Q: Why should I have my duct work cleaned and how often?

A:         Well the biggest reason you should get your duct work cleaned is because we are talking about the air you’re breathing.  Especially newer homes need to have their air ducts cleaned.  A lot of today’s homes are what we call very tight.  This is because the windows have been caulked, the seams where the drywall is done have been caulked, and just about any other seam has been caulked tight.  As a result, not a lot of fresh air is introduced into the homes.  When a lot of these homes are built, the sanding is done, the drywall is done, all of this is done after the windows, doors, etc have been caulked.  As a result, all of that dust and those particles are left inside and they start circulating through the ductwork.  So we have found homes that are two years old can have as dirty if not dirtier duct work than a home that is twenty years old.  So, if you have your air ducts cleaned early in your home ownership, it will keep your air duct system cleaner longer.  If you don’t have your air ducts cleaned the dirt can travel through the furnace and can cause higher breakdown rate.  This also affects your repair bills, which in turn will cost you more money.  As far as how often you want to have your air ducts cleaned, you want to usually have them cleaned every two to five years.  Most houses would probably benefit from that. I’m not saying every house must have the air ducts cleaned that often but the air quality in most houses would probably improve if they did.  As far as dryer vents, you probably want have them cleaned at least every two years.  Now, with dryer vents you need to take into consideration how long the vent run is and how many elbows are in the run.  The longer the run and the more elbows it has in it, the more opportunity there is for the dirt, lint and dust to settle in the vent.  These vents need to be check and cleaned more often not only for air quality issues but also for safety reasons.  It is a good idea to have your dryer vents cleaned every couple of years because clogged dryer vents can be a huge fire hazard and they will cut down on air flow to the clothes dryer.  A decrease of air flow will cause your dryer to work harder which can cause it to burn out and then you have to replace the dryer.

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