Skip navigation

Serving The Chicagoland Area Since 1998


ServiceMax Blog

Ways to Tell It’s Time for Air Duct Cleaning


Systems of ductwork for central air conditioning became popular around fifty years ago, and most new homes built since then have included them. At this point, they’re usually used for both air conditioners and furnaces, and distribute heated or cooled air all year long. This is a big job, and all that air can contain contaminants that build up inside the ductwork.

From time to time, it can be very beneficial to have those ducts cleaned out. It can improve the function of your HVAC system, decrease the dust in your home, improve your respiratory health, and more.

How can you tell if it’s time to get your air ducts professionally cleaned? Read this list and watch out for these signs.


One common contaminant in air ducts is simple dust. Much of dust is dead skin cells, dust mites and their droppings, and fur if you have pets. These things can irritate your eyes and respiratory system and cause allergic reactions. If you have an unusual amount of dust around the house, or visible dust building up in your HVAC vents, it’s time for air duct cleaning in Winnetka, IL.

Clogged Air Filters

In general, your AC and furnace air filters should be cleaned monthly during times when those systems are being used frequently. If you notice that the filter is very heavily coated in dust when you change it, and you think you might need to change it even more often, it’s time for duct cleaning.


A bad smell emanating from your vents could have a variety of causes. Bacteria can grow in organic matter like those dead skin cells. Mouse or insect infestation can cause a smell like dirty pet cages or garbage. And if you smell mildew but can’t spot the source, mold is probably growing in any pools of moisture that may have accumulated in your ducts.

Airflow Issues

If one or all of your vents is only allowing a trickle of air to pass through, rather than the steady blast you should experience, there could be a blockage, kink, or just thick buildup of dust. A technician can inspect the system, find the issue, and get it sorted out for you. 

Home Improvement

Renovations, additions, home construction projects, and even more minor repairs can cause a lot of particles to be thrown around in the air of your home. As this air circulates through your ducts, the particles will settle out and carpet the inside of your ductwork. If you’ve done any work around your home recently, get all that dust and debris cleaned out of your ducts.


How long have you been in your home? Have you ever had the ducts cleaned? Do you have any record of the previous occupants having the ducts cleaned? If not, you should absolutely have a thorough duct inspection and cleaning. And if you do know that it has been years since the last duct cleaning, it’s a good idea to get it done. 

Contact ServiceMax with any questions about your ductwork.

Comments are closed.