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Everything You Need To Know About Cleaning Your Air Ducts


As the temperatures soar outside, your air conditioners are in high gear! But, just like any other appliance, the air conditioners will also perform better with regular maintenance. Air duct cleaning is one of the maintenance services that you need to schedule regularly to enhance the life span of your HVAC system. 

Even though you may be replacing filters, the HVAC system gets dirty due to everyday use, and the air ducts are full of dirt, dust, and allergens that can harm the air quality. With time, dust accumulates on the surface of the HVAC duct of your home. It will also lead to a higher electricity bill and reduce the lifespan of your AC system.

Below are some common issues that can occur if you fail to have your HVAC system cleaned. 


Developing molds in the air duct is a common phenomenon if not cleaned regularly. It can lead to allergies and respiratory problems and also spread across your home. The heating and cooling system is on condensation, which leads to the growth of molds in the AC ducts during humid weather conditions. The parts of your heating and cooling system are not easily approachable, so it is difficult to figure out molds in your air ducts visually. However, you can feel the presence of mold if you get a musty odor.

It is imperative to take immediate action to prevent these molds from spreading throughout the home. An air duct cleaning professional will quickly identify and take remedial measures for any mold issues. Apart from duct cleaning, you may also install a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in the air.


Some places are dusty even after regular cleaning. If you figure out that the flat surfaces in your home are again coated with dust as soon as you clean them, you need to have your AC ducts cleaned. Even if you clean your homes regularly, you can still experience dirt, pet dander, dust, and other harmful contaminants in the air ducts. You may even see dust coming out of the AC vents when you switch on the HVAC system. To prevent the dust layer, you must also replace your air filters regularly. You can also use an air purifier to trap dust particles. 

Ducts Infested With Insects / Rodents

Sadly, rodents and insects can find a home in your air ducts. They leave behind a lot of harmful bacteria. It can contaminate the air quality quickly. Typically rodents chew the ducts or find their way through an unsealed area. You can notice their droppings, chewed-up particles, or unpleasant odor that can indicate an infestation. Ignoring it can cause structural damage too. 

Construction Or Renovation In The House

If a construction or renovation is going on in the house, there may be dirt, dust, and debris that make its way. If the HVAC system is not covered during the construction process, the dirt will surely make its way to the AC ducts. It can contain particles that can cause breathing issues, so the ducts need a proper cleaning immediately.

Rising Energy Bills

Your energy bills usually remain the same over the years. However, if you receive a noticeably higher bill in a month, it might indicate that the AC ductwork might be dirty. The air does not flow freely through the HVAC system if there is a lot of dirt. Thus the air conditioner works harder to maintain the temperature, which adds to energy bills.

Benefits Of Cleaning The Air Ducts

Cleaning the HVAC system comes with a lot of benefits. First, heating and cooling become more effective, maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home. It leads to energy optimization that helps you save money, and it improves the lifespan of your AC unit. Lastly, there are health benefits of reducing allergies and leads to better air quality. 

The Air Duct Cleaning Process

While cleaning, you must also check the air ducts for water leakage, dust, or debris. After cleaning the air ducts, you must also clean the heat exchanger, drain pan, condenser and evaporator coils, fan motor, and housing system to improve the system’s efficiency.

How To Keep The Air Ducts Clean

Preventing the dirt from getting into the HVAC system is the best option to keep the air ducts clean. You must clean the air filters regularly as they are responsible for cleaning the air. Cleaning them will help keep away the pet hair, dust, and dander out of the system. You must check the filters monthly, vacuum your space regularly, and conduct professional maintenance for the heating and cooling system at least once a year.

You may handle some parts of cleaning yourself, but some maintenance areas should be by a professional. 

1. The vent covers need to be opened to check for dirt, dust, or debris inside.

2. The return air registers need to be checked for dust. 

3. The filter needs to be removed and examined.

4. Check the furnace compartment and the blower fan.

5. The air conditioning coil needs an examination.

7. The air duct covers need to be removed and cleaned properly. You can use a vacuum cleaner to clean the ducts. 

8. The ceiling vents need proper cleaning.

Bottom Line

Though regular cleaning of the air ducts is a must, it is also essential to restrict dust accumulation in your ducts. You may install filters, seal the gaps between the duct and the wall, and call for an HVAC technician to do the annual cleaning.