Furnace Duct Cleaning Pros and Cons

Here’s our furnace duct cleaning pros and cons including what it is, how to clean air ducts, whether it is worth cleaning and when to clean air ducts.
Guy removing air duct grill and filterFrom some people’s viewpoints, they think that it’s not necessary to maintain the furnace duct. But other people still believe that cleaning it is very essential.  So the question is, do you really need to clean it? 

According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency),  air ducts are important to be cleaned especially if it’s needed, but they do not recommend cleaning them routinely. 

Some of the professionals say that air ducts should be cleaned at least once in 3 years, especially when the furnace is starting to show some obvious signs that it needs to be cleaned.

For example, once you see there’s mold growth in the air duct, then maybe it needs to be cleaned.  Cleaning your furnace air ducts can enhance indoor air quality.  Maintaining it becomes more crucial if there are household members who have asthma and allergies.

A thorough inspection of your furnace air duct can be highly beneficial as this will prevent you from always cleaning your house just to remove dirt and grime buildups. 

In this article, before we talk about the pros and cons of cleaning a furnace air duct, first, let’s talk about its definition.

What is Furnace Air Duct Cleaning?

Air duct grill dusts removalFurnace air duct cleaning is the cleaning process of different types of cooling and heating system elements of forced air system designs, incorporating the supply and return furnace air ducts.

Moreover, air ducts include registers, grills, heat exchangers, diffusers, cooling coils, heating coils, drip pans, air handling unit housing, fan housing, and fan motor.

Furnace Duct Cleaning Pros

  • It elevates the lifespan, efficiency, and productivity of your HVAC system.

Letting dust, debris, dirt, and molds grow into your furnace air duct will require the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system to work beyond its limits.  If your HVAC system is always overworked, it might start to malfunction.

The accumulated dust, debris, dirt, and molds will prevent the air from flowing freely around your house.  After that, the HVAC system will have a difficult time achieving your desired indoor temperature.  

As a result, the HVAC system will use more energy and power, requiring you to pay a higher amount of bills.

However, after cleaning your furnace air duct, no doubt the HVAC system will be replenished.  It will also become longer-lasting and more efficient.  You will also save money and power.

  • It reduces the risk of acquiring harmful diseases.

Inside your HVAC system, there could be lots of insects and rodents hiding.  They might start to multiply in it and then infest your home.  Once this happens, you and your family members’ health will be at risk.

These insects and rodents will not just multiply – they can also urinate and release their waste on your air ducts.  Once this happens, the air that circulates through your home will be contaminated with dangerous elements.

By cleaning your furnace air duct, these circumstances will truly be prevented.  That’s why if you’re experiencing an insect or rodent infestation in your house, one effective thing you can do is to hire trusted experts to clean your furnace air duct.

  • It eliminates allergens.

Mold spores, bacteria, and other allergens can cause serious health issues.  But cleaning your furnace air duct will undoubtedly help you fight off those harmful air contaminants and allergens. This cleaning process is truly beneficial for those people who are dealing with allergies and asthma.

Additionally, if there are kids inside your house, you’ll be worry-free when it comes to them playing around your house as cleaning your air duct will result in a safe, well-sanitized, and decontaminated environment. A whole house dehumidifier can also be used to help prevent these issues.

  • It removes bad odors around your house.

Cleaning your air ducts will help in removing the bad odors in your house and it will provide pleasing scents to every area in your house.

Furnace Duct Cleaning Cons

  • You can’t manually maintain your air duct.

Most of the time, the issues inside the air duct aren’t visible.  To clean and fix it, you’ll need to hire a contractor to check what’s wrong with your air duct.  You’ll have to spend some money so the problem will be fixed.

  • Some parts of the air duct require to be replaced.

If there’s mold growth in the insulated ducts, it can’t be solved through cleaning – some parts should be replaced.  Again, you’ll have to spend money to have the contractor replace them.

How Do They Clean Air Ducts?

Guy maintaining air duct exhaust

An expert will inspect your air duct to know if it needs to be cleaned.  They might drill some holes to gain access to your air duct.  They would fix the holes after the cleaning process though. 

They will look for leaks and cracks that may cause problems during the cleaning process. 

The authorized cleaners will operate a vacuum to eliminate the dirt collected.  That vacuum is normally big-sized.  Some experts use handheld vacuums. 

Motorized or manual brushes shall be positioned in the furnace duct.  These brushes clean the interior of the pipes by clearing out dust and debris.  The experts will also use these brushes to clean the vents and intakes. 

The cleaners will gather all the loose dirt and debris from the pipes, vents, and intakes using vacuums.  The heating or cooling unit and vent covers will also be cleaned. 

The cleaners will fix all the ductwork and will leave the area as nothing happened.

Is Duct Cleaning a Waste of Money?

On the internet, you’ll see a lot of hoax information about duct cleaning. That’s why many people think that duct cleaning is a huge waste of money.

However, since duct cleaning also has its benefits, then it won’t be a waste of money. However, if you decide to clean your air duct, make sure to hire a legitimate and trustworthy company. 

Can Air Duct Cleaning Cause Damage?

This normally depends on the type and degree of ductwork.  If there’s a major problem with the systems inside, the hired cleaners might end up damaging some parts, causing a negative effect on your house.  The air will not circulate well and energy will be wasted.

If your air duct has a major issue, make sure to hire a trustworthy and experienced cleaning team.

How Do I Know If My Air Ducts Need To Be Cleaned?

Duct filter replacement

Here are the signs that will remind you to clean your air duct:

  • Ducts and vents are clogged with dirt and detritus
  • Clogged air filters
  • The duct releases a bad odor
  • Mold growth inside or outside the HVAC system
  • Poor airflow inside the house
  • Air duct is invaded by insects and rodents
  • Dust easily appears in your house
  • Heating or cooling expenses becomes higher than normal
  • Abnormal noises in the duct work

Are there furnace duct cleaning pros and cons that we missed? Let us know what they are in the comments section. For more related content, see our article about types of home cooling systems here.

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