Other Important Considerations...
Duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems. Neither
do studies conclusively demonstrate that particle (e.g., dust) levels in homes
increase because of dirty air ducts or go down after cleaning. This is because
much of the dirt that may accumulate inside air ducts adheres to duct surfaces
and does not necessarily enter the living space. It is important to keep in
mind that dirty air ducts are only one of many possible sources of particles
that are present in homes. Pollutants that enter the home both from outdoors
and indoor activities such as cooking, cleaning, smoking, or just moving around
can cause greater exposure to contaminants than dirty air ducts. Moreover,
there is no evidence that a light amount of household dust or other particulate
matter in air ducts poses any risk to health.
EPA does not recommend that air ducts be cleaned except on an as-needed basis
because of the continuing uncertainty about the benefits of duct cleaning under
most circumstances. If a service provider or advertiser asserts that EPA
recommends routine duct cleaning or makes claims about its health benefits, you
should notify EPA by writing to the address listed at the end of this guidance.
EPA does, however, recommend that if you have a fuel burning furnace, stove, or
fireplace, they be inspected for proper functioning and serviced before each
heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. Some research also
suggests that cleaning dirty cooling coils, fans and heat exchangers can
improve the efficiency of heating and cooling systems. However, little evidence
exists to indicate that simply cleaning the duct system will increase your
If you think duct cleaning might be a good idea for your home, but you are not
sure, talk to a professional. The company that services your heating and
cooling system may be a good source of advice. You may also want to contact
professional duct cleaning service providers and ask them about the services
they provide. Remember, they are trying to sell you a service, so ask questions
and insist on complete and knowledgeable answers.