7 Reasons You Should Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned

We don’t see the inside of our air ducts very often, so it’s understandable why some might not understand how important air duct cleaning is. ’Out of sight, out of mind’ right? The truth is that the air ducts in our homes don’t just get dirty, they get very dirty, even in brand new homes. If you’re wondering if you should have your air ducts cleaned, here are a few of the most important reasons professional duct cleaning service is a good investment.

Stop Breathing Dirty Air At Home

dirty air ducts 4 things inside

I once heard someone explain why air ducts get so dirty by comparing the ductwork inside a house to a big vacuum cleaner. That’s actually a very good analogy. Every time your furnace or air conditioner turns on, the air inside your home is being sucked back into your HVAC system through the return vents. As the air from inside is drawn back into the system, it carries allergens and other pollutants along with it into your air ducts.

Things like…

  • Dust
  • Dust mites
  • Dirt
  • Pet hair
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Mold spores
  • Cleaning chemicals

Imagine the air you breathe at home flowing over the contents of your dirty vacuum canister. That’s essentially what’s happening inside your ductwork. Would you want to breathe that? Probably not. Having your air ducts cleaned is a lot like emptying your vacuum cleaner. It’s the only way to get rid of all the gross stuff that gets picked up and sucked into your HVAC system.

New Homes & Remodeling Projects

new home studs hvac

The newly framed basement area of a house. The central heat and air duct work system is beside the stairs.

It’s natural to think that the air ducts inside a newly-constructed home should be clean. After all, the house is brand new right? The ductwork inside new homes is consistently among the dirtiest we find, and you wouldn’t believe the gross stuff that gets left inside the ducts during construction. Dirt and sawdust are just the tip of the iceberg. We find half-eaten sandwiches, chicken bones, empty bottles and cans, and rodent droppings almost every time we clean the ducts in a new home.

If you’ve recently completed any remodeling projects around your home, your contractor probably didn’t throw his leftovers from lunch in your air ducts, but lots of dust and dirt get drawn into your ductwork from even the smallest of construction projects.

Get Rid Of Dust Circulating Through Your Home

dirty air ducts 5 years old

Ever wonder where all that dust comes from that you’re having to wipe off the surfaces of your furniture? It comes out of your air ducts. Your HVAC system probably re-circulates the air inside your home as many as 5-7 times per day. So dust is constantly being drawn back into your system, and any particles that aren’t trapped by your air filter are pushed back into the living spaces inside your home.

My wife thinks it’s amusing that I’m constantly amazed at how much dust and dirt gets picked up when it’s my turn to vacuum the house. Our house always looks clean to the naked eye. We clean the house and vacuum the floors every day. Every single day. (My wife has turned me into her OCD cleaning partner in the more than 20 years we’ve been together) Yet, there is still tons of dust and other stuff in the canister when I finish running the vacuum.

Full Disclosure: My wife and I have three children and two dogs, so you can imagine what happens 5 minutes after we clean the house.

You can imagine how much hidden dust and dirt is present in your home, and even though you can’t always see it, your HVAC system is constantly sucking lots of this yucky stuff back into your ductwork. The only way to get rid of the dust and whatever else is hiding in your air ducts is to have it cleaned out by a professional duct cleaning service.

Remove Pet Hair & Dander

dog on floor

If you have pets, you already know how much hair they leave all over the house. No matter how much or how often you clean up after them, pet hair and dander get drawn into your HVAC system and trapped in your air ducts.

Dust and dirt in your air ducts is bad enough, but organic matter like pet hair and pet dander make an ideal breeding ground for parasites. Dirty air ducts can have hundreds of dust mites feeding off the organic matter found in just one gram of dust. Dust mites may be tiny, but they can cause big problems for some people. The excrement and dried shells from the mites can cause allergic reactions as it is blown through the vents in your HVAC system.

Clean Out Pollen And Other Allergy Triggers

allergies sneezing

Luckily our children don’t shed quite like our pets, but they do bring lots of stuff from the outside into the house. My kids love to play with construction toys in a patch of dirt under their playset in our backyard. Even though they take their shoes off before coming back inside (most of the time anyway), they still track in plenty dirt, as well as whatever happens to be floating around in the air out back.

Different strains of pollens, mold spores, and all the other airborne allergens we come into contact with get brought into our homes. Some allergens such as ragweed, can even survive the cold winter months, and continue to cause problems for people with asthma or allergies.

Avoid Expensive HVAC Repairs

expensive hvac repairs money

When you don’t clean your air ducts, dust and dirt will build up on more than just the inside of your ductwork. The components inside your furnace, specifically the blower, often gets coated in gunk as well. The buildup of dust and dirt on the blower creates tremendous strain on the blower motor, and if neglected it will eventually cause the blower motor to fail.

Neglecting to keep the components inside your furnace clean leads to more than just expensive furnace repairs. It will also shorten the useful life of you HVAC equipment. Having to replace your furnace and/or air conditioner in 9 or 10 years instead of getting 15 years out of it is a very expensive consequence of neglecting to keep your system clean.

Save Money On Utility Bills

thermostat save money

Dirty air ducts and dirty furnace components rob your system of efficiency, which means you’re paying more in utility bills than you should be. Professional duct cleaning service is a worthwhile investment, and can help save you money over the long-term in addition to allowing your family to breathe cleaner, healthier air.


So there you have the 7 most popular reasons why people have their air ducts cleaned. Considering how important the benefits of duct cleaning can be to your health, your home, and to your heating and air conditioning system, it just makes sense to choose a reputable, professional air duct cleaning service when it’s time to have it done.

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