You’ve no doubt seen a barrage of air duct cleaning ads in recent years, and may be considering having the air vents cleaned in your home. Duct cleaning is a wise choice, but there can be drawbacks.

Air duct cleaning in Canada is not regulated, and is a buyer-beware industry. Some companies, often referred to as “blow and go” businesses, don’t have the proper equipment to properly clean out all the dirt from your HVAC systems. Consumers should avoid gimmicks, such as $99 whole-house specials and sweeping claims about health benefits.

Professional cleaners complain about sub-standard competitors who use only shop-vac-sized machines with 2-inch hoses. In this business, they say bigger is better. If you are interested in having your ducts cleaned, you should talk to at least three companies and choose one that uses a powerful gasoline-powered machine mounted to a truck. Vacuum hoses should be at least 6 inches in diameter.

Otherwise, they’re just stirring up the dirt that’s in your air ducts without removing it. That could certainly create more damage rather than providing a useful service.

Ducts should be cleaned under the following circumstances:

  • The home is newly constructed.
  • The home has been recently renovated.
  • Water has damaged the home.
  • There are pets.
  • Someone smokes.
  • The carpet is old.
  • The windows are often opened.

Once your ducts are cleaned, homeowners can expect to benefit from improved energy efficiency with their heating and cooling system.