Is Home Duct Cleaning Worth It?

Cleaning your home's air ducts remains a topic of controversy, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

System Signs

Figuring out whether you should clean your home's ducts can be challenging.Figuring out whether you should clean your home's ducts can be challenging.
Dusty air ducts are only one source of pollutants in your home, with other sources of pollutants being cooking, smoking and even cleaning. You should consider multiple factors before deciding whether home duct cleaning is worth it in your home's situation.

Home duct cleaning is worth it if you see substantial mold growth inside your sheet metal ducts or on other parts of your home's heating and cooling system. In addition, if you notice your ducts are infested with insects or rodents or you see they are clogged with large amounts of debris and dust, you should get your ducts cleaned. This is especially true if you actually see dust particles being released into your home's air from the system's supply registers.

Health Signs

If members of your household exhibit signs of sickness, this could be an indication that cleaning your home's ducts are worth it. For example, if family members struggle with allergies or unexplained illnesses you think might be connected with your home's environment, you should talk to your doctor. If you do not see visible signs of dust or mold in your ducts, you likely do not need to clean your ducts. However, note that duct cleaning never has been linked with preventing health issues, and no studies prove that filthy air ducts contribute to more dust in a home or that a duct cleaning decreases the amount of dust in a home, reports the EPA.

Potential Harm

Having your home's ducts cleaned periodically is not necessarily harmful, but it can be detrimental if done improperly. If the professional who is cleaning your ducts does not use a vacuum collection system that is adequate for your home, the system actually can put more dust and contaminants into your home's air. Also, an untrained cleaner can harm your ducts or heating and cooling system.

Questionable Necessity

The EPA recommends not cleaning your ducts unless it is definitely needed. This is because the advantages of duct cleaning in most circumstances is unfounded. In addition, no proof exists to show that cleaning your home's duct system will improve your heating and cooling system's efficiency. As a result, home duct cleaning is not considered a required part of yearly heating and cooling system maintenance. In addition, little research has been completed on whether using chemical biocides to kill bacteria in your home's ducts is fruitful.

About the Author

YaShekia King, of Indianapolis, began writing professionally in 2003. Her work has appeared in several publications including the "South Bend Tribune" and "Clouds Across the Stars," an international book. She also is a licensed Realtor and clinical certified dental assistant. King holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ball State University.