You dust your home regularly, sweep and vacuum, change the air filters on your furnace every month, and still, it won’t go away: no matter what you do, dust is a never-ending problem in your home.

If you have allergies, this buildup can be even more frustrating and uncomfortable. Although some amount of dust is inevitable in any home, it’s also possible that, despite your cleaning efforts, dust continues to pollute your air from unseen sources. One of the most likely sources of this dust is the ductwork running throughout your walls and ceilings, circulating fresh air through your home—and, all too often, sending dust along for the ride.

If you haven’t cleaned your ductwork recently—or ever, in some cases—this should be your top priority as you look to improve your indoor air quality. Read on for more information about the benefits of cleaning your air vents on a regular basis.

What is Ductwork?

Your home’s ductwork is a system of vents and sealed passageways through which air is circulated through your home. Some of this ductwork, which is made from sheet metal, delivers new air into your home, while other ducts and vents allow for your furnace and air conditioner to intake indoor air to be heated or cooled and recirculated.

It might be helpful to think of ductwork as the circulatory system for your HVAC appliances. In any home with central heating or air, good ductwork is important to make sure your home is properly heated and cooled.

What Sorts of Debris Will I Find in My House Vents?

Over time, a wide range of pollutants may settle into your ductwork. The most common types of pollutants found in your ventilation system will include dust, lint, dirt, and pet hair, along with possible allergens including pollen and pet dander.

In some homes, you may also find insects, rodent droppings, and mold in your air vents, as well as objects that have slipped into the ductwork through floor registers or other openings.

Don’t My A/C and Furnace Units Filter the Air?

It’s true that furnace and air conditioning units are equipped with filters to remove dust and other debris from the air as it’s recirculated into the home. But even when these air filters are effective, they’re far from foolproof: many filters are only rated to filter out debris above a certain size, and the filters themselves may become less effective the longer they’re used.

On top of this, dirty filters are more likely to allow dust through than clean ones. And keep in mind that buildup in your furnace and air conditioning ductwork can take place over years if those ducts are never cleaned. If you recently moved into a home, for example, pet dander from past residents could be stuck in the ductwork, agitating your allergies until those ducts are properly cleaned.

Benefits of Cleaning Residential Ductwork

Households that haven’t ever professionally cleaned their ductwork may question the necessity or value of this process. But residential ductwork cleaning can offer a number of important benefits to your home, including:

  • Improving the quality of your indoor air. Because indoor spaces can trap dust and debris, indoor air quality can be up to five times worse than the air outside of your home. Given the amount of time you spend breathing your home’s indoor air, regular duct cleaning can play an important role in creating a healthier indoor environment.
  • Reducing your exposure to allergens. Mold, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens can enter your ductwork and wreak havoc on anyone with allergies. If allergens are currently present in your ductwork, and A/C vent cleaning could offer instant relief.
  • Mitigating dust and debris buildup in your furnace and air conditioner. Dust and other pollutants aren’t just bad for your breathing. This debris can also accumulate on HVAC equipment, including mechanical components, which can affect heating and cooling efficiency and even increase the risk of equipment breakdowns.
  • Alleviating the operating burden placed on your furnace and A/C unit. Dirty filters and clogged-up mechanical components make your appliances work harder to heat and cool your home. This can increase your heating and cooling costs, in addition to the higher risk of equipment failure.
  • Experiencing a slower accumulation of dust in your home. While you should continue to dust and clean regularly to minimize the pollutants in your home, you may notice that it takes longer for visible dust to accumulate on interior surfaces.

How to Clean the Vents in Your House

Because of the complexity of reaching all the way into your ductwork and scouring its interior surfaces for dust and other debris, households are strongly encouraged to hire an air conditioner cleaning service that services the ductwork throughout your home. These cleaning surfaces can utilize commercial brushes and vacuuming equipment to loosen debris in your vents and restore your ducts to like-new condition.

It may be easy to ignore the mess that’s accumulated in your vents, but you won’t be able to escape these pollutants when it comes to maintaining a healthy home. If it’s been a few years since your ducts were last cleaned, contact a professional cleaning service and discover the difference for yourself.