Should you get your air ducts cleaned?

Although we don’t offer the service, we field a lot of questions from clients who are curious about air duct cleaning. Since that’s not something we do, we don’t have any skin in the game—so we felt compelled to share some of what’s known and speculated about air duct cleaning.

Before getting into why you may or may not want to get your air ducts clean, here’s a quick reminder about why they are important.

You air ducts are the vessels that connect your heating and cooling system. You have both supply and return ducts intermingled throughout the air duct system in your home. The supply ducts connect to vents, which is where warm and cool air enter your home. The return ducts are designed to do the opposite and actually remove air from areas of the home.

These ducts can and will accumulate dust over time. How much this affects indoor air quality is a larger debate than we can undertake here. But you can have the air duct system cleaned to remove the dust (and sometimes mold).

Companies that provide this service will often discuss the health benefits of having air ducts cleaned, but the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) disagrees. A recent addition to their website states that “Duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. Neither do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes increase because of dirty air ducts.”

Our experience has been that clients who have allergy issues or other indoor air quality concerns see value in having the service performed. It’s not something that’s necessary, but it may provide peace of mind. The indoor air quality of your home can only improve from having you air ducts cleaned.

If you are going to get your air ducts cleaned, there are some things you should look for in the company that performs the service.

  • Make sure the company you’re using can provide proof of liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Ask for references and check online reviews, if possible. That will give you an idea if the company is reputable and will do a good job.
  • Ensure they will be cleaning more than just the air ducts—most companies will also clean some of the heating and cooling system components, including drains. If they offer any corrosive chemical cleaning, we do recommend you decline.

If you feel you need this service, we would be happy to refer you to one of a few companies in the Edmond and Oklahoma City area we trust. As to whether or not you need the service, we really can’t answer that for you. If you suffer from allergies or have other concerns related to the quality of air in your home, it may be something worth looking into.

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