Dream Steam Blog

How Do Your Air Ducts Get Dirty?

Jul 6, 2021 2:49:37 PM / by Brant Hambly


Just as dust collects on the surfaces of your home, it collects in your air ducts. Not only is dust collecting, but also dirt, skin, hair, and even particles from renovations or construction. Dirty air ducts can lead to indoor air pollution and cause your system to function inefficiently, leading to higher energy bills and a shorter lifespan for your system.

Where do particles collect?


Your entire HVAC system collects dirt, dust, and other particles. When dust collects in your air ducts, it creates a perfect spot for hair, dander, and even skin to settle. As layers of particles build up, they create an environment in which bacteria, allergens, and mold can grow and thrive.


If bacteria, allergens, or mold grow unchecked, members of your family may begin to experience allergy symptoms or a weakened immune system. Your home’s surfaces may also become dusty more quickly. If you notice signs that allergens, bacteria, or mold have been growing, a professional duct cleaning can help eliminate them from your home.



How often do my ducts need to be cleaned?


Your air ducts should be professionally cleaned at least every three to five years, but some circumstances call for more frequent cleanings. If your home contains a large amount of contaminants, such as from renovations, smoking, mold growth, or pet dander, or if individuals who are at risk for allergies or asthma live in your home, you may consider having your ducts cleaned more frequently.


Construction or Renovations

Construction work naturally creates airborne particles. Construction is messy, and dust and debris will make its way into your ducts, especially if your HVAC system is running while it is being done. Breathing in these particles can be hazardous, so if you’ve had construction or renovation work done, schedule a professional cleaning as soon as possible.



If you have pets, you know that pet hair gets everywhere, including your air ducts. Pet hair clogs up your HVAC system faster than most particles. When pet hair and dander build up in your ducts, they diminish indoor air quality and can cause allergy symptoms. Your ducts may need to be cleaned more frequently, especially if you have more than one pet living in your home.


Cigarette or Cigar Smoke

If people smoke inside your home, this can make it easier for your ducts to trap allergens. Smoke can leave a sticky residue in your air ducts, creating a need for more frequent cleaning.


Occupants with Allergies or Asthma

Your indoor air quality is important, especially if people in your home struggle with allergies or asthma. To protect them, schedule a professional air duct cleaning as needed. Subscribe to our blog for more tips!

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Topics: Insider

Written by Brant Hambly