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How Often Should I Clean My Air Ducts?

If we ask ourselves when the last time we cleaned our air ducts was, some of us might be really on point and know the answer. We might even still have the paperwork.

Many more of us might have a general recollection (e.g. “a few years back”). There’s also a chance a few of us may not have had the ducts cleaned since moving into a home or office in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora or Plainfield.

Whichever the case, it’s always a good time to revisit the subject. As we get smarter about our health, we should include the air we breathe as a factor. We spend a lot of time breathing at home and the office, so we want to be aware of air quality.

Dirty Ducts: What to Watch For

Several things can influence how often to clean your air ducts. Where you are can be one – for example, perhaps your home or office is by a construction site, a landscaping or bulk material handling business, or other land with open soil. The age and size of your office or home and how often you use your HVAC can play roles in air quality too.

Other signs it might be time to clean the air ducts include:

  • visible dust in the ducts or near vents
  • puffs or bursts of debris from the supply registers
  • build-up of debris around the air-filter area
  • mold smell or growth in the duct system
  • greater presence of dust in your spaces
  • rodents or insects inside the ducts

Dust, mold and other particles present in the air ducts will naturally circulate in your spaces. Even if they are fine enough to not present an immediate health hazard, they can still provoke existing conditions such as allergies or asthma. If allowed to build and thicken, they can also lead to discomfort in breathing the air.

When to Clean the Air Ducts

Some homes and offices in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield will require more-frequent cleaning of air ducts than others, depending on the factors just discussed. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends that, on average, the ducts be cleaned every three to five years.

Where your ducts land in that window is usually a matter of awareness and diligence. The suggested timing does not have an exact science behind it; rather, it is a consensus among HVAC professionals according to their experiences. By having your air ducts cleaned in that timeframe, you will be proactive in helping to ensure air quality.

Keep in mind also that some circumstances may call for deeper or more-frequent cleanings (i.e. a shorter cycle than three to five years). Those might include:

  • the presence of pets
  • having a smoker in the home
  • moving into another house or a newly built home
  • difficulties with allergies or respiratory illness
  • living in an older home
  • having a dust problem
  • the period after home or office remodeling
  • a presence of chemical irritants

How to Help Keep the Ducts Clean

You can take several steps to maintain cleaner air ducts and greater air quality between scheduled cleanings. They can include:

  • using the proper air filter (preferably the best one available for your unit)
  • consistently changing the filter (e.g. every three months)
  • periodically inspecting the ducts to ensure air isn’t avoiding filtration through gaps or loose fittings
  • having your HVAC system inspected and maintained by a professional
  • regularly dusting and vacuuming your spaces

Contact Us Today

Cleaner air is healthier and more comfortable air. Air Dynamics specializes in air duct cleaning, air purification and HVAC maintenance for Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora and Plainfield. If you have more questions about how often to clean your air ducts, or you would like to have them cleaned or inspected, simply give us a call at (630) 731-1550. We’ll be glad to hear from you and assist you!

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