5 Signs Your Air Ducts Need Cleaning

Some homeowners whose houses are heated and cooled through air ducts don’t think about the air ducts much once they are installed. They are, after all, invisible, and the only thing that matters is whether the rooms are cooled or heated to the occupants’ comfort. But it is still a good idea to have the air ducts cleaned now and then and to be alert for signs that they need cleaning by an HVAC specialist. Here are five signs:

1. Dust on the Vent and Register Covers
Suspect that the ducts need cleaning when dust builds up on the vent and register covers even after a good weekly cleaning. Other signs that the air ducts are dirty is an unusual amount of dust all over the house. Again, this dust seems to persist even after the weekly spruce-up.

2. Mold
Mold on the vent and register covers is a telltale sign the ducts need cleaning as is mold on the indoor air conditioning unit. To prevent mold from returning, the HVAC technician might recommend a whole house dehumidifier or even an ultraviolet light in the ductwork that kills mold and other pathogens.

3. Rooms Are Noticeably Different Temperatures
One sign that the air ducts are dirty is that one room is warm while the other remains cold. This happens even though the system isn’t zoned, and the registers in both rooms are open. It’s a sign that something is interrupting the air flow.

4. There Are Noises From the Ductwork
It’s normal to hear sounds like whooshing or the hum of the blower from the vents and registers. If the homeowner hears something that is out of the ordinary, it’s a sign that the ducts need cleaning.

5. The Home is Brand New or Has Undergone a Major Renovation
Homeowners can see for themselves the amount of dirt and dust that are created when a home is newly built or has had major work done to it. Though it may seem counterintuitive as the ducts in a new house are also new, it’s simply a good idea to give the air ducts a good cleaning as the finishing touch for that brand new home or after the new addition has been built.

A suspicious accumulation of dust, mold, unevenly heated or cooled rooms, weird noises and new construction are only five of the reasons that a homeowner might want to have their air ducts cleaned. Organizations such as the National Air Duct Cleaners Association also recommend that air ducts be cleaned every few years anyway to forestall any problems. Since cleaning out the air ducts isn’t a DIY job, the homeowner should leave it to a reputable and licensed HVAC professional.