Should I Have My Air Ducts Cleaned?

Here is a summary of what the EPA says concerning this topic.  And a few other things.



Minus all the holiday decorations and camping gear, most North Texas homes have attics that look like the picture up above in the heading.  There’s a series of roofing and framing members sprawling with insulation, a gamut of plumbing and electrical mysteries, and then a bunch of shiny flexible ducts that are attached to your HVAC equipment.  These ducts carry hot or cold air (sometimes both on the same day) into the living areas of your house.  However sometimes they can carry more than just forced air, especially if your not good at remembering to change out your filters often enough.  Dirt, debris, poo (yes I used the word poo), mold spores, old love letters, aliens, and a host of other scary things have shown up inside air ducts.

There’s a wide variety of opinions on the subject of air duct cleaning, and the internet is HUGE.   The United States Environmental Protection Services has an exhaustive article on their website about it, but we took the liberty of summarizing their findings for you in nice, neat, numbered and bulleted format.  Here it goes.

1. There isn’t enough information for them to offer a solid recommendation.  Studies do not conclusively show that air duct cleaning prevents health problems.  However, you should consider doing it if:

  • there is visible mold growth inside the hard surfaces of any component of your system.
  • your system has been infested with rodents or insects
  • your ducts are clogged.

All of the above conditions could be indicators of underlying problems that also need to be addressed to prevent re-occurrence.

2. There is very little evidence that duct cleaning alone will improve your systems efficiency.

3. As long as done properly, duct cleaning wont hurt your system, but they do not recommend doing it unless needed.

4. If chemicals are being used during the process of cleaning your ducts be aware that there could be potentially harmful health effects.

5. Lastly they conclude that preventing dirt from getting inside your system in the first place is the best solution.


If you would like to read more, or you just need help falling asleep, click here for the complete article.  As always there’s usually more to the story if your considering having your ducts cleaned.  We’d love to talk about it with you and help sort out all your options.  Give us a call anytime.

Here are a few other resources that we think are great common sense approaches to this question.

Bob Vila’s take on it

The Washington Post’s scoop

Angies List (spoiler alert their going to try to recommend a service)

And then to provide proof of my claims to finding poo and love letters: