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How Often Should You Have Your Ductwork Cleaned?

Exterior of ductwork or ducts connected to an HVAC system

Your ducts are responsible for circulating warm and cool air coming from your central heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. They’re like the body’s veins, but they move warm or cool air instead of blood. 

The ductwork in your home can become dirty or clogged as it moves air throughout your home. The dust, dirt, and allergens from inside your home need to be cleaned out of ductwork every so often for best performance. If you’ve never heard of duct cleaning, let alone considered it, Furnasman can shed some light on the subject.

Why Should You Get Your Ducts Cleaned?

Dust, dirt, debris, even mold can collect and hinder the movement of air through your ducting. That will make your HVAC system struggle, working harder to get air from the furnace or air conditioner to the rooms of your home. 

If your furnace and central air conditioning system have to work harder, you’ll see higher utility expenses. Your furnace or AC may even have a shorter lifespan, due to overwork and dirt damaging the components. 

When you get regular duct cleaning, you can ensure improved air quality for those in your home affected by allergies or congestion. If your family has no respiratory health problems, you might be fine with a little dust in your home. But in humid places, there’s a risk for letting the dust settle.

Winnipeg has an annual average humidity of 82% in the morning, and 61% in the afternoon, Humidity from the outdoors can seep in without properly sealed and insulated home exteriors, or by opening windows overnight.

Toxic mold can grow in humid areas deep within your home, and your home’s ductwork might serve as a base to grow from. Higher than 50%, humidity in your home can foster mold much more quickly and effectively.

Sometimes pests and rodent vermin can find refuge and nesting areas in ductwork, and their waste can be another source of toxicity in your home. While pest disposal services can remove the pests, they can’t guarantee that the ductwork will be completely clean.

Why Get Professional Duct Cleaning?

In our longstanding experience as HVAC experts serving Winnipeg for more than 80 years, we’ve developed a set of best practices for powerful and contained vacuuming. We isolated the ductwork and block off the furnace to prevent any dust from settling in it, especially as the vacuum starts moving dust. If there’s no self-contained system guarding the ductwork and equipment, the duct cleaning can do more harm than good.

Signs You Really Need Duct Cleaning 

Technician in blue coveralls cleaning a home's ductwork

How often you need duct cleaning depends on a handful of important factors, including:

  • When you move into a new home, unless you know for certain that the previous homeowner serviced the ducts within the last three years.
  • After building a new home.
  • After completing a home remodelling or renovation project, since construction projects can spread sawdust and debris throughout your home.

Other factors you might want to consider include: 

  • If any of the people who live in your home have allergies.
  • If there is a smoker in the household.
  • If you have multiple pets in the home, or even if you have just one animal that sheds a great deal.

Some factors like your household’s number of pets or smokers are foreseeable, but others are less so. Some of these factors require more frequent cleanings, and if you checked off more than a few, you should think about duct cleaning every year or every second year. 

Standard Recommendations for Cleaning Air Ducts

There are a few telltale signs that you should have your ducts cleaned immediately.

  • When you suspect the presence of mold in the ducts.
  • When you suspect vermin infestation in your home, or as soon as you see insects or rodents entering or exiting ductwork.
  • When you detect an unpleasant smell coming from the ducting.
  • When dust visibly “poofs” from the supply registers after you turn your air conditioning on.

So, When Should You Get Your Ducts Cleaned?

Special circumstances aside, the general rule of thumb is to have your ducts cleaned at least every 5 years. If you’re not sure, you can contact Furnasman for a personalized recommendation. Air quality in your home, lower energy bills, and the longevity of your furnace or air conditioner all depend on your ductwork.

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