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Tucked away and forgotten, air vents are responsible for moving air throughout the house to keep it at the right temperature and to remove dust and debris that may be circling or settling in the home. Though air vents are crucial, they’re incredibly easy to forget about, which means they’re likely not cleaned as much as they should be, leading to a buildup of dust and other contaminants. Read on to learn what could happen if they aren’t cleaned, how often they should be cleaned, and why cleaning is beneficial. 

What Happens if You Skip Cleaning the Vents?

The floors are mopped regularly, the house is dusted, the counters are wiped down, and everything looks clean. However, when was the last time the vents were cleaned? If it’s been a while, it’s possible that contaminants are within the home and circling in the air, which means the house is not actually as clean as it looks. It also means there’s the potential for health-related issues as well as added wear and tear to the HVAC system. 


While asthma isn’t going to suddenly appear if the vents aren’t clean, asthma symptoms can be triggered if there is dust and other contaminants in the vents. Cleaning them out and changing filters regularly can help prevent flare-ups. 


Seasonal allergies can get worse if the air vents aren’t cleaned regularly. Contaminants that find their way inside the house can get stuck in the vents and end up circulating around the house, leading to worsening allergy symptoms even if you’re trying to avoid the allergens outside. 

Colds and Illnesses

The common cold is something that happens regularly, but it can happen more often when you’re inside a lot and around contaminants inside the home. Other illnesses may be able to spread if bacteria or viruses are able to enter the HVAC system and circulate throughout the home. Cleaning the vents can help reduce the potential for this to happen. 

Growth of Mold

Breathing issues may be a result of mold inside the home. While this is more common in areas like the bathroom or anywhere with pipes, mold can grow in the vents, too. Condensation is common inside vents as the HVAC system works to cool the home, which creates the perfect place for mold to grow. Cleaning the vents can prevent mold growth and the associated medical concerns. 

Wear and Tear on the HVAC System

Although it’s not a health concern, it is something to be aware of, as an HVAC system is expensive to replace. When the vents aren’t cleaned, the buildup can cause the parts of the HVAC system to wear down prematurely, leading to more repairs and having to replace the system sooner than expected. Keeping the vents clean means an HVAC system that works better for longer, leading to financial savings in the long run. 

How Often Should the Air Vents be Cleaned?

Regularly cleaning the vents can make a big difference in the health of everyone inside the home, but just how often do they need to be cleaned? Every household is different, but it is a good idea to have them cleaned at least once every three to five years. If there are young children or pets inside the home, it’s important to have them cleaned more often.

Young children tend to be more susceptible to health issues associated with dirty vents because they don’t have a strong immune system yet. Cleaning the vents more frequently can help prevent colds, asthma flare-ups, and other illnesses in children, helping to keep them healthier. 

Pets create a lot of dander and shed their fur regularly, so they’re going to lead to more contaminants getting into the HVAC system. Along with changing the filter more frequently if there are pets in the home, it’s a good idea to have the vents cleaned more often, too. This helps to remove the dust and dander created by the pets, ensuring the air in the home is healthy and safe to breathe. 

Top Benefits of Cleaning the Air Vents Regularly

With how much time is spent inside the house every day, it’s important to make sure the vents are cleaned as needed, especially if there are young children or pets inside the home. Some of the top benefits of cleaning the vents include the following. 

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Removing the contaminants and debris on the air vents helps to keep the air inside the home clean. It reduces the potential for bacteria and viruses to spread through the air, helps keep everyone healthier, and can help prevent more serious air quality-related ailments from occurring. 

Reduce Exposure to Allergens

Allergens can get inside the home and lead to allergic reactions in many people. With clean vents, allergens are able to be removed from the home instead of building up, which can lessen the exposure and help prevent more serious allergic reactions or worsening seasonal allergies. Cleaning the vents can help provide relief from seasonal allergies, helping anyone in the home feel better faster. 

Prevent Dust and Debris Buildup

Dust and debris will build up on the vents, so cleaning is necessary to remove them. When the vents are cleaned regularly, contaminants don’t have the ability to build up so quickly, so they won’t get into the HVAC system and circulate throughout the home. 

Reduce Workload of HVAC System

The HVAC system works hard to keep the home at a comfortable temperature. When there is a lot of dust and debris on the vents, it may mean the HVAC system has to work harder, which can lead to excessive wear and tear, along with having to have it repaired more often. Keeping the vents clean helps the HVAC system do its job better and last longer. 

Reduce Dust in the Home

Dust is pushed throughout the home through the HVAC system and settles anywhere it can. Though this will happen in any home, it can be lessened by cleaning the vents. Wouldn’t it be nice to dust less often? With clean vents, dusting won’t be needed as frequently. 

Breathing clean air is a necessity, not a luxury. However, many people may not realize the importance of cleaning the vents in the home to keep the inside air as clean and healthy as possible. They may be breathing in air that isn’t as clean as they thought. If you can’t remember the last time the vents were cleaned, or it has been a while, now’s the time to have it done. 

Our goal at Clean Air Carolinas, Inc. is to help you breathe easier in your home. We’ll meet with you to go over your needs and figure out how to improve your indoor air quality. Our experts can work in homes of all sizes. You can count on us to purify the air in your home.

Call 704-628-6887 now to get a free estimate on indoor air quality service in Matthews, Mint Hill, Harrisburg, and Concord, North Carolina.