Professional duct cleaning may help homeowners in certain scenarios. It makes sense that ducts may become dirty since dust and pollutants in a home’s airstream also move through the ducts and may eventually settle there. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises that homeowners tread lightly when it comes to duct cleaning.
In general, the EPA recommends duct cleaning in the following situations:
- You or a service professional discover mold in the ducts. Before you proceed with duct cleaning, test the material to determine that it’s actually mold.
- You find evidence of insect or rodent infestation inside the ducts. If left unchecked, the droppings left by rodents and insects will contaminate the home’s airstream.
- You notice a lot of dust particles coming from the supply registers. This may be a sign of excessive dust in the ducts themselves. As the dust-filled air is pushed through the ducts and vents, it will cling to the registers before being released into your home.
Your ducts may also warrant cleaning if:
- You’ve recently remodeled your home or built a new one
- You’ve moved into a new home, and you’re unsure about the condition of the ducts
- A family member experiences respiratory problems with no clear explanation
Why the hesitation on the part of the EPA about duct cleaning? For one, there is a lack of official, definitive studies about the health benefits of duct cleaning. Further, shoddy duct-cleaning companies often make exaggerated claims about its benefits, causing unsuspecting homeowners to quickly enlist the help of duct-cleaning service providers. If you suspect duct problems, and you’d like to have a professional evaluate the condition of your ducts, enlist the help of a reputable expert, and be sure that the contractor is certified by an organization such as the National Air Duct Cleaners Association.