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Spring Cleaning the Air Ducts for Healthier Indoor Air

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Spring Cleaning the Air Ducts for Healthier Indoor Air

Breathing clean air inside your home is so important for good health. As spring arrives, it’s a great time to think about freshening up the indoor air by cleaning the air ducts. This can remove dust, dirt, and other allergens that have accumulated over the winter. Here’s my guide to spring cleaning the air ducts in depth.

Why Spring Clean Air Ducts?

Over time, dust, dander from pets, mold spores, and other contaminants can build up inside the air ducts. Here are some key reasons I make sure to clean the air ducts each spring:

Reduce Allergens and Irritants

Dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold spores circulating through dirty air ducts can aggravate allergies and asthma. Thorough cleaning removes these allergens, resulting in cleaner indoor air.

Improve Air Quality

Air duct cleaning removes contaminants so the air you breathe is fresher and cleaner. This improves overall indoor air quality.

Remove Mold and Bacteria

Mold and bacteria trapped in air ducts can cause illness. Cleaning eliminates them before they spread through the home.

Increase Efficiency

Blockages and buildup in air ducts reduce efficiency. Cleaning improves air flow so the HVAC system works optimally.

When to Schedule Air Duct Cleaning

Aim to clean the air ducts annually or at least every 2-3 years. The best time for air duct cleaning is during spring, for a few reasons:

  • Heating systems have been running all winter, circulating dust and allergens through the ducts. Spring cleaning removes these contaminants.

  • People with allergies often have worse symptoms in spring as trees and plants start pollinating. Clean ducts reduce indoor allergens.

  • With windows closed up in winter, indoor air quality declines over the season. Spring duct cleaning restores cleaner, fresher air.

  • Days are getting warmer heading into summer. Improved airflow from clean ducts enhances efficiency of cooling systems.

Finding an Air Duct Cleaning Company

Look for a reputable company employing technicians certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). Here are important credentials and capabilities to look for:

  • NADCA certification – This demonstrates proper training in air duct cleaning.

  • High-powered vacuum trucks – At least 10 inches of water lift capacity. More suction captures more dust and debris.

  • Whole-home cleaning – Ask if they clean the entire duct system, including supplies and returns.

  • Commercial-grade brushing tools – For dislodging contaminants adhered to ductwork.

  • Sealing access holes – Ducts should be tightly sealed after cleaning is complete.

  • Satisfaction guarantees – Many companies offer satisfaction guarantees if cleanliness standards are not met.

Air Duct Cleaning Process and Methods

Professional air duct cleaners use specialized equipment and proven techniques to thoroughly clean ductwork. Here is an overview of the standard cleaning process:

Inspection and Planning

  • Technician will inspect the ducts, plan the cleaning, and discuss with you.

  • Access holes may be cut into ductwork to allow deep cleaning and camera inspection.

Brushing and Agitation

  • Rotating brushes loosen debris adhered inside ducts.

  • Powerful air whips agitate and dislodge dust and particulates.


  • Industrial strength vacuum with hose inserted into ducts draws out debris.

  • Vacuum force may exceed 10 inches of water lift.

  • Both supply and return ducts are thoroughly vacuumed.

Sanitizing (optional)

  • An EPA-approved sanitizing agent may be applied to disinfect duct surfaces.

  • Sanitizing reduces bacteria, mold spores, viruses, and odors.

Sealing Ducts

  • All access holes will be tightly sealed to restore duct integrity.

  • Ductwork should be leak tested after cleaning.

After the Air Duct Cleaning

Once the air duct and HVAC cleaning is complete, here are steps I take to keep indoor air fresh:

  • Change furnace filter – Replace old filter with a new, high-quality filter.

  • Vacuum carpets – This picks up dust stirred up from duct cleaning.

  • Let ducts dry – Run fan overnight to ensure ducts are fully dry before using system.

  • Refresh house – Open windows and use fans to circulate fresh outdoor air.

  • Check registers – Ensure all vents and registers are properly reattached.

Health and Air Quality Improvements

Thoroughly cleaning the air ducts can provide dramatic improvements in indoor air quality and health benefits:

  • 98% less dust circulating according to EPA studies.

  • Lower allergy symptoms from removing dust, pet dander, pollen.

  • Less mold and bacteria thriving in ductwork.

  • HVAC efficiency increase up to 15% from clean airflow.

  • Fresher air throughout the home.

  • Fewer bad odors from eliminating contaminants.

Breathing cleaner air will help me and my family stay healthier this spring and summer. Investing in professional duct cleaning is well worth the effort and cost!

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