A deep house cleaning is generally high on the list of priorities for new homeowners. After all, everyone wants their living environment to be as clean as possible.
Windows, light fixtures, cabinets, countertops and floors are all obvious things to clean…but what about things that are not so obvious? What about the air ducts? Should you have your ducts cleaned too?
The ductwork of a home circulates air from the heating and cooling system into and out of each room, multiple times per day. This is the air that fills your living environment and the air that you and your family breathe, so of course you want it to be clean.
Some residential duct cleaning companies use marketing tactics to play on the fears of homeowners that they are breathing filthy air or that a build-up of debris is restricting the air flowing through the ductwork. However, the EPA has found there is little evidence to support these claims.
Studies have shown that household dust within the ductwork generally stays put and does not disperse into your home…and rarely is there a build-up of debris so extreme that it hinders the flow of air. Hence, duct cleaning is generally not necessary for the majority of homes.
There are a few exceptions, however. Below are three circumstances where you might consider having your home’s ductwork professionally cleaned…
1) You have personally observed substantial amounts of dust or debris
If particles can actually be seen coming from the duct vents, the ducts likely contain a substantial amount of dust or debris. If the home has undergone a recent improvement project and the air vents were not properly covered, sawdust, drywall dust, fiberglass strands, or other particles could have been sucked into the duct system. Leaky ducts or inadequate filtration could also lead to an excessive amount of dust within the air ducts. An inspection with a flexible camera is often used to confirm the amount of dust and debris within the duct system prior to having a cleaning performed.
2) There are extremely unpleasant odors coming from the ducts
Some odors will just not go away until the ducts are cleaned and sanitized. For example, if any prior residents smoked in the house there could be a build-up of nicotine within the ductwork. Because nicotine is a sticky substance, it adheres to the interior walls of the air ducts. Cooking grease can also cling to the interior of the ducts and harbor foul odors. Also, the presence of mold within the ductwork is often detected by its musty odor. Similarly, if the ducts contain an infestation of insects or rodents (alive or dead), the ducts will require a thorough cleaning and sanitizing to remediate the problem.
3) You simply prefer a fresh start
Some homeowners just prefer that everything in the home be immaculate from the very start. Perhaps someone in the household has severe allergies or other breathing disorders that are triggered or worsened by dust particles. In this case, the ducts may be cleaned for peace of mind. Or maybe the new homeowner knows that people and pets are constantly sloughing off dead skin cells and hair, and wants to ensure that no remnants of prior residents are left within the ductwork.
If you do decide to use a duct cleaning service, be aware that the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) has issued warnings about unscrupulous residential duct cleaning companies that lure homeowners with a cheap price and then use aggressive tactics to upsell unnecessary services. When researching air duct cleaning services, always perform a thorough check of reviews and references to ensure you are dealing with an experienced and qualified company.
We hope you enjoyed this article from New Homeowner Checklist.
For more articles related to home ownership, click here.