Pros and Cons of Duct Cleaning

Should you clean your air ducts

If your HVAC system has air ducts, you’ve probably at least considered having them cleaned. Many HVAC companies will advertise low-priced, high quality duct cleaning, while many sources online claim duct cleaning has no benefits at all. So what’s the truth? Is air duct cleaning necessary, or is it just a scam?

Here, our expert HVAC technicians at Lyons Air & Heat will give you a rundown on what cleaning air ducts can do for you and what it can’t. We’ll talk about the pros, the cons, and everything in between.

What is Air Duct Cleaning?

Air duct cleaning refers to the cleaning of various parts of your HVAC system, most namely your:

  • Supply and return air ducts and registers
  • Grilles and diffusers
  • Heat exchangers
  • Heating and cooling coils
  • Drip pans 
  • Fan housing
  • Air handling unit housing

Typically, your Sachse, TX HVAC technician will use special tools to dislodge the dirt and debris from the inside of your HVAC system, then vacuum it out with a high-powered vacuum.

Is Air Duct Cleaning Necessary?

So, you’re wondering if the air ducts in your heating and cooling system could use cleaning. It’s certainly a logical question. After all, your air filters need to be changed or cleaned regularly to keep an efficient system, so why not your air ducts?

Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast answer on whether air ducts need cleaning at any given time. Since every home and every situation is different, it’s impossible to make any generalizations about what’s necessary for your air conditioner and what isn’t. The Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, currently reports that regular cleaning is not proven to prevent health problems. However, they do recommend you consider getting your air ducts cleaned if:

There is visible mold growth inside your ducts

If you can see mold growth on the insides of your ducts or any other components home’s HVAC system, air duct cleaning may be beneficial. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when considering duct cleaning to deal with mold.

First, there are various HVAC components in your home’s system that are not accessible for a visible inspection. You should ask an HVAC technician to take a look at these components during a routine inspection or HVAC tune-up of your entire system.

If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy, this cannot be cleaned. In this case, you may need your air duct work replaced. Our Rockwall duct replacement professionals can help with this.

Lastly, the conditions which caused the mold growth must be addressed to prevent future mold growth. For instance, you might benefit from dehumidifier installation if you live in an extremely humid climate. 

Your air ducts are infested

If you have rodents or insects in your air ducts, this could lead to a whole host of problems, including disease transmission. Leaving the issue unaddressed could result in not only extremely poor indoor air quality, but costly repairs in the future should they damage any of your system.

pros of having clean air ducts

Your air ducts are clogged with dust

Excessive dust floating around in your air ducts and getting out into your home environment can lead to a lot of discomfort, not only for allergy and asthma sufferers, but everyone in your home. If there is extensive dust accumulation in your air ducts, you would probably benefit from an air duct cleaning.

Additionally, a dust-contaminated HVAC system will be less efficient than a clean one. If your cooling and heating system is clogged with dust, you’ll see your energy bills skyrocket. If your energy costs have gone up recently, duct cleaning may be worth looking into.

In these situations, the EPA recommends a proper, thorough air duct cleaning. But if no one in your home is suffering from allergies or unexplained respiratory illnesses and a visual inspection of your ducts shows no mold spores or large accumulation of dust and debris, air duct cleaning may not be absolutely or immediately necessary.

But that doesn’t mean there are no benefits to air duct cleaning. Below, our Rockwall indoor air quality experts run through some of the pros of having clean air ducts, as well as any cons.

Pros of Air Duct Cleaning

There are a variety of benefits to having your air ducts cleaned. Here are some of the major ones:

Cleaner Living Space

Having your air ducts cleaned by a professional can remove dust that would otherwise be floating around your house, escaping through your air vents, landing on your furniture, your bedding, and even on surfaces where food preparation work occurs. Clean air ducts means cleaner air.

Reduces Allergens

In addition to dust, air ducts can also be home to a variety of bacteria and other harmful contaminants that cause poor air quality. If you do nothing, dirty air containing these allergens will simply recirculate throughout your home, and potentially worsen inside your HVAC system.

People in your home with asthma or other respiratory issues will be especially sensitive to these particulates. Periodic cleaning of your air ducts can kill bacteria like this, and make your home significantly more comfortable. 

Improved Indoor Air Quality

Even if no one in your home suffers from asthma or allergies, having your air conditioner ducts cleaned periodically will help everyone breathe a little easier. Even for the most healthy, dust and pollutants cause sneezing, coughing, and congestion. Regular cleaning can prevent this, and help everyone breathe cleaner air.

Pros of Air Duct Cleaning

Removes Unpleasant Smells

Things like paint fumes, mold growth, pets, household cleaning products, and tobacco use, among other things, will cause unpleasant smells and odors to become trapped in your air handling and furnace system. You may have even become nose-blind to these smells. Every time you turn your HVAC system on, these odors will simply recirculate through your home. 

A thorough duct work cleaning from the furnace duct cleaning pros at Lyons will leave your home looking and smelling fresher. 

Improved Efficiency

Your system’s efficiency depends on air moving through your air and furnace ducts with as little effort as possible. If there is dust buildup or other accumulation in your air ducts, your fan motor will be working twice as hard to push air through your system. This will increase the cost of your heating and cooling bills significantly, while a simple cleaning of your ducts will help you save money.

Cons of Air Duct Cleaning 

Those are the benefits of duct cleaning; now let’s talk about any air or furnace duct cleaning cons.

First, it’s important to note that, according to the EPA, there are no real cons to regular duct cleaning, if you simply want to cover all your bases. The only cons you may encounter are that the duct cleaning simply wasn’t necessary. For instance, a simple change of the air filter might fix any respiratory issues you’re having.

Additionally, like we mentioned above, insulated ducts might more often need replacing rather than cleaning if the insulation gets wet or moldy. In this case, you might end up spending a little more money than you expected having the contractor replace your duct work.

So, while a duct cleaning may not be strictly necessary, it also won’t hurt. 

Of course, this is only if the duct cleaning is performed correctly. When choosing an HVAC company to perform your duct cleaning, you should take all the usual consumer precautions, such as checking the Better Business Bureau, and getting testimonials from fellow consumers.

Cons of Air Duct Cleaning

Get Top Rockwall Air Duct Cleaning Services With Lyons Air & Heat!

While there isn’t a lot of definitive information about how often ducts need to be cleaned, there are many situations in which duct cleaning could benefit your home and family. If you’re concerned about your air ducts and want to know if a duct cleaning is right for you, give us a call at 469-224-1512. You can also schedule an appointment with our technicians, or send us a message for more information.

If you’re new to the Rockwall area or just looking for a new HVAC company to help maintain your heating and cooling system, consider joining our Cool Club maintenance plan! Members of the Cool Club receive priority service, bi-annual tune-ups for your HVAC system, free filter replacements, special discounts on repairs, and no overtime or after-hours charges.


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