How Often Should You Get Professional Duct Cleaning Services?

It's generally recommended that air ducts be inspected and cleaned by a professional every 3 to 5 years, but certain environments may require more frequent duct cleaning services. Food manufacturers, for example, need quarterly, biannual, and annual cleaning due to the food particles they introduce into their systems. Manufacturing operations that create risks of combustible dust also require more frequent cleaning. You may also want to consider cleaning your air ducts simply because it seems logical that the air ducts will get dirty over time and should be cleaned from time to time.

The EPA does not recommend that air ducts be cleaned routinely, but only when necessary. Is duct cleaning really worth it? To tell you the truth, the duct cleaning business has improved a bit in recent years. Gone are the days when people sold door-to-door duct cleaning services at low prices, and review sites like HomeStars have made it much easier to research duct cleaning companies. To do this, the duct cleaning technician first dislodges contaminants from the surfaces of the HVAC system using brushes, air nozzles, and other so-called agitation devices.

The loose particles are then collected and removed from the house using a powerful vacuum system. During this process, the entire air conditioning system is subjected to continuous negative pressure to prevent particles from escaping into the living space. Your air conditioning or central heating system continuously circulates air between your living room and the HVAC equipment. Depending on the size of your home and your air conditioning system, the air circulates 5 to 7 full times each day. The system also draws fresh air outside your home through mechanical ventilation.

As this process is repeated over and over again, dust particles from the inside and outside of the house will begin to accumulate inside the air ducts. These particles can be made up of everything from dirt and dust to pollen, pet hair, air pollutants, spores, and bacteria. Nobody likes the idea of the air you breathe moving through dirty, dust-covered walkways. If you want to keep your ducts as tidy as possible, we generally recommend that you clean them every 3 years or so. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation agree that you don't need to clean your ducts on a particular schedule, so it's not a necessary part of your home's annual maintenance routine.

Duct cleaning technicians can also apply a chemical biocide to kill germs found inside ducts and other components. How much dust is there inside the ducts? Once again, it depends on the situation in and around your home. In our experience, the average duct cleaning in the greater Toronto area removes between 5 and 6 pounds of dust and debris. As long as done right, professional duct cleaning will effectively remove dust from all surfaces inside the ducts. However, the effect is not permanent.

As long as you use your forced air heating or cooling system, the ducts will continue to collect dust as before. Dust is a fact of life. You'll never banish it from your house completely, no matter how often or thoroughly you clean it. It is not possible to get rid of mold and bacteria just by shaking and vacuuming the ducts. However, biological contaminants can be eliminated through the specific use of biocides and disinfectants.

Health Canada's Pest Control Regulatory Agency (PMRA) regulates chemical and biological cleaners specifically for use in HVAC cleaning. At AtlasCare, we've chosen to offer a safe, plant-based disinfectant called Benefect instead of harsh cleaners made with synthetic chemicals. This ventilation deodorant kills more than 99.9% of bacteria, mold, and fungal spores while remaining chemical-free and keeping your family safe from toxins for longer. There is no reason to believe that spraying these particles into air ducts poses a health risk. But we do know that these particles can cause allergies and other symptoms in people who are sensitive to them. While dusty air ducts don't necessarily mean unhealthy air, they can contribute to major health problems.