How Do I Know When It’s Time To Clean My Furnace Air Ducts?

Checking your furnace regularly and keeping it clean with routine maintenance can significantly reduce the build-up of dust, dirt, hair, allergens, and all other types of debris from accumulating in your furnace and air ducts.

We have 4 Easy Ways to Keep Your Furnace Running in Tip Top Shape to help make regular furnace maintenance a routine.

However, we do recommend having your ducts professionally cleaned every 2-3 years, as a proper, thorough cleaning can extend the life of your furnace, increase energy efficiency, and lower your utility bills, as well as improve the air quality in your home, making it healthier for you and your family.

There are a number of different indicators that your ducts are in need of a cleaning:

  1. Remove one of your heating registers by lifting it up out of the floor. Look inside the ducts to check for a build-up of dust and dirt.
  2. Unscrew one of your return air vent covers and examine it for a coating of dirt, especially a thick, carpet-like matting of dust and hair and debris.
  3. Check your furnace’s air filter. You should do this on a regular basis and swap out dirty, clogged filters frequently. If the filter is clogged with dust and debris, it won’t be effective, and dirt will accumulate in your furnace and air ducts. Read How Do I Know When It’s Time to Replace My Furnace Air Filter to learn more.
  4. Remove the cover panel on your furnace and inspect the fan and blower assembly, as well as the wiring and furnace controls for an accumulation of dirt and dust.

When checking out these indicators, the more dust and dirt that you find, the more likely it is that you’re in need of a professional duct cleaning.

What Can Happen if My Furnace Air Ducts Are Dirty?

Dust and dirt are terrible for your HVAC system. Not only can a build-up of debris cause your furnace and ducts to fail or become damaged, but it can also cause energy inefficiency and higher utility costs, and even health concerns.

  • The dust and dirt trapped in your ducts is a nasty mixture of dead skin, hair, pet dander, mould spores, pollen and other allergens, even bugs and rodent feces! If you let it accumulate in your ducts, then every time you turn on your furnace, you’ll be blowing that nasty dirt and debris all over your house, including in the air you breathe.
  • A build-up of dirt and dust can cause your furnace to become inefficient. Clogged heat exchangers won’t heat the air efficiently and a blocked fan won’t circulate air properly, causing your furnace to run for a longer period of time, wasting energy and increasing your utility bills.
  • Clogs of dirt and dust can restrict the airflow in your HVAC system, which won’t allow the air in your home to circulate. Your furnace may be fine at heating air, but if it can’t circulate the air in your home, it will just continuously run without consistently maintaining the proper temperature in your home.
  • If your HVAC system is constantly forced to work overtime due to clogs and restricted airflow and inefficient heating, it will significantly decrease the lifespan of your furnace and ducts. Things like bearings, pumps, fan motors, and compressors will wear out quicker and this could possibly lead to more expensive repairs or damages in the future.

Dirty ducts can cause several problems, and they’re much worse than just a bit of dust.

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Thankfully, for our trained and certified HVAC professionals, the cleaning process is fairly quick and straightforward and we can have your furnace back in tip top shape in no time, so give Canuck Plumbing and Heating a call today to schedule your duct cleaning!

Benefits of Furnace Air Duct Cleaning

Having an experienced HVAC professional clean your ducts and service your furnace at least every 2-3 years can have a number of different benefits:

  • Increased reliability and an improved overall performance from your furnace and HVAC system.
  • Increased energy efficiency and lower costs for monthly energy bills.
  • Improved health and relief from allergy symptoms and respiratory problems.
  • Decreased costs associated with repairs and replacements due to wear and tear on a stressed HVAC system.
  • An overall increased lifespan for your furnace, ducts, and HVAC system.

At Canuck Plumbing and Heating, we offer a full range of furnace and air duct cleaning services and our friendly and experienced HVAC professionals have been serving Fort Saskatchewan and the Edmonton area for over 15 years. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment for our air duct cleaning and furnace maintenance package!


1 reply
  1. Andre Beluchi
    Andre Beluchi says:

    The information about the build up of dirt and dust sounds about right when it comes to knowing the time to clean the air ducts. This is something that I would need to talk to my daughter about doing because of her issue. She called me several hours ago about her vents blowing out a lot of dust in every room of her house.


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