Is Duct Cleaning Really Worth Doing?

Many people believe that air duct cleaning is an essential maintenance step for your HVAC system. However, many people also wonder whether it is worth the trouble it causes. Here are a few things to consider about whether air duct cleaning is really worth doing or not.

Personal Experiences

Many of the supporters of air duct cleaning base their decision to clean air ducts on personal experiences. They know someone that had they are air ducts cleaned and then reported miraculous improvement in several areas. These people might have reported that a family member's allergies got better or that it was significantly easier to breathe. They might even claim that the air conditioner and heater had to run less because of the increased airflow through the ducts. Whether or not these things were actually true remains to be seen. 

Scientific Studies

Although many people claim to like the benefits that come with cleaning air ducts, scientific evidence says that it is not necessary. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, they say that regular air duct cleaning does not improve air quality at all. This information was first published in 1997 and they still hold to this viewpoint today. This information is based upon significant scientific research that was performed by the EPA and several different studies.

Clean as Needed

While the EPA argues that regular duct cleaning is not important, they do agree that there is value in cleaning the ducts as needed. Certain situations can warrant cleaning the ducts thoroughly. For example, when mold gets into the ductwork, you will definitely need to have it professionally cleaned. Otherwise, the mold will continue to spread and get into the air. This can cause serious health problems for the inhabitants of the house.

The EPA also says that you should have the ducts cleaned if pests or other things get into the ductwork. Things that get trapped in the ductwork as a result of certain pests can also cause health problems for people in the house.

Experts Opinion

Other experts have different opinions on how frequently you should clean your air ducts. They say that much of it depends on the condition of the home, whether or not you have pets, home cleanliness, and whether or not there are smokers involved. On average, most experts will tell you to clean your air ducts once every 3 to 5 years. In most cases, this is a reasonable time frame to shoot for in order to make sure that the ducts are clean.


Something else that you want to consider before having your ducts cleaned is the cost involved. You should call around and get a few estimates from local contractors before making a decision. On average, you will usually spend at least $400 in order to get a duct cleaning done. Therefore, if you do not think that this amount of money is worth spending on this process, it may not be right for you.