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How Often Should Air Ducts in an HVAC System Be Cleaned?

by | Oct 25, 2023

Edmonton and its surrounding areas in Alberta face extreme weather throughout the year. The winters are long and cold, while the summers are hot and dry which makes living without a functioning HVAC system nearly impossible. It’s easy to forget about HVAC system maintenance when things are going well, especially since most parts of the HVAC system are tucked away or hidden – like the air ducts for example. However, one certainly notices when something goes wrong. 

Air ducts are an essential component of any HVAC system. They are responsible for circulating air throughout the building, ensuring that the temperature is regulated, and the air quality is maintained. However, over time, air ducts can become clogged with dust, dirt, and other debris, which can reduce the efficiency of the system and even lead to health problems. Whether you are a homeowner, a property manager or run a commercial property like a kitchen or healthcare facility, you want your HVAC system functioning at its best. One way to ensure this is to have the air ducts inspected and cleaned regularly. But what does ‘regularly’ actually mean? Read on to learn everything you need to know about air duct cleaning and maintenance.

Why is It Necessary to Clean Air Ducts?

According to statistics by the Government of Canada, Canadians spend up to 90% of their time indoors. The Environmental Protection Agency also points out that indoor air quality can be poorer than the outdoors with the concentration of certain pollutants 2 to 5 times higher indoors. This makes keeping your indoor. One of the ways you can reduce health concerns inside your property is by having the air ducts cleaned regularly. 

It’s particularly important to make sure your air ducts are cleaned regularly if you have pets or young children living at home or if you are aged 60 or over to protect against dust, pet dander, and other allergens. 

Indications That Your Air Ducts Need Cleaning

We’ve heard numerous stories about individuals moving into properties they’ve recently purchased or started to manage without an idea about when the air ducts were last cleaned. While air duct inspections are certainly recommended in such scenarios, it’s also important to be able to recognize signs that indicate that your air ducts may need cleaning. Here are some of the most common ones:

Visible dust or debris: If you notice dust particles or debris coming out of your air vents, it’s a clear sign that your ducts need cleaning. Similarly, if you find yourself constantly dusting surfaces despite regular cleaning, it may be due to dirty air ducts.

Musty or stale odours: Foul odours emanating from your vents suggest the presence of mould, mildew, or bacteria in your air ducts. You may also notice mould in areas around the vents.

Allergy or asthma symptoms worsen: Poor indoor air quality caused by dirty air ducts can trigger or exacerbate allergy or asthma symptoms.

Reduced airflow: If you notice weak or restricted airflow from your vents, it could indicate blockages or buildup in your ductwork that need to be cleaned for optimal air circulation. Another sign of blockage in the air ducts is if you have hot or cold areas in your home or property.

High Energy Bills: If you find your energy bills spiking, it can mean that your HVAC system is working harder than it should to maintain a comfortable temperature due to blocked or dirty air vents.

How Often Should Air Ducts Be Cleaned?

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) says that the frequency of residential air duct cleaning can depend on several factors including individual preference and whether you have pets, smokers, or people with allergies living in the house. In general, however, air ducts should be cleaned every three to five years. However, it is a good idea to have an air duct cleanliness inspection carried out at least once a year. 

Commercial properties like office buildings or condominiums may require more frequent air duct cleanings scheduled. The cleaning schedules for other properties may vary depending on their usage. For example, properties that require ultra-high levels of cleanliness like food manufacturing units may require air duct cleaning services on quarterly, semi-annual, and annual bases. Similarly, healthcare institutions may require more frequent cleaning services. 

Don’t Go DIY

It can be tempting to try cleaning air ducts yourself in order to save some money or to avoid scams. However, duct cleaning requires specialized equipment for the work to be carried out properly. Attempting to clean your air ducts yourself can make problems worse. For example, any dust that is in the air duct system may be brought closer to the air vents and then into your home. Additionally, it can only result in the ends of your ductwork being cleaned, neglecting the deeper regions. Debris may only be partially removed and the growth of toxins like mold may go unnoticed. 

How to Choose a Qualified Duct Cleaning Service?

The easiest way to avoid falling for scam companies is to choose an air duct cleaning service that is National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) certified like Canadian Power Vac. We are bonded and insured to provide both commercial and residential cleaning services. With over 13 years of experience in the field, we only use the best tools and equipment to get the job done right every time. 

We believe in building long-term relationships with our clients which is why we never cold call or try to upsell our services. We also offer transparency in our pricing, so you always know how much you will need to spend. We also provide before and after pictures, so you know that the job has been carried out to a high standard. 

Get in touch with us today to get a free quote or to know how we can help you.

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