Duct Cleaning: Myth or Necessary?

The air ducts in your home serve a very importance purpose; they circulate the air from your heating and cooling system into and out of each room. The air in your home is circulated through the ducts multiple times a day, and you want this air to be clean and free of dust and allergens which could make you sick.
According to the EPA {United States Environmental Protection Agency} you should consider having the air ducts in your home cleaned if:
“1.    There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system. There are several important points to understand concerning mold detection in heating and cooling systems:

Clean air ducts when there is evidence of mold.

Many sections of your heating and cooling system may not be accessible for a visible inspection, so ask the service provider to show you any mold they say exists. You should be aware that although a substance may look like mold, a positive determination of whether it is mold or not can be made only by an expert and may require laboratory analysis for final confirmation.
If you have insulated air ducts and the insulation gets wet or moldy it cannot be effectively cleaned and should be removed and replaced.
If the conditions causing the mold growth in the first place are not corrected, mold growth will recur.

  1. Ducts are infested with vermin, e.g. (rodents or insects)
  2. Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are actually released into the home from your supply registers.”

Cleaning air ducts involves more than just the ducts.

Since conditions in every home are different it is hard to generalize about whether or not air duct cleaning in your home would be beneficial. If you are moving into a new home, it may be a good idea to have the air ducts cleaned since you do not know how the system has been maintained.

Cleaning to include all components of the heating and cooling system.

If you decide to have your heating and cooling system cleaned, it is important to make sure the service provider agrees to clean all components of the system and is qualified to do so.  Cleaning air ducts refers to the removal of dust and contaminants within the ductwork, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.
Having your system cleaned before moving into the new home can give your piece of mind. If there is no evidence of mold, infestation or excessive dust and debris build-up, there is no evidence that duct cleaning actually prevents health problems. Simply, using a high-quality air filter and changing it on a regular basis will keep the circulated air in your home clean.