Not sure if you need duct cleaning? Just look in your vents!

Posted May 13th 2013 by: Matt Mountain

During our conversations on the phone and during the estimate process, many customers will ask "How do I know if my air ducts really need to be cleaned?" The answer can be any number of things. If it seems like you constantly have to dust the furniture in your home only to find it dusty again in a day or two, there is likely a large amount of debris in your duct system that is circulating throughout the house over and over again. When you go to change your furnace filter every three months is it fully clogged with dust and debris? ?Yes that means the filter is doing its job, but that same dirt and dust is likely throughout your return system. If you are coughing a lot or your sinus are becoming congested but you don't seem to have any other symptoms of illness, that same dust and debris may be to blame.

Sometimes, however, the easiest way to see if your air ducts need to be cleaned is to simply look in them! You can look into the heat vents in the floor fairly easily (usually), and typically you can see all sorts of things that fell in there from carpet fibers to Lego pieces and even some spare change, as well as a thin layer of dust throughout. To get an idea of how dirty the system really is, look inside one of your cold air returns. The air returns are pulling in air to bring back to the furnace, but they're also pulling in anything thats in the air including dust, hair and fumes. Your system is only as clean as its dirtiest vent! It should be pretty simple, requiring only the use of a screwdriver and probably a flashlight. Do you see all that dust, lint, hair , etc.? That's only a short section of the return duct and the entire thing is typically coated with a consistent layer of debris. ?If the inside of your vent looks like the following picture... you may have a phone call to make.