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Considering a Duct Cleaning? Examining FAQs by North Carolina Residents

Many homeowners are confused by duct cleaning and it’s place in a healthy home. To clear up any confusion about the duct cleaning process, when it’s called for and how it should be done, we’ll share some important duct cleaning FAQs inspired by questions from real NC homeowners in our community.

How Often Should I Have Duct Cleaning Performed?


There’s no set-in-stone, recommended schedule for home duct cleaning like there is for annual HVAC preventive maintenance. Many homes in the Raleigh area have no need for duct cleaning, while others will benefit greatly. It all depends on the state of your home’s ducts.

What Signs Indicate I May Need Ductwork Cleaning?

Air duct cleaning may be beneficial if one or more of the following are true:

  • You have an insect infestation in your house or you see rodents or bugs going into or coming out of air ducts.
  • You notice puffs of dust coming out of air registers when the HVAC system is running.
  • Mold is growing in the ductwork. If you’ve experienced water damage or high humidity, you may be at risk for mold growth. Humidity in ducts may be a problem if ducts run through unconditioned spaces.
  • You’ve just purchased a home and you’re uncertain whether ducts were cleaned within the last few years.
  • You’re moving into a recently constructed home. Before occupying a newly built or remodeled house, duct cleaning can help remove chemical residue and construction debris, which can include carpet lint, insulation fibers, sawdust contaminated with paint, and adhesives or chemicals.
  • You or your family members suffer from asthma, allergies or lung ailments. Duct cleaning may make you feel more comfortable. So far, studies haven’t shown a definitive connection between cleaner ducts and improved health, but client comments seem to indicate that clean ducts help them breathe easier.
  • There’s a smoker living in the house.
  • You have pets. Dander and animal fur can spread through the entire house via the duct system if it’s not cleaned.

What About DIY Duct Cleaning? 

Though the term “duct cleaning” makes the task sound easy enough, it’s far from a DIY task homeowners should try to tackle themselves. Why? There are several reasons.

An HVAC professional is prepared with specialized equipment to examine and clean the duct system while safely containing the dirt and debris that’s removed. Debris clinging to duct walls may be removed with special automated rotary tools and abrasive brushes homeowners don’t have access to.

Before or after duct cleaning, many technicians look for problem areas using a remote-controlled video camera. Plus, the tech will likely thoroughly clean the air conditioning and heating equipment along with the ducts to prevent mold or other debris from getting right back into the system.

How Do I Know I’m Getting Quality Duct Cleaning?

Ask the contractor to explain the process before the duct system cleaning takes place and make sure of the following:

  • Hire an HVAC contractor with experience in duct cleaning.
  • Ask if the company follows National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) standards. Ideally, your contractor should be a member of this industry trade organization.
  • Expect duct cleaning to take a few hours. Ask for a time estimate in advance and check to be sure work actually takes that amount of time. If the job is finished in less than an hour, it’s likely that it wasn’t completed properly.
  • Duct cleaners should take steps to contain dust and debris from the ducts, safely removing it from the house using vacuum systems and a truck-mounted collection system.
  • A qualified duct cleaner may recommend using chemicals to kill mold in the ducts, if the mold can not be completely removed by mechanical means. Ask your contractor if the sanitizing chemicals are EPA-registered.
  • Use the NADCA residential duct-cleaning checklist to check your ducts and HVAC system after duct cleaning is completed.

If you have questions not covered in these duct cleaning FAQs, contact Air Experts today. We serve the complete home comfort and indoor air quality needs of homeowners in and around Raleigh, NC.

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