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How often should you have your air ducts professionally cleaned?

Well, it depends.

There is no agreed-upon schedule or intervals for it, agreed upon by experts.

But when you’ve seen what we’ve seen, and heard the stories of better breathing, better night’s sleep, and just overall improved feelings like home was really home again, well, we can definitely say it is worth doing for many.

In Florida, We Recommend Once-Yearly Cleaning

A question we’re often asked at Real Duct Cleaning is “How often should I get my ducts cleaned?”

We recommend at least once a year—possibly more if you suffer from breathing-related conditions such as allergies or asthma.

A couple reasons for this are:

  • The high humidity in Florida leaves our air systems prone to mildew and mold build-up. With mold, it is always best to handle it immediately to reduce the spread. When we clean your ducts, we treat them to prevent mold growth later.
  • Due to Florida’s warm and humid climate, we deal with a very high pollen count year-round. The warmer temperatures mean that Florida has one of the most powerful and prolonged allergy seasons in the country. Cleaning out your system helps ensure higher indoor air quality.

Of course, your first air duct cleaning may be the most intense and important, since it is often cleaning away years of dust and other build-up. Annual cleanings would then be more of a maintenance, check-up, and prevention or problems.

Jack, Jill, & Tom — Pets, Humidity, Smoking, and Sand

Here are 3 different scenarios—pick whichever suites you, and we can always do a free consultation to help you decide whether you do or don’t need to have your ducts cleaned.

Scenario 1: The Clean Homeowner in a Humid Environment

In this scenario, the homeowner maintains a very clean household, but the humidity outside—which comes in through windows, the door, and other openings in the building envelope—is a factor that can contribute to the potential growth of mold and mildew within her ductwork. In a humid climate like Florida’s, it is generally recommended to have air ducts inspected every 3-4 years to ensure there is no mold growth.

If the inspections show no signs of mold, dust accumulation, or other contaminants, the homeowner might only need to clean their air ducts every 5-7 years. The reason for this frequency or schedule is to ensure that air quality remains high and that any potential allergens or biological growth due to humidity are addressed before they become a problem.

Scenario 2: The Pet Owner by the Beach

In this scenario, the homeowner has four cats, which means there will be a significant amount of pet dander, hair, and possibly litter dust circulating in the home. Additionally, since they live by the beach, some sand gets tracked indoors, which can enter the air duct system in small amounts. But, the beach is also a great place for fresh air—though humid. These factors (pets, beach sand, open windows) can dirty up or clog air filters more quickly and contribute to the accumulation of debris within the actual ducts.

For a home with multiple pets, it might be worthwhile to have the air ducts cleaned more often, such as every 2-3 years. This will help maintain good air quality, reduce the potential for clogged ductwork, and keep the HVAC system running efficiently.

Scenario 3: The Smoker With a Humid, Collectable-Filled Home

In the third scenario, the homeowner smokes indoors, which introduces smoke particles and nicotine residue into the air duct system. The smoke can leave a sticky residue that not only affects air quality but can also adhere to dust and other particles, creating a buildup in the ducts. And, the large number of old newspapers and other collectibles can contribute to dust and likely increases the risk of a fire hazard. The homeowner also doesn’t use their A/C that much, preferring warmer nights or lower electrical bills. Well, that lack of air conditioning use exacerbates the humidity level inside the home, creating an environment conducive to mold growth.

For a smoker with these living conditions, it might be advisable to have the air ducts cleaned on a more regular basis, such as every 1-2 years. This frequency helps to ensure that smoke residue and potential mold growth due to humidity are effectively managed, maintaining a healthier indoor environment. Of course, the best solution in this scenario specifically is also to…. Smoke outside or not at all, to run the A/C more often (if need for air flow or humidity reduction), and to get rid of some of the older unwanted newspapers—or store them better.

Call Real Duct Cleaning for… Real Duct Cleaning!

Real Duct Cleaning has more than 25 years’ combined experience with cleaning air ducts in Florida. If you suspect your air ducts might need cleaning, or if they’re a cause for concern, call us today.