Air duct cleaning and maintenance is a grey area because there is no regulation on whether it must perform regularly and who should pay. We will try to help our readers to figure out if the landlord or tenant is responsible for cleaning air ducts.

Why is duct cleaning assured?


Duct cleaning becomes an interesting question because of increasing indoor air quality concerns in Canada. Statistics show that people spend around 90% of their time indoors, be it home, school, office or other building space. Mold, dirt, dust, insects and other biological contaminants are the common cause of indoor air pollution, thus needed to be addressed by tenants or landlords. They are living particles, and they develop in spaces with high humidity and warmth. HVAC systems and ducts can contaminate with mold; in some cases, inhabitants will not see it because of many invisible holes and ways in the system. Usually, a professional inspection is required to measure the level of dirt and debris.

EPA recommends to clean air ducts if one of the following happens:

  • There are visible (or invisible) molds in the HVAC system; many parts of the system may not be visible, so ask a professional company to inspect your system before deciding to clean it or not.
  • Dust is entering the home/office area from air ducts
  • Dirt and debris levels are visibly high; these particles release into the air
  • There are insects in the system; infested with vermin

As you see, there is no need to regularly clean air ducts. However, the service is affordable, and it does not hurt to have a clean system; it eliminates one of the sources of indoor air pollution. To read more about when you need air duct cleaning, go here.

Now, let’s discuss who is responsible for cleaning air ducts if there is a necessity, and it is a rental property.

Who should pay for air duct cleaning in rental property?


Landlord and Tenant Board of Ontario have a list of responsibilities that landlords and tenants should carry; those responsibilities regulated by law. However, when it comes to duct cleaning, it is not clear who is responsible for cleaning air ducts. Let’s see what is regulated:

  1. Landlords are responsible for keeping the property clean, including living space and other spaces like elevators, lobby, halls, parking lots, laundry. Landlords should also keep the property free of mice, cockroaches and other pests. Nothing recommended cleaning air ducts regularly.
  2. Landlords are also responsible for making sure that the property meets all standards; health, safety, maintenance and housing. There are several municipal and provincial bylaws regarding these standards. Tenants must seek legal advice to figure out if the landlord is responsible for cleaning air ducts.

There is no direct correlation between regular air duct cleaning and health maintenance. However, if the tenant has health conditions like allergy, asthma, and excess dirt impacts their health, they can reach legal help to solve the issue in their benefit. In other terms, if a tenant succeeds in linking their request to one of those standards, he can impose it on a landlord.

What do we advise?


We advise our customers not to ignore HVAC system maintenance. We recommend to regularly monitor your filters, holes, and accessible parts of the ventilation system to observe the dirt level. If you have concerns, seek professional help.

Recent building re-construction, construction in close neighbour areas are must go reasons to consider cleaning air ducts. Try to find out who is responsible for cleaning air ducts and make sure to clean them.

Golden Line Green Care tries to help its customers by sharing its 15 years of experience in the Toronto area. We are proud to be a top-rated company with the number of highly-satisfied commercial and residential customers. Contact us if you have further questions regarding the topic.

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