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11 Debunked Myths About Air Duct Cleaning

Barry Martin
May 6, 2024

Nowadays, everyone is inventing conspiracy theories, rumors, and myths to create sensationalism and spread misinformation.

In this case, duct cleaning has quite a lot of misinformation circling the internet. We call them myths, and busting them is like a walk in the park.

Let’s go over some of these myths that are causing more harm than good, stopping people from cleaning their ducts and actually allowing damage and diseases to ravage these uncleaned ducts.

Most Preposterous Duct Cleaning Myths

steel air duct

Preposterous rumors circulate best, and for those who know how air ducts work, they are nothing but entertainment.

However, for the misinformed, we recommend you pay heed to these otherworldly claims lacking scientific reasoning or logic.

Let’s debunk these air duct cleaning myths.

1. Air Duct Cleaning is Enough to improve air quality

While that may be true, the effect of air duct cleaning has its limits. You can expect to see an improvement in air quality right after the cleaning, but if your duct has damaged units or a system malfunction, the signs won't show instantly.

If your duct cleaner suggests changing a component, he is trying to fix a major issue, not swindle your money. A faulty furnace may cost a few hundred to fix, but a raging fire will cost a thousandfold in damage.

Warning—Duct cleaning is not enough. Request your duct cleaner for a deeper inspection of all components, making sure every section is fine-tuned.

If your HVAC technician suggests changing or repairing components, follow their professional recommendation.

2. Annual Air Duct Cleaning is Mandatory

Having your ducts cleaned once a year is not too much to ask. It is mandatory, so the myth goes. If we ignore all environmental factors, the age and size of the ductwork, the climate of the region, and previously repaired parts, it makes sense to have yearly duct cleaning.

Put all these factors into play, and you might need 3 a year, with mandatory inspections.

The standard duct cleaning routine includes 2 yearly cleaning sessions. One before summer and one before winter.

We've already discussed the best time to clean your air ducts in detail.

3. DIY duct cleaning saves money

man maintaining air duct

Professionals discourage DIY duct cleaning, and surprisingly, it's not because it stops their revenue stream. People wouldn't need professional duct cleaners if it were such a viable option.

The cost of tools and the risks involved while cleaning heavily weigh against DIY duct cleaning.

Warning - Do not attempt duct cleaning on your own without professional tools or proper knowledge of their usage.

Always rely on consulting professionals. Understand the Pros and Cons of hiring professionals vs DIY duct cleaning.

4. Duct cleaning has made-up health benefits

Cleaner air means better health, and that is enough evidence that supports duct cleaning as a necessity.

Would you rather breathe in hot, musty, and humid air that’s teeming with pollutants or get a whiff of freshness, and what effect would that have on yourself?

The answer is enough to bust the myth.

Warning—For immunologist enthusiasts suggesting that eliminating natural air results in weaker immune systems, people get their healthy dose of pathogens that enhance immune systems from the outdoors.

You need a clean environment to rest, recover, and strengthen your immune system with the specimen you collected. Clean your air ducts routinely for better health.

5. Changing Air Filters is Enough for Duct Cleaning

While dirty air filters contribute to the clogging of sections of the HVAC system, they don’t stand as the sole reason for cleaner air. Changing them every once in a while keeps the air flowing clean.

Since its only function is to filter out the dust, it ends up collecting them pending cleaning or replacement.

Don’t worry about air filters. Professional HVAC technicians have air filters on their checklist and will clean/replace them whenever needed.

Duct cleaning is more than just air filters, and your duct cleaners can do the job just right!

6. Duct Cleaning Involves Ripping Apart The Entire System

steel air ducts

Just because ducts are hiding behind walls and ceilings doesn’t mean a technician will need to rip everything apart. Professional duct cleaning involves the use of powerful vacuum cleaners with long bendy hoses that run deep into air ducts. The professional method of duct cleaning leaves zero collateral damage.

N.B - If your air ducts have been damaged and need replacement, your HVAC technician might need to take the covering apart. This is a process that involves zero collateral damage, and it is all an organized operation needing careful execution,

7. Duct Cleaning Removes All Airborne Contaminants

If you’re thinking about the 99% dust elimination statistic, you’d be wrong. The HVAC system removes airborne contaminants, provided that the source is eliminated.

If you’re smoking indoors, and expecting the air to remain clean, it will, but the source must be eliminated. Goes the same for sources of dust and debris, in which case, you’d need more frequent HVAC cleaning.

Warning - If air duct cleaning doesn’t improve air quality, contact your assigned HVAC technician to eliminate indoor sources of air contamination or ineffective duct cleaning processes.

Hire the right HVAC professional from the start to get the right quality of services.

8. Duct Cleaning Chemicals are Harmful

New to duct cleaning with this weird myth? Duct cleaning doesn’t involve the use of toxic chemicals in general.

It may require a few chemicals for stain or rust removal, but the overall process is turning eco-friendly industrywide, eliminating the threat of toxic chemicals.

The majority of chemical use revolves around pest removal, disinfection, and sanitization of air ducts, and these are basic concoctions that break down organic compounds, and are considered safe.

9. All Duct Cleaning Services Do The Same Job

a man is cleaning air duct

This one is obvious for the open minded. Duct cleaners aren’t programmed bots, and each organization offers it’s own blend of personalized cleaning techniques.

Some are suitable for certain duct types, while others may focus more on maintaining the overall functionality of the HVAC system.

To know more on the specialization of duct cleaning companies, it is best to consult an industry expert who has it all figured out, or speak to every individual duct cleaning company representative and act upon the collected data.

10. Ducts are designed to stay clean

Just because air ducts clean your air doesn’t mean they are self-cleaning. Such technology is still a thing of the future, and until then, manual duct cleaning is the best bet.

Your ducts function continuously all year round, and accumulate large quantities of dust, dirt, & dead insects. Give them some TLC with professional duct cleaning, and keep your lungs clean.

11. Duct Cleaning Is A Scam

Imagine if a scam made an integral part of your general well-being which dominates the industry. Duct cleaning is as necessary for you as medical check-ups.

If you conduct regular cleaning and maintenance, which costs 10 times less than medical bills, you’ll instantly cut down a major chunk of your medical bills.

If you know the benefits of HVAC systems and the importance of duct cleaning, you’ll know it is a necessity.

Warning - Duct cleaning is a necessary & mandatory procedure upholding the high quality of breathable air inside homes.

There are countless facts that debunk the myth of duct cleaning being a scam. Do not pick up on unwarranted claims, and follow the advice of experts on scheduled duct cleaning.

Duct Cleaning - A Step in the Right Direction

Despite all these circulating myths, duct cleaning and maintenance stands as a steady bastion for enforcing better health, and cleaner air quality.

None of these silly claims have supporting evidence, and despite their existence, the duct cleaning industry thrives with momentum.

Haven’t cleaned your ducts in a while? Schedule an inspection with a professional today and protect your home from airborne contaminants, pathogens and diseases.

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