What is duct work? When does it need to be cleaned?

The first question’s answer is standard textbook. Duct work consists of all components or parts that make up any forced air heating and cooling systems in a home or business. The components include but are not limited to, the supply and return air ducts, registers, grilles, coils, drip pans, fan motors and housings. Some parts of duct work travel throughout the structure leading into most rooms in a building.

The second answer is actually very simple… it’s whenever needed. No schedule. No timeline. According to the EPA, there are three main conditions making it necessary to schedule duct work cleaning.

  • Air ducts act like a filter. When air is blowing through them, the heavier particles fall from the air settling into the duct work. Over time this can build up and become clogged with dust and debris.
  • If there’s an infestation of insects or rodents in the ducts.
  • When sheet metal ducts or heating/cooling components have visible mold growth.

Vacuuming the vents is helpful but not enough. It’s very important to have all components of the air duct system cleaned with the proper equipment. Cleaning out the duct work can improve the efficiency of the cooling/heating system, prolonging it’s operating life and therefore saving money.