“Out of sight, out of mind” shouldn’t be the motto you think of when it comes to completing routine and preventative maintenance on your rental property. One of those hidden systems that needs attention from time to time is the air ducts. But given you can’t actually see the dirt inside on a regular basis, how do you know when it’s time to have your air ducts cleaned?
Check the Registers and Vent Covers
While you may not be able to see the dirt and dust inside the ducts, there are visible signs to look out for. Check the registers and vent covers for dust and dirt build-up. You can also remove the vent covers and check the venting that’s visible from there. Is there build-up on the metal ducts? Can you even see the metal? If not, it may be time to order a cleaning.
Dusting isn’t exactly a fun chore, but if you notice that no matter how often you do it, the dust bunnies creep back up almost as soon as you put away your cleaning gear, it may be time to have your ducts cleaned. HVAC systems, especially central AC, pulls air from outside in, meaning that dirt and contaminates can collect inside your vents. If the vents are dirty and your systems are turned on, all of that dust and debris gets distributed throughout your home, coating everything in that lovely layer of filth. So rather than keeping your feather duster in arm’s reach, have your air ducts cleaned to help reduce the amount of dirt getting blown around your home.
Inconsistent Air Flow
Another sign that it may be time to have your air ducts cleaned is inconsistent air flow throughout the home. Ideally, vents that are fully open and operational should distribute a relatively consistent amount of air from room to room, so if you notice that’s not the case, schedule a cleaning. Having this done can also catch larger issues with your duct work you may not have noticed before. That’s the power of preventative maintenance!
Unusually High Heating/Cooling Costs
Another sign (at least partially) that it’s time to have your air ducts cleaned is a spike in your heating and cooling bill. Extreme cases of clogged ducts can reduce energy efficiency by restricting air flow and cause your systems to work harder and drain more power in order to function properly. If you notice an unusual jump in your bill and can’t pinpoint the cause to anything else, try having your ducts cleaned to see if that helps solve the issue.
There are many other signs that it’s time to have your air ducts cleaned. Experts recommend having them cleaned at least every three to five years. If you have pets, allergies, or sensitivities to dust, you may want to have them cleaned more often than that. So be sure to add having your air ducts cleaned to your list of things to do this year!