Hot Topics: Do Your Ducts Really Need Cleaning?

Here on we enjoy providing a place where home improvement novices and experts can come together to share ideas and advice. Inside our Forums, users can browse threads to see what exchanges are taking place on a topic of interest or start their own dialogue by posting something for the community to take part in. With over 250,000 members and counting, this resource is quite active so each week we highlight one of the conversations that may just help you with that next DIY project.

With winter right around the corner, homeowners are wondering how to prepare their HVAC systems for the cold weather, but should cleaning your ducts be a part of your prep work? According to the homeowners, cleaning your ducts won't harm your system, but it isn't necessary. Take a look at some of the advice given here.

Original Post: Should I Really Have My Ducts Cleaned?

JesterPoet Member

Hi Everyone,

I recently had someone come out for a furnace/AC tune-up, and he suggested that I have my ducts cleaned. He said that because there were big dust bunnies in the filter, I would have problems with static pressure on the furnace and mold in the coils down the road.

I've considered duct cleaning in the past, and I've read a lot about it, but it seems that the general consensus is that it can do more harm than good. It doesn't help that this tech immediately filled me in on his company's duct cleaning service, but that also doesn't mean he didn't have my best intentions in mind.

I've had great luck in the past with advice from all of the incredibly knowledgeable people on this forum, so I thought I'd check in with all of you and see what your thoughts are. Any advice you can give is greatly appreciated.

Thank you

Highlights from the Thread

airman.1994 Member

Yes, if done incorrectly, it can be worse. Mold in the coil can happen anytime, and it sounds like your filter is doing what is was made to do. If he said the ducts were dirty, then that's different. There should not be any issues if it's done correctly. Most average homes take 5-7 hours. So any time less than, and you could be dealing with a scammer.

gilmorrie Member

I think you need to change your filters more often. If your fan runs too slowly or if the filters are clogged, it's possible that the flow rate in the ducts will be too low to strain the dust that may collect at the bottom of the ductwork.

guy48065 Member

I had a neighbor that was a retired HVAC pro. He told me duct cleaning is almost always unnecessary and is marketed in an untruthful, scammy way. He said most operators spend most of their time vacuuming out the easy-to-reach hot ducts that don't need cleaning (high velocity keeps them clear), while mostly skipping the hard-to-reach cold returns that ARE dirty (but also don't NEED cleaning because the low velocities don't disturb the accumulated dirt).

I've never known just how truthful and accurate his opinion was--or if he's just a curmudgeon with an axe to grind

Read more: //