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Last updated on March 13th, 2023 at 12:56 pm


Many homeowners see duct cleaning as an optional service that might improve their air quality. However, there are several situations when it’s absolutely vital to your health and well-being.

While it is important to routinely clean your air ducts, the EPA recommends considering air duct cleaning immediately in any of these situations:

1. You Can See Mold in Your Air Ducts

mold in your air ducts

Mold can be a substantial threat to your family’s health. If there is visible mold growth inside your air ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling inspection, you should get it removed as soon as possible.

Be aware that many substances can look like mold. If you find what appears to be mold in your air ducts, you may want to send a sample to a microbiology laboratory for testing. Some sections of your HVAC system may not be accessible for a visual inspection. If an HVAC service provider says there is mold in your system, ask them to show you where they found it.

2. Vermin Have Taken Over Your HVAC System

common house mouse

If you’ve seen rodents or insects in your home but don’t know where they’re coming from, it’s possible they’re hiding in your air ducts. Mice, rats, spiders, dust mites, and cockroaches will often build nests or webs inside the ductwork. An unpleasant smell coming from your vents is often an indicator of an infestation.

You will likely need to call an exterminator to deal with pests living in your air ducts. Make sure all pests are gone before taking further action. You don’t want a repeat of the problem! From there, you should get your ducts cleaned to remove any droppings, body parts, and saliva that remain.

3. Debris is Flying Out of Your Registers

extremely dirty and dusty white plastic ventilation air

If you can actually see debris coming out of your air vents, that’s a sign your air ducts really need to be cleaned! This level of dust requires special intervention.

It’s normal for a fine layer of particles to accumulate inside air ducts, but this usually is not enough to cause visible particles to puff out of your vents. Most of the contaminants in your air are too small to see. If air contaminants are visually noticeable, you are breathing extremely unhealthy air.

Bonus: Other Reasons to Get Your Ducts Cleaned

Some people are more sensitive to the kinds of contaminants that build up inside air ducts. If anyone in your family is experiencing unexplained allergies or asthma, you may want to try getting your ducts cleaned to see if that helps.

It’s also a good idea to get a thorough duct cleaning after a remodel. It’s easy for particleboard dust and other particles to spread throughout your home after construction work, so you should take extra measures to preserve good air quality.

DuctVac Northwest provides families in Seattle, Everett, Bellevue, and the surrounding area with clean and healthy air for their homes. We are not a heating company in the market to sell you unnecessary furnace parts, but rather specialists in air purification and air ducts. Contact us today for a free consultation.