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Replacing air filters regularly and periodically cleaning out ducts both help maintain a clean and efficient HVAC system. However, filters and duct cleanings offer different benefits and work in tandem to provide truly healthy indoor air.

Regular Air Filter Changes

Initially, replacing or washing furniture filters every 1-3 months depending on the filter type is essential for trapping dirt, dust and allergens before they enter your ductwork. Higher MERV-rated filters capture even finer contaminants. While filters alone remove only a fraction of dust from ducts, they help keep particles from building up inside over time.

Pros of Filter Changes

Filter replacements are inexpensive and easy to do yourself. Many systems use 1″ or 4″ pleated filters that cost just $5-$20 each. Changes only require a few minutes of effort. This accessibility makes adhering to a strict filter change schedule much more feasible.

Duct Cleanings Every Few Years

Alternatively, professional duct cleanings remove virtually all accumulated contaminants from air ducts through vacuuming, brushing and even anti-microbial fogging. While ducts collect debris that bypass filters, cleanings every 3-5 years extract dust that has settled inside ductwork and components.

Benefits of Duct Cleaning

Though more infrequent and costly at $200 to $500, full duct cleanings capture contaminants filters miss. Reducing dust levels within the entire ventilation system boosts air quality and system efficiency. Cleanings also extend the service life of your HVAC unit.

Why Both Are Recommended

Ultimately, regular filter replacements and periodic duct cleanings work together to achieve the healthiest indoor environment. Filters help prevent excess buildup of dust inside ducts between cleanings. But they cannot remove contaminants already accumulated. Meanwhile, cleanings extract virtually all particles that bypass filters over time.

The Combination Effect

Together, air filters and duct cleaning create a one-two punch for a truly clean ventilation system. Filters trap incoming particles on an ongoing basis while cleanings remove any residue that has collected. The result is superior indoor air quality, increased comfort, energy savings and a longer-lasting HVAC system.

In summary, while air filter replacement is a more frequent and affordable option, professional duct cleanings offer deepercontaminant removal.Butto ensure optimalperformance andair quality in your home, bothpractices are recommendedascomplementary solutions within aclean HVAC maintenance program.

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