A Homeowner’s Guide to Air Duct Cleaning

Air ducts are a critical part of air circulation throughout your home. Learn about why it’s so important you keep them clean in this blog post.

What are Air Ducts?

All homeowners have probably heard of air ducts, and most have an idea of what they do, but for those who have no idea what we’re talking about, we’ll explain. Air ducts are an exterior piece of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, otherwise known as your HVAC unit.

Air ducts create the pathways for the temperature controlled air that flows from your HVAC unit into the rest of your house.

What is Air Duct Cleaning?

Air duct cleaning is the process of removing all of the built up, dust, dirt, mold, and other random objects from your ductwork. This can be done with a few different methods, some of them include a rotary vacuum, or a high-pressure air wash system. The main focus is not just to get all of the dirt loose, but to get all of it out of your duct system and out of the HVAC unit altogether. This will keep that dirt from being recirculated throughout your home.

Why Should I have My Ducts Cleaned?


When any aspect of your HVAC unit is not cleaned thoroughly, the entire unit is impacted. This explains why having dirty air ducts can increase your utility costs. By removing dust, dirt, and other objects from the air ducts, your energy costs will lower significantly.


The quality of the air within your home can have a significant impact on your health. Dust and other contaminants such as mold are often found lingering in the dark and musty environments that make up your air ducts and vent systems. Air ducts also provide the perfect home for allergens, so keeping your air ducts clean will help residents dealing with allergies, asthma and other respiratory illnesses.


Not having regular inspections and maintenance on your HVAC system can result in premature breakdowns for your unit. While inspections and seasonal maintenance might seem like an unnecessary expense, it will end up being much less expensive than the cost of a complete system replacement of your heating and cooling system.


Dust, fungi, mildew, and other types of bacteria in your air vent system and ductwork can cause a variety of unpleasant odors throughout your home. Unfortunately, these odors won’t just stay in the air ducts. The forced air from your system will push those odors into every room, making sure that your entire house has an unpleasant smell. Additionally, these odors cannot be eliminated using air fresheners. The only way to truly rid your home of that smell is with air duct cleaning.

Can I Clean Them Myself?

There are ways for you to clean your air ducts yourself, however, if you don’t have the right equipment, you’ll only be able to do a subpar job. We recommend calling an experienced technician to at least come out and provide you with an inspection before taking on this challenge yourself.

How Often Should I Have My Air Ducts Cleaned?

How often you clean your air ducts should depend on a number of factors, such as:

  • How many smokers are in the household

  • Pets that shed hair and dander

  • Recent water damage

  • Residents with allergies or asthma

  • Home renovations or remodeling

According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, generally speaking, you should only need to clean your air ducts every 2-5 years.

The next time you’re in need of any HVAC services including air duct cleaning, repairs, and maintenance, call the experts at 5 Star Plumbing Heating & Air. Our specialists will provide you with comprehensive, affordable, and reliable HVAC and duct services to make sure your system works at maximum efficiency.