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How to Clean Your Ventilation Ducts

Last modified: 2023-01-16 | Approximate reading time 3 mins

Léa Plourde-Archer

Do your ventilation ducts need to be cleaned? Before you take out your bucket and rags, there are a few things you should know. has prepared a handy guide on how to clean your ventilation ducts properly. 

When do your ventilation ducts need to be cleaned?

maison_Soumission Rénovation_house_renoquotes

Before you start cleaning your ventilation system, you have to know the proper way to do it. In reality, the frequency at which you will need to clean the ducts will depend on several factors. The following factors will come into play:

  • The size of your house;
  • The occupation rate;
  • Having pets;
  • The geographical location of your house (urban environment or countryside).

The bare minimum would be to clean the ducts every five years. However, if you're an allergy sufferer or if you have trouble breathing, the cleaning process should be done more often. Other situations when you should clean your ventilation system: - Having recently moved in to a new place; - If renovation projects took place inside your home.

How to clean the ventilation ducts

The in-depth cleaning of ventilation ducts is way more complex than one would expect. We advise that you get a professional to complete this task, at least the first time or if you notice that a lot of dust and dirt has accumulated. A cleaning specialist will charge you around $300 to $600 to do the work for you. If you really want to do it yourself, you will have to rent equipment such as a negative air machine.

This machine must be placed near the heating system. Once it starts working, it will inhale all the dust from the ventilation shafts. This machine is 25 to 50 times more powerful than an ordinary vacuum cleaner. The machine will work to remove volatile dust but if dirt has accumulated on the sides of the vent, you will need other tools such as rotating brushes and compressed air nozzles.

While you take care of your ventilation ducts, use this opportunity to clean other parts of your house which affect general air quality, like the kitchen hood or the bathroom fan. Dryer hoses and ducts should be cleaned every two years, otherwise, they can turn into a fire hazard. Lint tends to accumulate in the hose and can end up blocking the air circulation.

ventilation duct

Why is it important to clean ventilation ducts?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there is no conclusive evidence that ventilation duct cleaning prevents health problems for the occupants of a dwelling. However, as mentioned above, those who suffer from allergies and intolerances related to the presence of dust will have to perform frequent cleanings.

Moreover, by inspecting the ventilation ducts, other problems with underlying causes can be diagnosed. For example, if you notice the presence of mould, this could mean that the mould has sprouted elsewhere and spread in the ducts. The spores could then move into the air travelling inside the house.

Finally, duct cleaning can improve the efficiency of the devices to which they are connected.

Find a good company to clean and repair your ventilation ducts

homme à l'entrée_Soumission Rénovation

It isn't hard to find a company offering ventilation duct cleaning services. On the other hand, not all services are equal in terms of quality. In the media, we sometimes hear stories of people who get pressured into signing a contract by companies that visit them door-to-door or call them with an "offer they can't refuse". 

If you have been contacted directly, without soliciting the service yourself, you should perhaps be wary! In fact, according to Paul Hannah, an expert quoted by the Toronto Star (Is duct cleaning worth it? Published March 31, 2013), it is always you who should contact the companies. You should also avoid signing a contract when an offer seems too good to be true (it will be).

Finally, if you live in Quebec and have ever agreed to sign a contract with a company that came to see you door-to-door, remember that you have 10 days to terminate it (see the rules of the OPC). This 10-day cooling period also exists in other provinces such as Ontario (info here), and Alberta (info here). If you are living in another province, please check with your local consumer protection agency for more information. 

An overview of the steps to follow and things to know when cleaning ventilation ducts

Steps to follow

In detail

1) Determine when it is necessary to clean
  • analyze the factors that influence the frequency of cleaning (house size, number of people living in it, presence of animals, location of your home, presence of allergic people)
  • do at least one clean-up each five years
2) Plan the required budget
  • count between $300 and $600 for your budget

3) Determine the cleaning technique
  • usually, a negative air machine will be used

4) Take some precautions
  • clean the dryer ducts every 2 years

5) Don't be fooled by door-to-door solicitation
  • you should choose your contractor by yourself


Get 3 renovation quotes for ventilation duct cleaning will put you in contact with 3 reliable contractors for your ventilation duct cleaning. Fill in the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from trusted professionals.

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives.


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