When it comes to HVAC maintenance, air duct cleaning is just one of the many parts of that checklist. It’s one thing to know what you can do to keep your air ducts clean, but one question remains: How often should air ducts be cleaned? To understand the complete answer to this question, here is a deeper dive into how often air ducts should be cleaned and why they should be cleaned at those times.

How Often Should Air Ducts Be Cleaned?

You probably already have a lot of different ideas as to what the answer to “How often should air ducts be cleaned?” might be. If you were to say every month or every two months, that would be understandable. Anything could happen to your air ducts in one month, let alone several. The reality is not what you might have assumed.

According to the EPA, air ducts don’t need to be cleaned with the same routine frequency as other HVAC components. This is because while clean air ducts don’t hurt indoor air quality, there is still not a lot of evidence regarding the extent to which dirty or clean air ducts directly impact one’s health. Instead, the EPA recommends cleaning your air ducts only in very specific circumstances. At the end of the day, dust buildup is a perfectly normal part of having air ducts. What matters is that you pay attention to any signs of something more dire than dust.

how often should air ducts be cleaned

So, When Exactly Should Air Ducts Be Cleaned?

Now that you know the first part of the answer to “How often should air ducts be cleaned?” it’s time to go a step further and specify two instances that absolutely require air duct cleaning. Here are three specific situations where the answer to “How often should air ducts be cleaned?” could suddenly be “as soon as possible.”

Rodent Or Vermin Infestation

Whether it’s squirrels or cockroaches, an invasion of rodents or vermin requires an urgent, thorough air duct cleaning. If you notice any of the following signs, you’ll know if rodents or vermin are in your air ducts. First, there might be strange odors that won’t seem to go away. There could also be rattling sounds that seem to come from the walls. Finally, if rodents or vermin are in your HVAC system, you’ll see scratch marks and droppings around any areas connected to your ducts.

If the population of insects coming into your home seems high, it could also be due to them finding refuge in your air ducts. Rodents and vermin can be carriers of many allergens and diseases that, unlike regular dust, will negatively impact your health due to your HVAC system circulating these germs into the rest of your home. One of these possible diseases is HPS (hantavirus pulmonary syndrome), which becomes airborne through rodent urine and droppings. For this reason, you should treat the possibility of rodents or vermin in your air ducts with the utmost urgency and proceed to take preventive measures to avoid dealing with this scenario again.

Mold And Mildew Growth

If your air ducts get humid and moist, they could become a perfect growth site for mold and mildew. Just like rodents and vermin, the presence of mold in your air ducts can also have an adverse effect on both your health and your home’s indoor air quality. Signs of mold or mildew in your air ducts include musty odors; you or others in your home have been experiencing headaches, allergies, nausea, fatigue, or have had more difficulty breathing than normal. Visible signs of possible mold or mildew around vents are also a surefire way to know that it’s time to call an HVAC technician to perform a much-needed deep cleaning on your air ducts.

Dust And Debris Are Coming Out Of Your Vents

As explained earlier, standard dust and debris buildup comes with the territory of having a home HVAC system. Additionally, those elements by themselves aren’t necessarily linked to negatively impacting your health. The sole exception is if you start to see sizeable dust and debris particles emerge from your vents anytime your HVAC system is operating. An excessive amount of dust and debris buildup escaping your air ducts can negatively affect your home’s indoor air quality. Reach out to an HVAC technician the moment you start seeing clumps of dust flying out of your vents.

Keep Your Air Ducts Clean With Help From Air Duct Cleaning Experts!

Hopefully, you found this comprehensive answer to “How often should air ducts be cleaned?” very enlightening. As soon as you see any signs of the above issues in your home, that’s when you’ll need to book air duct cleaning services. If you live in the Greater Houston area, all you need to do is contact us at Air Duct Cleaning Experts to return your home to its former, breathable state.