How Often Should You Have Your Air Vents Cleaned?

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HVAC technician from Capital Heating & Cooling cleaning an air vent.
Photo Credit: One Beautiful Life Photo

The air vents in your home run air through them constantly, especially during the summer and winter months. And, naturally, anything that’s in the air can also get into your vents. So it makes sense that they will eventually need cleaning. 

In general, we recommend you have the vents in your system checked every five to seven years and cleaned, if necessary, to remove a buildup of allergens, such as pet hair, mold, and dust.

The EPA recommends having your vents cleaned as needed if there is visible mold, an insect or rodent infestation, or excessive debris that can block air from flowing. They also say that, as a preventive measure, keeping dirt and water out can help prevent contamination. If there’s a minimal amount of dust accumulation, you don’t need to have them cleaned. 

They note that there is evidence suggesting that cleaning your vents can increase the efficiency of your HVAC system, so make sure you have a qualified company take a look and assess whether or not they need to be cleaned, especially if you haven’t had someone look at them in a while.

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) has an exhaustive list of air vent cleaning resources and recommendations. The short story: get your vents cleaned based on what professionals in your area recommend in order to:

  • Improve indoor air quality.
  • Save money.
  • Help reduce allergens.

NADCA also notes that duct cleaning in an average-sized home costs between $450 and $1,000. They counsel consumers to be wary of gimmicky offers from companies, such as whole-house cleanings for $99 or similar too-good-to-be-true deals. You should also be skeptical of any company that makes outsize health claims.

Who should clean your air vents?

Both the EPA and NADCA agree that this is a job for the pros. A professional has the necessary equipment, such as a high-powered vacuum and rotary brushes, to clean your vents properly.

In Washington State, air duct cleaning professionals are required to be licensed.

Professional HVAC services are also equipped and trained to clean your entire system—not just the vents. This is a crucial preventive measure. In fact, a yearly cleaning and maintenance appointment will go a long way toward keeping your air vents in top shape; clean and care for your system regularly and the ducts are more likely to stay free of contaminants.

Capital Heating & Cooling is proud to be a qualified air vent cleaning service in the South Sound region.

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