Now Hiring! See our open positions. Read More

Skip navigation


Serving The Twin Cities Since 1991


Residential Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

7 Ways Dirty Air Ducts Cause Issues


We recommend that our clients arrange for duct cleaning in Minneapolis, MN every 3-5 years. This is how long it takes for a significant amount of dust and other debris to collect along the walls of the ducts inside the ventilation system. You’ll definitely need professionals like us to handle this job—you can’t do it by pushing a broom or a vacuum hose into your vents!

You might think that dirty ducts don’t sound that bad. After all, you can’t see them, so what’s the harm? Actually, there’s plenty of harm, and we’ve listed seven of these problems below. We hope this encourages you to schedule duct cleaning if your home is overdue for it.

1. Poor Indoor Air Quality

If your ducts are clogged with dust, lint, dander, etc., then each time the HVAC system turns on, it’ll send these particles billowing into the air you and your family breathe. The average six-person home circulates around 60 lbs. of dust through the ventilation system per year, so cleaning out the ductwork removes a large bulk of indoor air contaminants.

2. Reduced Energy Efficiency

The buildup inside ducts creates resistance to airflow from the blower in the HVAC system. This causes the heating and air conditioning to expend more energy to operate and creates higher utility bills.

3. Uneven Heating and Cooling

Another common problem with dirty air ducts is spotty heating and cooling around the house. The restrictions placed on the airflow will create obstructions to certain rooms, and they won’t receive sufficient heating or cooling. 

4. Unpleasant Odors

Layers of dust and lint inside ductwork is a primary spot for mold, mildew, and bacteria to start to grow, especially during periods of high humidity. This will create unpleasant odors that will waft throughout the house each time the HVAC system starts to run. 

5. Increased Allergies and Health Problems

This is connected to both indoor air quality problems and bad odors. The debris caught inside ductwork often contains allergy triggers such as dust, dust mites, and mold spores. These particles will lead to asthma and other problems for people in a house who have allergies. They can even trigger allergy reactions in people who don’t normally experience them.

6. Pest Infestations

The same way that dust and debris attract mold and bacteria, it also attracts pests such as insects and rodents who want to use the ducts for nesting. Nobody wants a pest infestation in their house, and cleaning the ducts takes away an invitation to these irritants.

7. Reduced HVAC System Lifespan

The general strain that clogged air ducts place on the HVAC system will cause it to wear down faster. Unless you have the ducts cleaned every few years, you can expect your heater and air conditioning to break down sooner and require an early replacement.

If you’re uncertain if you need duct cleaning, try this test: unscrew one of the supply vent covers in your house and reach down inside with a smartphone. Take a picture with a flash. If the image looks like a congested car filter, it’s time to schedule duct cleaning!

Contact Residential Heating and Air Conditioning and “Feel the Difference!”

Comments are closed.