How to Tell Your Air Ducts Need Cleaned

Oct 4, 2019 | Air Ducts, Ductwork, Hilliard-Dublin, HVAC Maintenance

Did you know the Environmental Protection Agency recommends homeowners clean their air ducts about every five years, give or take? 

Because some are worse than others, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association also advises air ducts to be inspected at least every other year.

Dirty air ducts can lead to higher energy bills year-round in addition to respiratory problems and total system failure down the road.

Simply put, it’s not worth it.

Determining whether you need to have your ducts cleaned is relatively easy. To recognize the signs, we at Hilliard-Dublin Heating & Air compiled the following list:


Unexplained Spikes in Your Energy Bill

Your home’s heating and cooling expenses should be reasonably predictable every year. However, if you notice a spike in the cost or find the price has been climbing each year, something’s wrong. Your house’s duct system could be the problem. This is because, in some cases, the ductwork has become so dirty that it isn’t able to freely flow through your home. And this forces your system to work harder, raising the price. Having a professional out to clean your ducts is not a bad idea.

In addition to cleaning out the obstructions, a technician also checks on leaky ducts.


Signs of Rodent or Insect Infestation

If you see, hear or smell any indication that rodents or insects could be living in your ducts, it’s time to clean them out. Call a professional immediately because it can severely damage your HVAC system.

The smell from their droppings can become highly unpleasant, and along with their shells, husks, and shedding, it can cause illnesses and a host of other problems.


Dirt or Dust Around the Vents and Registers

Do you see dirt and debris around your air vents? If so, there is a high probability that your ducts have increased blockages or have a large number of contaminants flowing through the system. This can escalate allergy problems and other respiratory illnesses, which is another sign of its own.


Unexplained Respiratory Problems

Is anyone in your home experiencing any sinus, asthma, allergy, or other respiratory issues? Here again, dirt and debris running through your ducts might be the issue. 

Air circulates through your home numerous times a day. If your ducts have high levels of dirt and debris, it can have a big influence on indoor air quality. 


Visible Mold Growth

While dust, dirt, and other contaminants can have an adverse impact on your health, mold is an entirely separate and more severe crisis. This fungus can intensify allergies and respiratory problems. Worse yet, it spreads fast. Whether you notice mold near your vent covers, or you see it growing around your air conditioner, it’s crucial to take action. Be quick to protect your home’s air quality.

Get your ducts cleaned. Perhaps even safeguard against excessive moisture in your home with a dehumidifier or programmable thermostat.


Air Filters Get Dirty Too Fast

Did you know that if your house’s return air vents are dirty, that dust and dirt buildup will be pulled straight into your ducts where it goes straight to the air filter?

In such cases, you can tell your ducts need to be cleaned based on the air filter’s buildup from the ducts. Do you need to change your air filters because of buildup more frequently?


Airflow isn’t Consistent from Room to Room

Have you ever felt one room isn’t getting the same amount of airflow as another room in your home? Because all vents are supposed to be equally open, you might need to clean your air ducts. Doing so will make airflow more consistent room to room.


Noises in the Ductwork

After you’ve occupied your home for a short while, you learn all its little noises and quirks. But did you know that ductwork isn’t supposed to make any sounds?

If you hear anything more than the motor to your blower, or a vague “swooshing” noise, your ductwork could have blockage or debris. If so, it’s time to call one of our certified professionals. 

If you observe any of these signs, call Hilliard-Dublin Heating & Air today. Our number is 614-490-7520. You can also schedule an appointment now at