If you have air conditioning and heating ducts in your home (and nearly all homes do), then you’ve probably heard that they’re supposed to be cleaned at least once in a while.

With that being said, there are probably a few questions that come to the forefront of your mind when you think about this:

  • Why do you need to clean your air ducts? 
  • How often do you need to do it? 
  • Is it crucial, or is it just one of those things that people ‘say’ you’re supposed to do?
  • And perhaps most importantly—can you do it yourself, or do you need to hire someone to do it? 

These are great questions. 

And in this blog post, we’re going to pull back the curtain and help you understand the whys, whens, and hows of this particular aspect of household heating and cooling maintenance.

Let’s dive into it.

Why Do You Need To Clean Your Air Ducts?

The condition of the inside of the air ducts that carry warm and cool air (depending on the season) throughout your home is actually more important than a lot of people realize. 

These ducts are literally carrying the air that you’re going to be living and breathing in. 

And if they’re neglected, they can accumulate allergens and debris that can reduce the cleanliness and purity of the air. 

For example, air ducts can accumulate dust particles, pollen, mold, and dander. 

Sometimes, rodents and insects even build homes inside your ductwork!

And guess what? All of these things (including matter from potential animal/insect droppings) are going to get spewed out into your breathing air every time you turn on the heater or the air conditioner if you don’t keep the ducts clean.

How Often Do Air Conditioning Ducts Need To Be Cleaned?

As a general rule, you’ll want to get your air ducts professionally cleaned every three to five years. 

With that being said, this can also vary depending on several different factors. 

For example—if you tend to live on a very dusty country road, then you may need to clean them more often due to the larger amounts of dust that will accumulate over time. 

If you have a lot of pets, you may need to clean them more often as well. 

You may also need to clean them more often if you just live in a damper, more moisture-prone climate—as this can lead to a buildup of mold and mildew within the ducts.

Can You Clean Your Air Conditioning Ducts Yourself, Or Do You Need To Hire A Professional?

The good news is that you can actually clean your ducts by yourself.

The bad news is that this isn’t always possible in every situation. 

Here’s what we mean. 

First of all, some air ducts are actually long and complex. As such, cleaning them requires special equipment. 

This isn’t true in every house or residence. 

However, this does tend to be true in larger houses that are equipped with more complicated ductwork networks. 

With all this being said, a good rule of thumb is this:

Once per year, you should take a look into the ducts yourself, and use a vacuum and a brush to carefully remove as much debris as possible. 

Then, you can schedule routine maintenance with a professional every 3 to 5 years, to really make sure that the nooks and crannies are cleaned—and to make sure that all of those hard-to-reach places are thoroughly cared for. 

Of course, to make things easier, you can also just hire a professional to do it on an annual or biennial basis. 

Honestly, it’s pretty affordable to hire someone to perform a ductwork cleaning for you—and the benefits that you’ll gain from better air quality and air circulation will be more than worth it. 


There you have it.

The whys and whens of air duct cleaning, and everything you need to know to get started. 

Of course, if you’re looking for a professional and need some assistance, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We’d love to come out, take a look, and give you a quote for the service.

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