What Nasty Things Are Lingering In Your Ducts?

For most homeowners, ducts are out of sight -- and therefore out of mind. Surely, you don't often think about those big metal pipes behind your walls! As a result, they can grow quite dirty before you finally get around to having them cleaned. You might be surprised at the dangers presented by the nasty things lingering in your ducts.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are tiny little insects that live in and on dust. They feed on the skin particles and bacteria also found in dust. People who are allergic to dust are often actually allergic to dust mites. And even if you're not exactly allergic to these little critters, they can make your skin itchy and dry. When you inhale them, your throat may feel dry and scratchy. Each time you turn on your heat or air conditioning, they are propelled out of your dirty ducts and all throughout your home.

Insect Parts and Feces

Ductwork is very attractive to insects, especially in the winter when it's warmer than the rest of your home because heated air has been flowing through it. These insects often die in your ducts, so you'll find a lot of insect parts and also insect feces. These can carry bacterial infections like botulism and salmonella. So, you really don't want them tossed through your home each time you turn on the heat.


Pollen may not be that gross compared to the other items on this list, but it sure can be a hassle for those with pollen allergies. Pollen can enter your home when you open the windows or doors, and then over time, it gets sucked into your HVAC system. Since it's slightly sticky by nature, it may adhere to the inside of your ducts -- until it loses that stickiness and breaks free, getting blown through the home. If you or a family member are suffering from allergy symptoms like red eyes and sneezing, it may be due to pollen in the ducts.


Mold spores are another common allergen found in ducts. And since turning on the heat sends them hurling into every room, you're more likely to then experience mold growth when they land on moist surfaces like your bathroom counter or kitchen sink. Some species of mold are toxic, and most cause allergy symptoms like wheezing and itchiness -- so it's important to get rid of mold spores quickly.

Having your ducts cleaned every year or two will keep these nasty pests at bay. Talk to an HVAC company like Classic Air and Heating to learn more.