Should Air Ducts Be Cleaned?

Should Air Ducts Be Cleaned?

This weeks blog we wanted to discuss what are air ducts and if it is necessary to have them cleaned?

The quality of the air we breathe indoors has become an increasingly important environmental concern.

Clean, fresh air is a great concern to many homeowners and building managers as allergy and respiratory problems increase. Today’s tightly insulated energy efficient homes and buildings trap and recycle polluted air. Dirty air ducts also cost you money. Just a .042 inch of dust on heaating or cooling coils reduces the efficiency up to 21%.

Dirt, dust and microorganisms such as bacteria virus, dust mites, mold spores, fungi, yeast and algae collect and breed in air duct systems. These pollutants are force fed into every room whenever the fan comes on, causing allergies and respiratory problems to flare. microbial in nature, they can also create unpleasant odors.

What Are Air Ducts?

Quoting the definition in  Wikipedia:  

Ducts are used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to deliver and remove air. These needed airflows include, for example, supply air, return air, and exhaust air.[1] Ducts also deliver, most commonly as part of the supply air, ventilation air. As such, air ducts are one method of ensuring acceptable indoor air quality as well as thermal comfort.

What is Air Duct Cleaning?

Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, 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.

 Should You have The Air Ducts Cleaned Out?

The Environmental Protection Agency  (EPA) says that it isn’t necessary to have them routinely cleaned but only as needed — such as when mold, pests or excessive debris clutter the system. Informed consumers are aware of EPA studies concluding that poorly maintained ducts can be a breeding ground for disease causing organisms. Duct cleaning, performed properly, will remove dirt, dust, and microorganisms such as bacterial virus, dust mites, mold spores, fungi yeast, and algae from the system.

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA)  experts argue the need for cleaning depends on a variety of factors, including pets, smoking, recent renovations, local weather conditions and overall home cleanliness.

Beware of Scammers

A growing number of duct cleaning advertisement scams have been recently uncovered. These ads claim whole house duct cleaning or unlimited vents can be cleaned for $49.00, $69.00 or $99.00.

Here is a MSNBC’S video of a scammer

How To Choose A Duct Cleaning Company?

Duct cleaning, if done improperly, can be the worst thing you can do for your air quality.

5 Questions You Should Ask Your Duct Cleaning Contractor

1) Will the contractor inspect your ducts to make sure they are cleanable?

 2) Will the contractor be cleaning the entire system including fans and coils?

 3) Will the contractor provide you with the means to conduct a visual inspection at any time during the cleaning process?

 4) Can the contractor provide references of previous customers with phone numbers?

(Don’t be afraid to follow up)

 5) Is the contractor giving you a guaranteed price before the cleaning? Mold, damaged fiber glass insulation, cleaning/treating coils may become add-on costs.

 Here in Connecticut Duct Diagnostics is a NADCA (National Air Duct Cleaners Association) certified, licensed, and insured company. They are experienced in both residential and commercial air duct cleaning, and hold NADCA certifications as an air system cleaning specialist, ventilation system inspector, and ventilation system mold remediation certification. They are OSHA 10 Certified, Energy Star rated, member of The Better Business Bureau of Connecticut and also a member of CHCC ( CONNECTICUT HEATING & COOLING CONTRACTORS)

They are located at 195 Elizabeth Street, Derby, CT 06418

Phone (203) 734-1532


Duct Cleaning Could Be The Healthiest Investment You Ever Make!


  1. Again, some great information here, Cathy! My husband works for EPA, so is up on the importance of keeping our ducts clean.

    Blessings to you!

    • cathy says:

      Thanks Martha for your comment. Sometimes it’s the hided things in our house that we don’t think of that could be causing a problem.

  2. danny orlando says:

    Overall this has some good information and I appreciate the nod to EPA’s advice that unless there are particular issues in the home such as allergies, pests, recent construction, and so on, then there is no need to clean ducts. The other components of the system such as the coil should be regularly maintained. One of the most important issues to tackle in a home concerning energy efficiency is air leakage and duct leakage. Please note that a duct company is not ENERGY STAR rated or certified, but can partner with us to promote the program as a service and product provider (however their site doesn’t have the brand nor or they listed on the ENERGY STAR website). Some of the best information on home energy efficiency can be located on the ENERGY STAR website at For air sealing – Well, you certainly have my interest after reading this first blog.

    • cathy says:

      Dear Danny,

      Wow! I feel honored by your comment, especially coming from the EPA. As you know you can find many resources on varies topics but is it factual? My desire is to bring with experience and help from experts as much information I can in one page. Sometimes it isn’t easy, because I think over all it can be confusing, if it isn’t broken down and explained in simple terms.

      Thank you I will visiting the site.

      – Cathy

  3. Andy says:

    Hello Cathy.

    Thanks Cathy. We’d be completely lost without you.

    BTW, there’s definitely another image over your duct photo.

    • cathy says:

      Hello Andy,

      The problem has been solved and my regular scheduled blog will be out on Monday. Sorry for any inconvenience!!

      _ Cathy


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In 1986, I started my cleaning business. I put one ad in the local newspaper and, within one day, I had received over twenty calls. I have always been passionate about using safe natural cleaning products and finding useful ways of creating a sustainable environment. I do my part by using natural cleaning products to clean my clients' homes. But don’t take my word for it. Read my testimonials and then give me a call at 203-710-3188.