How often should you be cleaning your air vents in your home?

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air conditioning cedar hill texas

Our HVAC systems greatly impact the indoor air quality in our homes. As air gets pulled into your unit, it flows through an air filter before moving through your system and into your air ducts. Ideally, HVAC air filters will catch most types of air pollutants, but some of them inevitably make their way into air vents. 


As dust, pollen and other types of debris build up over time, it can result in a need for AC repair Cedar Hill, TX homeowners won’t want to neglect. 


Read on to learn how often you should clean your air ducts and air vents to keep your indoor air clean and your cooling system efficient.


Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating are experts in air conditioning Cedar Hill, Texas homeowners can depend on. Need A/C repairs fast? We offer 24/7 emergency HVAC services. Call (469) 557-2703 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.  

Signs You Need to Clean Your Air Ducts

Air ducts and air vents often fall victim to an “out of sight, out of mind” category, but they should be cleaned by a professional every 2–5 years. The frequency depends on your climate and lifestyle factors, like the number of pets in the home. Those who live in highly polluted or dusty areas, or those with lots of furry friends, will need to schedule cleanings more frequently than the average estimates you might see online. 


Air pollutants like dust, dirt, pollen, pet hair, pet dander and mold, mildew or other bacterial growths could all be lurking in your air ducts. As air travels through your HVAC system, these particles end up circulating back into the air you breathe. 


Air ducts can also play host to insect and rodent infestations, leading to bad odors and a slew of other problems. It helps to know the warning signs that it’s time to schedule a professional air duct cleaning. Keep an eye out for the following:


  • The presence of mold inside of air vents or air ducts.
  • Air ducts that are clogged with dust and debris.
  • Evidence of insect or rodent infestations like droppings, nesting materials or remains.
  • Residents in the home frequently suffer from allergies, sore throats and coughing.
  • Dust build-up around air vent registers.
  • Excessive debris around the air filter and surrounding areas.
  • Visible bursts of debris coming out of air supply registers.


Clean air ducts help your HVAC system run more efficiently, improve air quality in the home and help reduce allergy and asthma symptoms. 

Why Do My Air Ducts Smell Bad?

As contaminants build up in air ducts over time, you might notice a musty smell whenever you run your A/C.  This could be the result of mold or mildew growth, insect and rodent infestations or common pollutants, such as tobacco smoke by-products. 


For immediate relief from bad air duct odors, place a bowl with baking soda directly inside of the offending air duct (while your unit isn’t running). It’s important to note that even if this method seems to work, it’s only a temporary solution. The best long-term remedy for nasty air duct odors is to schedule a thorough cleaning from an HVAC professional.  

Can Dirty Air Ducts Cause Allergies?

Air ducts ventilate air throughout your home. As a result, they directly impact indoor air quality. Those who suffer from allergies, asthma or other respiratory challenges may experience exacerbated symptoms like these:


  • Frequent coughing, congestion and sneezing.
  • Throat, nose and eye irritations. 
  • Itchy or runny noses.
  • Rashes or hives.
  • Headaches and low-grade fevers.
  • New or worsened allergy symptoms.


Of course, it’s always important to check in with a doctor to determine the cause of health concerns. If you notice new symptoms or an uptick in existing symptoms specifically when your A/C unit runs a cycle, dirty air ducts might be to blame.  

HVAC Maintenance and Air Ducts

Homeowners who keep up with annual HVAC maintenance will experience a lot less headache when it comes to A/C repairs and air ducts. By changing air filters frequently and having a professional inspect and clean your HVAC system twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall—you’ll ensure that fewer air pollutants make their way into your air vents. That said, some debris will inevitably get in, and air cleaning will still be necessary. Keeping up with regular A/C repairs and maintenance, however, will let you increase the time between professional air duct cleanings. 

When to Clean Air Ducts

Aside from the obvious and aforementioned signs that it’s time to schedule professional air duct cleaning, there are various situations that warrant a proactive deep cleaning before any problems can occur. This includes:


  • After a recent remodel/renovation.
  • Upon moving into a new home.
  • Following major construction projects.
  • If chemical irritants have spread through the home.
  • After bringing home new pets.
  • When elderly or medically sensitive individuals move into the home.
  • If air ducts have not been cleaned in more than three years.
  • When residents continue to experience allergy symptoms out of season. 


When you work with a professional to take care of problematic air ducts, you ensure your family gets to breathe clean, safe air. Clean air ducts also allow your HVAC unit to operate more efficiently, reducing utility costs and extending the life of your unit. 

Work with Dial One Johnson for Expert AC Repair Cedar Hill, TX Can Trust.

Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating has been in the business for over 50 years. Our team of pro HVAC technicians proudly serves Cedar Hill, TX and its surrounding areas with affordable, reliable residential HVAC, commercial HVAC and plumbing services.  


Need HVAC repair fast? Dial One Johnson offers 24/7 emergency support along with financing options to help you get the HVAC repairs you need right away. Visit us online or give us a call at (469) 518-2809 to schedule a visit today.    


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