The EPA recommends that air ducts be cleaned every 5 to 7 years or on an as needed basis.This does not mean that if you haven’t cleaned your air ducts in 7 years that they definitely need attention. They could 10 years old and not need cleaning. Reputable Air Duct Cleaners will use a camera to visibly determine whether or not the ducts are dirty. They also use a camera to show the customer that the contaminating debris has been removed. But sans a camera, what signs can a homeowner observe to indicate that their ducts are dirty?
Here are a few things to consider and observe:
- Dark, Black trails coming out of the supply registers.
- Dark, Black lines along the edge of the carpet & under door jams (more noticeable on white carpeting).
- Rooms have little or no air flow coming out of the supply vents.
- Stale, Musty odors when the furnace comes on.
- Sweeping the floors & dusting the furniture needs to be done more frequently.
- After or during sleep, occupants experience headaches, nasal congestion, itchy / watery eyes, scratchy throat, or other sinus conditions.
- Occupants constantly getting sick or experiencing severe allergic reactions and with greater frequency.
- When changing the furnace filter, one sees an abnormal amount of dust & debris.
- Remove a vent cover from the floor or the wall and look for blockages & wipe vent with white cloth. Is the cloth black and filled with debris?
- You’ve had major construction / renovations done in your home.
It is recommended by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) that air ducts, both supply & return, be inspected every 1 to 2 years, and the unit itself be serviced every year.
Chances are that if you live in a old home, over 25 years or more, and your ductwork has never been cleaned, your system could stand a cleaning.