Why You Should Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned

Your AC works hard all summer to keep you cool and comfortable. Now things are cooling down, and you can enjoy fresh air from the outdoors. Before things cool down dramatically and you switch over to heating, it’s probably a good time to consider having the air ducts cleaned.

You’re asking yourself why you should have your air ducts cleaned – after all, out of sight, out of mind. Do air ducts really need to be cleaned? Yes, we get it. It’s just one more thing to add to your to-do list. The answer is both simple and complicated at the same time. First, let’s talk about the more complicated side … remember how you’re supposed to change your air filters regularly?

Air circulating through your home A/C system travels through a filter designed to trap dust and allergens in the air, but filters can’t capture everything. After a long, hot, dusty summer, all the hard work by the A/C unit will cause your air ducts to begin to fill up with dust and other debris. Bottom line? Dirty air ducts mean you are breathing polluted air, which can lead to health problems. 

What’s Making Your Air Ducts Dirty?

Over time, your air ducts will collect a combination of the following:

  • Dust and Dust Mites
  • Pollen
  • Pet Dander
  • Mold, Mold Spores, and Mildew
  • Fungi and Fungal Spores
  • Disease-Carrying Rodents and Insects
  • Feces and Remains of the Above Mentioned Pests
  • Bacteria and Viruses
  • Tobacco Smoke By-Products and Other Chemical Pollutants

As these contaminants build up in your air ducts, dirty air is circulated through your home with every cycle of the AC or heater. Over time, breathing this polluted air can cause:

Sinus Infections

Microscopic particles of dust and debris can make their way into your sinuses, causing inflammation, which can then lead to infection. Sinus infections can become very painful. If left untreated, a sinus infection can also create complications.


Dust, mold spores, and pollen are the most common particles that live in dirty air ducts. If anyone in the home is allergic to these substances, your air ducts could set off or even lengthen allergy attacks. If you notice your symptoms are worse at home and subside elsewhere, dirty air ducts are likely a significant factor driving your symptoms. 


Exposure to dust, pollen, mold, and other substances in your ducts can trigger an asthma attack. If you notice asthma symptoms are worse at home than anywhere else, dirty air ducts may be the culprit.

Respiratory Infections

Dirty air ducts are filled with allergens, viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Every time your system runs, these germs are blown into your living spaces. This can lead to you getting sick with respiratory infections more frequently than usual.

The Importance of Duct Cleaning

Keeping your air ducts clean is not only better for your personal health, but also improves many aspects of your heating and cooling system. Without large clumps of dust and debris blocking airflow, your system operates with more energy efficiency. In turn, this reduces monthly utility costs, increases the lifespan of your HVAC system, and can reduce system maintenance and repair needs. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Air Ducts?

Nobody wants to get sick. Preventing illness due to airborne contaminants can be as simple as regularly checking and changing your air filters. Cleaning/replacing air filters when they become clogged with dust immensely improves the air quality in your home. Every 1-3 months, you should be checking and cleaning your air filters to keep your home cleaner, fresher, and more comfortable. Call a professional to clean your ducts every three years (or more frequently) to keep your HVAC system and your health in good condition. Think of it this way – you’ll stay healthier, plus you can cross another task off your To Do list!