What Can You Do About Heating Ducts That Get Dirty Very Quickly?

Experts typically recommend having your heating ducts cleaned every 2 to 5 years, depending on your circumstances. But what should you do if your HVAC technician comes out to clean your ducts after just a few years have elapsed and tells you they are absolutely filthy? What about when it has only been a few months since you've had your ducts cleaned, but you're already suffering from allergy symptoms and seeing signs that they're pretty dirty again? Surely you could just have the HVAC tech come back and clean your ducts more often, but there are also some things you can do to slow down the rate at which your ducts become dirty.

Vacuum your home more often – and attack these often-missed spaces.

If you don't vacuum up dust and debris, it will eventually make its way into your ducts. Part of the problem might be that you're not vacuuming often enough, or that you're skipping important places when you are vacuuming. Schedule a whole-home vacuuming session at least once a week. Ensure you're vacuuming these often-missed area:

  • Under the bed
  • Behind furniture like buffets, sofas, and dressers
  • Your shades, drapes or blinds (depending on the material, you may need to wash these rather than vacuuming them)
  • Along the baseboard where the carpet meets the wall

You don't have to move furniture every time you vacuum, but doing so once a month will go a long way towards keeping your home and ducts cleaner.

Install an air purifier.

This is especially important if you have pets or live in an older home where a lot of dust comes in from the attic and walls. A whole-home air purifier can be added to your HVAC system. It will do a more thorough job of removing dust and debris from your air than a standard furnace filter. Your HVAC technician will have to install the unit, but once it's in place, it will run on its own as needed.

There are also portable air purifiers that you can purchase. However, these don't tend to be as great of an option since they only clean the air in a small portion of your home. Dust and debris from other areas of the home will still end up in your ducts.

Vacuum the vents regularly.

You can't vacuum out your entire duct system, but you can clean parts of it. A couple of times a year, use the wand extension on your vacuum cleaner to suck any dust off of the vents associated with your HVAC system. You can also remove the vents from the wall (you just need a screwdriver) and vacuum the entrances to the ducts. This way, you'll at least be removing some of the dust before it finds its way deeper into the ductwork.

For more information and advice, seek out services such as air conditioning by Marino's Plumbing & Gas Fitting.