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When to clean your furnace and ducts?

A little guide about furnace and duct cleaning timing.

When to clean?

When should I clean my furnace and ducts? – It is the most common question asked by many home homeowners to our technicians and staff. Afterall a complete furnace and duct cleaning, with dryer vents and other popular components can cost anywhere from $200 to $400 on average. In the spirit of economizing this question is a very important one.

The simple answer, provided by our senior furnace cleaning technicians with decades of experience is a cleaning every 2 years. However, if there are children or pets living in the house this should be done as often as once every year due to the potentially added accumulation of dander, hair, dirt and other pollutants.

In addition to the above, there can be other signs that might indicate a furnace and duct cleaning is needed right away. Some obvious ones maybe the age of the house, its furnace and ductwork but others might not be so obvious and equal in importance …

Dirty Air Vent

What are these indicators?

Ask yourself one of the following questions:

  • Have you noticed little wisps of dust puffing out from an air vent when you turn on your home’s heating ventilation and air conditioning system?
  • Have you seen dust or pet hair trapped in a vent?
  • Is there dust coating the grill on the return air registers?
  • Are you cleaning your home from dust too often?

If the answer is ‘YES’ to any of these, it can be a clear sign that your home’s furnace and duct system are due for a professional cleaning. In addition but to a lesser extent the following can also sign a dirty ductwork:

  • Excessive coughing and irritation
  • Recurring respiratory illnesses
  • Seasonal allergies happening off-season

What is happening inside your home?

Inside your duct system, fine dust collects on air duct surfaces, vents, motors, and coils.  These flakes of dead skin, hair, and pet dander catch onto the dust, and before too long this process creates a dense, mat-like environment where bacteria, mold, dust mites, and allergens can thrive.

Air filters remove most of these from the air stream, but are not guarantees and do always cover for all parts of the HVAC system.

Dust and mites might not be the only pollutants hiding in your ductwork. Over the decades our technicians have found old beer bottles, roaches, rodents and even lost housepets! ( hamsters, cats, birds ). These larger pollutants often decompose very slowly and can pose serious health issues to the house inhabitants.


Dirty Ducts
" ... over the decades our techncians have found all sort of things ... including missing pets! "

In the winter, dirt-clogged heat exchangers cannot warm the air as efficiently. In the summer, dirt-clogged coils are unable to cool the air as well. These are just examples of how it affects the heating and cooling systems runtime, requiring it to use more fuel and energy to heat and cool your home.

Dirt and dust restrict air flow. Even when your system is doing a good job heating and cooling the air, if the blower fan or motor can’t turn because of dirt or the air filter is clogged with dust, then the system can’t effectively circulate that properly warmed or cooled air throughout your home.

The longer your heating and cooling system operates, the more wear and tear it undergoes. Long run times can shorten the overall lifetime of HVAC systems, from AC compressors to hydro pumps, burners, and motor bearings. You’ll wear out your home’s HVAC system much sooner than expected.

The clogged ‘dirt’ in your system is, in reality, a combination of fine dirt, dead skin, pet dander, bacteria, pollen, mold spores, fungi, and even pet feces. These are left to contaminate your air and reduce the indoor quality of your air up to 70 times compared to outdoor air.

Dirt and dust spread quicker in a home with dirty ducts. No matter how much you may dust and clean your home, these fine particulate contaminants, including dangerous allergens, quickly flow from room to room and cycle throughout the house. this cycle turns into an endless cleaning battle that never ends.

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