This is because much of the dirt in air ducts adheres to duct surfaces and does not necessarily enter the living space. It is important to keep in mind that dirty air ducts are only one of many possible sources of particles that are present in homes. Pollutants that enter the home both from outdoors and indoor activities such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, or just moving around can cause greater exposure to contaminants than dirty air ducts. Moreover, there is no evidence that a light amount of household dust or other particulate matter in air ducts poses any risk to your health.

The EPA also went on to say that you should get them cleaned if:

  • There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system.
  • Ducts are infested with vermin, e.g. (rodents or insects);
  • Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are actually released into the home from your supply registers.

The bottom line is that if you have, shall we say, chunks of blockage, your heater and air conditioning will be working harder. If you get them cleaned, the HVAC will work more efficiently. If you take a peek into your ducts and don’t see anything, then you don’t need to get them cleaned. If you’re not having allergy problems, you don’t need to get them cleaned.

If it makes you feel better, then get them cleaned.  There’s nothing solid one way or another that it’s good or bad for your home, and therefore should be up to you.

Have you had your ducts cleaned? Did it help with dust?

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