Should I clean my duct system?

We all know that we should replace our HVAC filters on a monthly basis.  However, you may have also noticed that all that dust and build-up in your duct system can get rather disgusting at times. You may have even asked yourself whether or not any of that buildup is affecting you or your family.

Though your air filters are designed to catch the majority  of the particles and debris floating in the air, often these fine particles can still escape and cling to the walls of your duct work. While certainly gross, it may be difficult to know whether or not it’s time to have your duct system cleaned.

The most common indicator of dirty duct work is visible mold, which can itself create health complications for you and your family.  If you spot visible mold growth on the hard surfaces of your ductwork (I.e. sheet metal or other components of your HVAC system), make sure to remove the mold as soon as possible. Moldy insulation cannot be cleaned, and should instead be discarded and replaced. When checking your system, always be alert for signs of “black mold”, which can pose a serious health hazard. Many elements of your HVAC system may not be visible; however, a professional service provider can help you assess those areas and check for problems that may arise.

While inspecting your system, make sure to look for wet insulation around ductwork as well as indications of water damage around drywall encased ducts. Not only are these areas prime breeding grounds for mold, but they may also be signs of more serious issues such as leaky plumbing, humidity build up, or foundational or structural damage.

Another issue that may affect your air quality includes your return air registers. Whenever ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust, debris, and/or particles, they may be released into your home via the supply registers. Regular cleaning can help correct these issues, so ask your service professional to check for excessive buildup during your regularly scheduled maintenance.

Finally, make sure to keep an eye out for signs of vermin such as mice, rats, squirrels, raccoons, and insects. Many of these creatures can carry disease while also promoting the growth of other, more dangerous pollutants and infestations that can greatly affect your health.

For these and other reasons, it’s easy to see why taking the time to inspect your home duct system is always in the best interest of you and your family. For more information, or to schedule an inspection of your HVAC system, contact your local professional at


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