Is HVAC Air Duct Cleaning Necessary?

It’s easy to overlook air duct cleaning services in routine business maintenance schedules. However, dirty ducts can decrease system efficiency, increase energy overheads, and result in costly repairs, making this an expensive mistake. Professionally cleaning air ducts can remove built-up dirt, debris, and contaminants, restoring the system to peak performance.


What Is Air Duct Contamination?

Over time, air ducts can become congested with mould, bacteria, pollen, and other pathogens.

A variety of factors lead to air duct pollution, including:

Dirty air filters

Impurities can enter and settle in ductwork when air filters become clogged. Unfortunately, this is a common problem in commercial buildings where filters are not changed as often as they should be. Therefore, it’s essential to replace your air filters regularly to keep your ducts clean.

Improper installation

Ducts can become contaminated when they haven’t been installed correctly. For example, leaks and gaps in ductwork allow outside air to enter the system, bringing dust, pathogens and other pollutants with it.

Poor ventilation

If your commercial building doesn’t have adequate ventilation, impurities can quickly build up in the air ducts. Facilities that use recirculating air systems, in particular, may experience this.

Building renovations

Dust and debris created by renovation work can enter the ducts and settle there, causing performance issues. In older buildings, or where the ducts are not as well-sealed as they should be, this can prove to be a serious problem.


Pests can also be a source of air duct obstructions. Rodents can build nests in the ductwork, while insects can deposit their eggs in the system.



How Does Air Duct Contamination Affect Your Business?

There are a few ways that contaminated air ducts can impact your business:

Decreased System Efficiency

When your air ducts become blocked with dirt and debris, it takes longer for air to flow through them. In turn, this decreases the efficiency of your HVAC system, leading to increased energy costs.

Reduced Productivity

Poor indoor air quality can lead to decreased productivity. For example, studies have shown that employees who work in buildings with poor air quality are less productive than those in clean, well-ventilated facilities.

Health Problems

Air duct pollution can also cause health problems for employees and customers. Dust, mould, and other allergens can cause respiratory problems, eye irritation, and other health issues.



Is Routine HVAC Duct Cleaning Needed?

As you can see, dirty ducts can lead to various problems. Experienced duct cleaning professionals should service and maintain your commercial HVAC system regularly to prevent the build-up of contaminants. Dust, mould, and other allergens circulating into the work environment can cause many health issues. Clogged ducts can also lead to decreased system efficiency and increased energy costs. Business owners can save money and keep their employees healthy by regularly cleaning their HVAC ducts.


How Often Should Ducts Be Cleaned?

The frequency of HVAC duct cleaning depends on a few factors, including the type of business, the age of the building, and the number of employees. In general, it’s a good idea to have your ducts cleaned every year or two. However, some businesses may need to have their ducts cleaned more often. For example, restaurants and other food-related companies should have their ducts cleaned at least yearly, but often more frequently to conform with TR19 guidance.



How Can I Tell if My Ducts Need to Be Cleaned?

There are a few signs that your air ducts may need cleaning:

  • Increased dust in the air
  • Visible mould growth on ducts or other visible system components
  • Decreased system efficiency
  • Higher than average energy bills


If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to contact an experienced duct cleaning contractor who will advise you on the best course of action.


How Duct Cleaning Is Performed

Commercial duct cleaning involves the removal of accumulated dirt, debris, and contaminants from the system. Air duct cleaning is a complex process that only trained professionals should perform. Improper duct cleaning can damage the system and lead to further contamination. 

The contractor will begin the process with a thorough inspection of the ducts to identify any areas that need attention. They will then use specialist tools and brushes to agitate and dislodge any build-up before high-powered suction equipment removes it from the system.


The Benefits of HVAC Duct Cleaning

Regular air duct cleaning can offer several benefits, including:

Improved System Efficiency

When ducts are clean, the airflow is unobstructed, increasing system efficiency, lowering energy costs, and extending the HVAC system’s lifespan.

Reduced Allergens and Pollutants

Duct cleaning can help to improve indoor air quality by reducing the number of allergens and pollutants in the air and helping to protect against asthma, allergies and respiratory infections.

Preventative Maintenance

Duct cleaning is a form of preventative maintenance that can help to keep the system running smoothly. It’s crucial to have your ducts cleaned regularly to avoid costly repairs or replacements in the future.


Duct Cleaning vs HVAC System Cleaning

There seems to be some confusion about what actually needs cleaning and how often it should take place for HVAC air duct cleaning. Some people assume that the entire HVAC system needs cleaning to maintain optimal performance and air quality, while others believe that only the ducts need attention. So, what’s the difference between duct cleaning and HVAC system cleaning?

The confusion around HVAC air duct cleaning is understandable, as the term can refer to two different things. Duct cleaning usually refers to the process of removing dirt, dust, and other debris from the ducts themselves. On the other hand, HVAC system cleaning is the process of cleaning all of the components of the whole HVAC system.


Parts Covered by a HVAC Cleaning Service

A professional HVAC cleaning service ensures your system works efficiently and preserves the life expectancy of individual components. Some of the main parts covered by a maintenance cleaning service include:


The ductwork is the system of pipes and tubes that distributes conditioned air throughout a building. Business owners should ensure ductwork cleaning is carried out frequently to ensure it functions correctly and delivers clean air.

Supply Grilles and Return Registers

These are the openings that allow air to flow into and out of a room. However, when they become clogged with dust and debris, it can restrict airflow and make your system work harder than it needs to. 


The coils in your HVAC system are responsible for heating or cooling air. If they become dirty, they won’t be able to do their job as well, and you could see an increase in your utility bills.

Blower Motor

The blower motor is responsible for moving the air around the building. If it becomes dirty, it can slowly start to lose its efficiency, causing your system to work harder and leading to a shorter lifespan for your HVAC system.


It is easy to overlook plenums, but they are vital to your HVAC system. They are the large metal boxes that store the air before and after it is distributed to the rooms in your building. If they become dirty, it can result in pathogens and other particles circulating through your ventilation system.

Furnace Components

Your HVAC furnace consists of several different components, including:

  • Heat exchanger
  • Motor blower
  • Drain pan
  • Combustion chamber
  • Heat pump
  • Evaporator coil

It is vital to have a professional clean all these components at least once a year to ensure your furnace runs at peak efficiency and prevents contaminant spread.

Air Filters

Air filters are an essential part of your HVAC system, and they should be replaced or cleaned regularly. They help remove impurities from the air, and if they become clogged, they can restrict airflow and cause your system to work harder than it needs to.



So, is duct cleaning worth it? It’s easy to see that a professional air duct cleaning can offer many benefits, including improved system efficiency, increased indoor air quality, reduced health risks, and prolonged system lifespan. 

If you’re looking for a way to improve the performance of your HVAC system and ensure the air in your business setting is clean and healthy, regular duct cleaning and maintenance should be made a priority.


Contact Us

If you are concerned about the condition of your commercial HVAC system or would like advice on the duct cleaning services we offer, please get in touch with our professional team, who will be happy to help.