Cleaning out your air conditioning ducts can be an expensive proposition, which leads many homeowners to wonder if it’s actually worth the cost. The truth is that every situation is different, and making the decision to clean out your ducts needs to be carried out on a case-by case basis.
There are a few reasons why you may want to consider cleaning out your ducts, but there are also a few reasons why you may decide to wait.
Believe it or not, your ducts may not even be that dirty — or if they are, the dirt may be just around the registers and not through the whole system. With a digital camera, it’s easy to find out what shape your ducts are in.
Remove the grates from a few registers and extend your camera down inside as far as you can reach — don’t drop it!
Take pictures inside the duct from several angles and positions.
If you find some build up of dust at the openings of the registers, but not too far inside, just vacuum them out with your vacuum’s hose attachment to clean them.
If you happen to notice a lot of build-up sitting inside your ducts that is too far away to reach with the vacuum hose, then you might find that it’s worthwhile to call for a cleaning.
Repeat this process after a renovation, or if you happen to notice a drop in air quality or in AC performance. While you’ll probably find that your ducts are just fine the vast majority of the time, any time that you notice a severe build up of debris, you’ll know that it’s time to call in the professionals for a cleaning.
One more case where a duct cleaning may be worth the expense — if you’ve just purchased a new house, you may want to get the ducts cleaned. (You don’t know the habits of the previous owners.)
Cleaning out your AC ducts can either be a great idea or a potential waste of money. Make sure you take the time to examine your ducts and your house before you make the call.
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