Most people do not ever give their ducts a second thought, believing them to ne clean enough. But over the years, your ducts start to collect not just dust, but debris, insects, and even pests like rodents and mold. Besides simply blowing all of those contaminants into your home every time you turn on your HVAC system, these elements can start to clog up your vents, making them less efficient. This means you’ll have to pay more to cool or heat your building.

How often should you clean your central air ducts

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For homeowners how often the central air ducts need to be cleaned really depends on the building: whether it  located in a dust/smoke prone area, how many inhabitants there are, lifestyle (such as smoking indoors/pets), if the premises has experienced water damage, and just generally how comfortable you feel.

Many homeowners have their ducts cleaned before the allergy season – spring. Others like to have their ducts cleaned just before the onset of winter because doors and windows will  closed much of the time and the HVAC system will be pulling double duty.

There are a few indicators that may suggest it’s time for you to have your central air ducts cleaned.


1. The house is always dusty

Dirty HVAC systems can recirculate dust-laden air throughout the house. If you notice your house becoming dusty shortly after you have cleaned there is a good chance that the ducts are blowing dust. How quickly dust particles accumulate in central heating/air-conditioning depends on lifestyle with pets (or smoking and cooking); prevailing smoke and dust in the area; and whether the HVAC system has a leak.

2. Respiratory problems

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Persistent coughs and colds are another indicator of dirty central air ducts. Mould is one of the biggest worries in Canadian homes, especially during wintertime, but respiratory problems can be triggered by things like pollen, pet dander and smoke.

Check your registers, grills and diffusers for signs of accumulating debris. This can be re-circulated every time HVAC fans turn on, causing breathing difficulties, watery eyes and runny noses. Those with acute allergies will feel an even stronger effect.

3. You have just completed a major build or renovation

Construction dust gets into every nook and cranny around the house – and air ducts are no exception. In fact, if you keep your heating system running during the renovation (many people do to stave off cold drafts), you are introducing a lot of dust into the system.

In such a case it  extremely advisable that central air ducts be cleaned immediately. Construction materials  known to cause health issues if inhaled.

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