If your air ducts are dirty, you may wonder whether or not it’s worth it to get an air duct cleaning. There are a lot of conflicting reports out there, with some people saying that air duct cleaning is unnecessary while others advise that you have it done every 3-5 years. The fact of the matter is that there haven’t been enough studies done to truly make a definitive statement one way or the other on whether air duct cleaning really makes a difference. Generally speaking, however, the Environmental Protection Agency states that you have your air ducts cleaned on an ‘as needed’ basis.
Here is what you need to know about the circumstances around which you should have your air ducts cleaned, as well as what you need to take into account when looking for an air duct cleaner.
Do You Really Need To Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned?
As of the time of this article, there isn’t enough research one way or the other to state whether or not air duct cleaning is something you should have done regularly. However, there are some circumstances in which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends air duct cleaning.
The EPA recommends that you have your air ducts cleaned if:
- Your ducts are clogged with dust and debris, as well as if said particles are being released into your home.
- Your ducts have an infestation of either vermin or insects.
- There is substantial mold growth in your ducts. The EPA notes that when it comes to mold growth in your ducts, the mold growth will reoccur if the conditions that allowed it to grow in the first place are not rectified.
Some homeowners like to schedule regular air duct cleaning because they simply like having clean air ducts, and it makes sense to clean your ducts the same way you would clean the rest of your home.
What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Air Ducts?
This depends. Some people can go years without needing air duct cleaning. If you are needing to schedule frequent air duct cleaning, there is likely an underlying issue that you will need to address.
For instance, as mentioned above, if you struggle with mold growth in your air ducts, this is because you have a moisture problem. Until the moisture problem is resolved, you will continue to need cleaning to get rid of the recurring mold growth.
If you struggle with clogged filters, this is likely a sign that you need to replace your air filters more frequently. In most cases, the amount of dust that gets into your duct work is within a safe range. However, as previously mentioned, if it is allowed to build up, this can cause the particles to be released into your home, which can have adverse effects on your indoor air quality.
If you have vermin in your air ducts, you’ll definitely want an air duct cleaning to remove any droppings, dander, and the like. You’ll need to uncover how they got in there in the first place in order to prevent a future infestation.
So, Does Air Duct Cleaning Make A Difference?
Yes, it definitely can. If you’re ever worried about whether you need to have your air ducts cleaned, you should hire a certified professional to evaluate your situation. They will be able to determine your problem and provide you with effective air duct cleaning solutions that shouldn’t damage your air ducts.
How To Find An Air Duct Cleaning Professional
Unfortunately, the air duct cleaning industry is full of scammers and people looking to capitalize on your concern for your home’s healthy environment. As such, it can be challenging to find an air duct cleaning professional who you can trust to make a difference.
Some of the warning signs of a bad duct cleaner include:
- A shockingly low price. Professional services should come with professional prices. If a duct cleaner quotes you something like $50, they’ll likely be dishonest with you and try to sell you on all these other services to get you to pay more.
- They claim to be EPA-certified. The EPA does not certify any duct cleaning, nor does it recommend it, except for in the cases listed above, which should include your HVAC system as a whole.
Some of the signs of a trustworthy duct cleaner include:
- Providing you with complete and knowledgeable answers to your questions.
- They have relevant licensing.
- They have not had complaints lodged against them.
- Previous customers have not had issues with their HVAC system after the service.
- They provide you with a written estimate of their service at a price that makes sense.
- They inspect your system before cleaning.
- They take care to protect your ductwork.
- They follow NADCA’s standards for air duct cleaning.