Skip to Content

When To Clean Your Air Conditioner’s Vents


It’s not always easy to know when your air conditioner’s vents need cleaning, but Comfort 360 is here to lend you a helping hand in all matters of air filtration, vent cleaning, and repairs near Vancouver, WA. Let’s take a closer look at how often you should clean your AC’s vents, and some warning signs that it’s time for a cleaning. 

What Is Vent Cleaning?

A typical vent cleaning includes not just your home’s vents but all of your HVAC system’s duct work. This covers the supply and return ducts, as well as the vents. A complete cleaning might also address the HVAC system itself: its heating unit and cooling system, along with the fans and drip pans. A vent cleaning is important because it prevents pollen, dust, dirt, and mold from accruing. Left alone, these contaminants will enter your home’s breathable air and irritate everyone, especially allergy sufferers.  

How Often Should You Clean Your Air Conditioner’s Vents?

The frequency at which you clean your AC’s vents depends on a few variables: namely, the size of your ductwork/number of vents, how easy it is to access each vent, and the degree of contamination present within each vent. The standard range accepted by most HVAC professionals is 1 – 5 years for an AC vent cleaning, but homeowners with pets and/or occupants with allergies may choose to err on the lower end of this range. The same goes for owners of an older home.

Cleaning your air conditioner’s vent promotes better airflow and boosts energy efficiency. These benefits translate to healthier air for your family to breathe, and lower yearly costs to run your AC unit. The cost to clean these vents can be high (especially if you live in a large home), but you’ll make the money back and then some when the cost is weighed against energy savings and improved overall health.

Signs That It’s Time To Clean Your AC Vents

By checking your AC vents regularly, you’ll be in a good position to tell when it’s time for a cleaning. The most obvious sign is a build-up of the aforementioned irritants: dust, dirt, mold, and/or pollen. Not only are these things visible to the eye, they can also be smelled. In fact, really dirty vents can become clogged, so that when your HVAC system pushes air through the vent and into a room, you might see dust or dirt in the air.

If you’ve recently remodeled your home or put an addition on, there’s a good chance that debris was left behind in your ducts and on your vents. Thus it’s a smart move to contact a professional HVAC company immediately after construction is finished. In this case as well as the one explained in the paragraph above, a DIY approach will only scratch the surface, especially since most modern ventilation systems are insulated and located under the floor and in the walls.

Another sign that it’s time for a cleaning is if you hear a critter in your ventilation system, or you see droppings caught up in your air vents. It’s not uncommon for mice and other small rodents to find their way into a home’s HVAC system and get trapped in the duct work.

Work with Comfort 360

Our HVAC company serving Vancouver is the one to call for all manner of problems, whether you need your vents cleaned, require air conditioning repairs, or are interested in purchasing a new HVAC system.  We will clean and make necessary repairs to your air conditioner after the busy summer season.