Should you clean your ductwork?

Any HVAC guys here? I asked this in another thread but didn’t get a response. Just wondering if we should have our ductwork cleaned, it’s pretty dirty and an older house, probably never been done before. I’ve heard mixed reviews though as some people say it just stirs up dust and they can’t get it all. 

Any advice appreciated. 
 

Sub

I noticed a lot of dust in the house, even with daily cleaning, so I paid$300 to have mine done. No change in dust level. Chalking it up to living in the sticks.

In

I am not an HVAC guy but I deal with them in my job. It depends. They can theoretically get to all of it depending on your house and HVAC system layout. Will they? Maybe, maybe not. Would you be able to objectively tell without cutting into your ductwork? Probably not. 

If I were to do it, I would have a highly rated and reputable HVAC service company do an examination of the whole system and take it from there. At the very least, they should remove the diffuser grilles and use a borescope to see how much accumulation you have. 

Theoretically yes you could have additional "dust" in the residence if they clean it and something gets missed, like a loose or improperly sized filter. 

Sounds good guys thanks for the tips, keep them coming. 

thewellhungarian - 

I noticed a lot of dust in the house, even with daily cleaning, so I paid$300 to have mine done. No change in dust level. Chalking it up to living in the sticks.


This. Living in the desert of Az, dust and dirt is just a thing you get used to. As a kid, we only had evap (swamp) coolers. I took my vent (register?) off and that become a basketball game for me. After breakfast, my cereal bowl often went in the ducts. My dirty socks? same. Also, apple cores and a broom that I threw like a javelin. I was a horrible child. I now own the house and still find random pennies and action figures on occasion. 

I bought a super long dryer duct cleaning brush and use that and a vacuum. And use quality filters.

I haven't noticed much of a difference between doing it myself and having it done.

Then again, I live in a small house, so there duct lines don't run very long. If I were in a bigger house, it probably wouldn't work as well as it does when I do it.

stanky leg - 

No, it's a rip off. Spend $$$ saved on good filters.


This IMO.

Change your filters once a month with better filters...

DaveFu - 

I am not an HVAC guy but I deal with them in my job. It depends. They can theoretically get to all of it depending on your house and HVAC system layout. Will they? Maybe, maybe not. Would you be able to objectively tell without cutting into your ductwork? Probably not. 


If I were to do it, I would have a highly rated and reputable HVAC service company do an examination of the whole system and take it from there. At the very least, they should remove the diffuser grilles and use a borescope to see how much accumulation you have. 


Theoretically yes you could have additional "dust" in the residence if they clean it and something gets missed, like a loose or improperly sized filter. 


im glad I read this as I am thinking about having mine clean and I remembered I have a snake camera I can just put down the vents and see for myself if its worth getting them cleaned.

Another issue is what your ducts are made of. I work a for a mold assessment company and we call that "dust" as filth because there is usually some moisture content and possibly mold in there. Different duct materials conducts/insulates against heat differently.  A wood/paper based material could be absorbing moisture or forming condensation where it's not properly elevated above attic insulation, or a damaged tape joint etc. Removing the filth from your ductwork won't correct an underlying problem like that. 

Thanks again for the replies

How in the world would they get to all the ductwork without breaking through your ceilings and walls and dismantling the ducts? Each time my HVAC service come to do our yearly inspection they try to sell me on saving the ducts cleaned, but they only put their iPad into the duct at the burner unit and take a snap shot. I'm thinking when they clean it they'll only clean the area closest to the burner unit then take that same pic to show how clean it is. Well what about the rest of the duct work all through the house?