5 Signs You Need Cleaner Air Ducts

Everyone has their own personal rituals and techniques but keeping the home clean is something every homeowner and renter worries about.

There’s a big difference between the light maintenance cleaning you do every day and the deeper clean that needs to happen on a yearly basis.

While you probably clean the counters and floors on a regular basis, most people forget that vents don’t lead to a magically sterile environment guaranteed to produce clean air – vents get dirty too, and they’re harder to reach.

How do you know when it’s time to clean your vents?

Here are 5 signs you need cleaner air ducts.

1) Constantly Dusting Furniture

There’s always a little bit of dust in the air and a lot of air flows through your ducts. Any that happen to hit the wall can stick and then more dust likes to build onto that. Eventually, the insides of your ducts are coated with dust that gets picked up by the otherwise clean air that flows through them.

If your home is always unusually dusty even though you dust regularly, this may be the fault of your ducts or the vents and filters inbetween.

2) Pervasive Musty Smell

Another unfortunately common issue has to do with moisture. If your ducts get dusty and damp at the same time, this creates an ideal space for mold and other unpleasant things to grow.

The ducts can also pick up particles from previous eras of the house.

If there was a bad smell, a smoker, or a particularly musty dog and those particles are still in your ducts, this smell could come through along with the AC or the heat.

3) Sneezing When the Air Comes On

Pollen and pet dander are another few things that your vent dust can hold onto and the supply is renewed every year.

If you sneeze when your AC or heat comes on or find yourself showing unusual allergy symptoms out of season, this can be because your vents are holding onto and distributing allergens.

4) Inefficient Heating or Cooling

No matter what it is building up on the sides of your vents and filling the HVAC filters, any amount of clogging or dust buildup will reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling units because they’ll have to push the air harder to achieve your desired temperatures.

If your power bill has been creeping up or if your HVAC systems make a lot of noise when they start up, this can be caused by the extra stress of an incredibly dusty ventilation system.

5) It’s Been More Than a Decade

Finally, if you don’t remember when the last time your vents were cleaned or it’s been longer than 10 years since your last service, it’s probably time to clean your vents.

They’ve had plenty of time to collect dust, allergens, moisture, and smells you might want to have smelled the last of. Ideally, you should get your ducts cleaned every 8 to 10 years.

You may be surprised how clean and fresh the air is in your home with this simple solution.


Air vents are an important part of your home but they’re also very hard to reach all of.

Rather than trying to get creative with a mop head, your best bet for a completely refreshed ventilation system is to call a professional.

If you haven’t had your air vents cleaned in the past 10 years or more, do your ducts a favor and schedule a cleaning with professionals who know how to get into those hard to reach places. For more information about ducts and other HVAC maintenance, contact us at (651) 294-7798 today!