Tips & Tricks

Furnace cleaning: How often?

furnace cleaning - Calgary basement renovations


Homeowners should clean their ducts every two years. This is the minimum, as this is the length of time that it can take for the ducts to fill back up with grit and grime after a thorough cleaning. If you have children or pets living in your house then furnace cleaning could be done as often as once a year due to the potentially added accumulation of dander, hair, dirt and other pollutants.

There can be other signs that might indicate a furnace and duct cleaning is needed immediately. Some apparent ones may be the age of the house, its furnace and ductwork but others might not be so obvious and equal in importance.

Importance of Furnace Cleaning:

Most homeowners understand the importance of regular duct cleanings. By keeping your ducts clean you can improve your home’s air quality and will help safeguard you and your family’s respiratory health.

An unclean furnace is a hub of dirt and the perfect spot for the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. The ducts of the furnace which let out warm air can also release bacteria that have been known to lead to allergies and similar health-related issues. Therefore, do not put the health of yourself and your family members in jeopardy by not cleaning the furnace ducts. Unclean ducts have also been known to be the cause of sinus attacks and similar conditions.

If furnace cleaning is neglected it will lose its functionality with time, and within a short span, you may have to replace the furnace if any damage is done.

Best Time to Clean Furnace:

Cleaning the furnace at the right time is essential. The furnace does not require weekly cleaning. The ideal time of cleaning a furnace is right when the winter season is around the corner. It is during winters that you extract maximum use out of the furnace, and of course, you would want it at its best operation during that time. It is also advisable to clean it after winter ends to make sure that all the dirt that accumulated on the furnace while it was operating is removed.

When the furnace is cleaned, it will be a good time to detect any minor issues that the furnace might have such as a leak or a problem with the ducts. Detecting any problems at an early stage is important so that it does not affect the efficiency of your furnace.

Signs that Indicate it is Time to Clean the Furnace:

There are some signs that should alert you that the furnace needs to be cleaned. Let us elaborate on some of them.

  • When someone purchases a house, all fixtures and fittings will be checked, including the furnace. It is possible that while the furnace looks great externally, it may not be operating to its full capacity. Therefore, it is advisable that a professional should inspect and clean the furnace before the new owners move in.
  • If you have recently had your home remodeled, then you should consider hiring a professional to clean your home’s air ducts. This is particularly true if the renovations involved lead paint removal or asbestos abatement. In general, if a large amount of dust was produced by the renovations, it’s a good idea to consider cleaning your home’s air ducts.
  • If you feel that the quality of air from the furnace is not producing enough warm air, this may be a sign that the furnace might need cleaning. Heat problems can also arise due to other internal issues, but often, thorough cleaning takes care of it efficiently.
  • If you notice dust accumulating faster in your home or it feels like there is always a new pile of dust waiting for you soon after you clean, then you may have dirty air blowing into your home and it is time to get the ducts cleaned.
  • If you notice moisture in your air ducts or smell a mildew scent in your vents it can seem harmless at first; however, if ignored it could lead to serious problems like mold or mildew growth. Moisture in your ductwork can also indicate underlying problems that need to be addressed by a professional.
  • A strange smell coming from the furnace is also a sign that it needs to be cleaned. Seek the services of a professional at the earliest if this happens or if your furnace produces some unusual noises.
  • If your energy bill has increased dramatically, it may be the result of dirty air ducts. When air ducts become dirty, air may not flow through the ducts as quickly or efficiently as it should. This causes heated air to cool and your cooled air to heat before it reaches your home. Therefore, your furnace or air conditioner may need to operate longer to heat or cool your home, which can cause your energy bills to increase.
  • Furnace filters need to be changed every 3 months. This will ensure your filter and your furnace continue to work efficiently and means more heat for less money. The filter’s job is to collect dust and debris particles as air passes through your furnace. But when your furnace becomes overly clogged, it restricts airflow. This can cause problems within your furnace that could lead to expensive breakdowns.

Final Words

Air duct cleaning is crucial to the cleanliness of the air you breathe in your home. Having your ducts and your heating or cooling system professionally cleaned may reduce stress on the overall system, prolonging its life and increasing energy efficiency. Regular cleanings can also decrease the number of allergens in your home and enhance air quality.

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