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How Often Should You Get Your Ducts Cleaned?

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Duct Cleaning, HVAC

Action Furnace installs and services HVAC equipment throughout Calgary, Edmonton, and Red Deer. Let our home comfort experts teach you how often to have your ducts professionally cleaned if you want to keep enjoying fresh, clean air in your home and keep your furnace and air conditioner running efficiently.


Posted by Ryan | October 5, 2023

There are a few things you’ll need to do on a regular basis to keep your home comfortable and energy efficient, but one task that often slips under the radar is duct cleaning. Clean ducts are essential for helping clean air flow through your HVAC system—but how often should you actually have them cleaned?

We’ve been cleaning ducts in Alberta for years, so our team knows all about the process and how often most homes need it. This comprehensive guide will help you understand the importance of duct cleaning, the benefits it brings, the process, and how to determine when it’s time for a cleaning.

Dirty residential air duct with visible debris inside

When to Clean Your Ducts

As a general rule, you should aim to have your ducts cleaned at least once every 1-2 years. However, this can vary based on whether:

  • Your household has smokers or pets that shed
  • Your house has residents with allergies
  • Your house is located in a dusty or smoky climate (like Calgary during wildfire season)
  • Your house has undergone recent renovations
  • You have recently moved to a new home

When you call Action Furnace for duct cleaning, we’ll be able to tell you how often your specific home needs this service to keep your HVAC equipment functioning optimally.

Signs Your Ducts Need Immediate Cleaning

You should also call for professional duct cleaning immediately if you notice the following (even if you’ve had your ducts cleaned within the last 3-5 years):

  • Visible dust
  • Mold
  • Vermin infestation
  • Someone in your household experiencing unexplained respiratory issues
Man inspecting vent in home to determine whether ductwork needs cleaning

Benefits of Duct Cleaning

Duct cleaning has multiple benefits—not just for the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems but also for the health and comfort of the home’s occupants. These include:

Improved Air Quality

Clean ducts contribute to better indoor air quality. Over time, ducts can collect dust, pet dander, and other pollutants, which can then circulate throughout your home. Regular cleaning ensures that these pollutants are removed, making the air cleaner and easier to breathe.

Enhanced Respiratory Health

Dirty ducts can be a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. If your family members are experiencing unexplained respiratory issues, dirty ducts may be a contributing factor. Cleaning them can help mitigate these health problems.

Energy Efficiency

Dust and debris in your ducts can impede airflow, forcing your HVAC system to work harder. This inefficiency translates to higher energy bills. Clean ducts allow for more efficient airflow, reducing energy costs in the long run.

Lower Risk of Fires

When ducts are clogged, it increases the chances of your furnace overheating. In extreme cases, this can even lead to fires. Regular cleaning minimizes this risk by ensuring that the airflow is unobstructed.

HVAC technician inspecting ductwork during cleaning process

The Duct Cleaning Process

Here’s what happens when you call Action Furnace for duct cleaning services:


Our professional duct cleaners start by inspecting your ducts to evaluate the extent of the dirt or any other pollutants.


Based on the needs of your ductwork, we may use various methods for cleaning—including brushing, vacuuming, and chemical treatment. The method we choose will depend on the condition of your ducts.


After cleaning, your ducts will be sanitized to eliminate any remaining bacteria or mold.

Final Review

A final inspection ensures that the cleaning was successful and that there are no lingering issues.

Taking Care of Your Ducts Between Cleanings

In addition to professional cleanings, make sure to check and replace your air filters at least once a year. A simple routine of replacing filters and annual inspections can go a long way in maintaining the integrity of your HVAC system and ensuring that you reap all the benefits of clean ducts.

Adding a HEPA filter or electronic air cleaner to your HVAC system can also help keep your ductwork cleaner between professional service calls. Learn more about buying a high-quality air filtration system here.

Homeowner cleaning around return vent in home with cloth

FAQ: Common Questions About Duct Cleaning

How often should ducts be cleaned?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, the general recommendation is every 1-2 years. However, you may need to clean more frequently if your household has special circumstances like allergies, smoking, or pets.

Is duct cleaning expensive?

The cost can vary depending on the size of your home and the extent of the cleaning required. However, the benefits often outweigh the costs, from health benefits to energy savings.

Can I clean my ducts myself?

While you can do minor cleanups like vacuuming around the edges of air vents, professional cleaning services are strongly recommended for thorough work. Our team has the necessary equipment and expertise to ensure that your ducts are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

Why choose Action Furnace for duct cleaning?

Our team has been performing HVAC services since 1975, so we’re some of the most experienced professionals around. With thousands of 5-star reviews and all-inclusive up-front quotes, you can trust us to handle your duct cleaning professionally and be transparent about the work involved.

Ultimately, regular duct cleaning helps keep your utility bills lower, your air cleaner, and your home healthier and happier. Make professional duct cleaning part of your home upkeep budget and contact Action Furnace to get the help you need.

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Written by Ryan Tutak

Ryan is considered one of Calgary's most knowledgeable residential HVAC specialists. Working in the industry for over 12 years, he's helped thousands of homeowners with their heating and cooling systems. Outside of running Calgary's most reputable HVAC business, you can find him on the Golf course practicing his short game or traveling with his family. His main goal is to create a positive collaborative culture, one in which his employees are excited to come in and are motivated to work hard. He spends the majority of his day working directly with Home Comfort Advisors, Service and Maintenance Technicians, and Customer Service Representatives ensuring they are fully prepared to lead the Home Service Industry in Customer Service.

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