Thanksgiving is the one holiday that’s just not the same without a home-cooked meal. Even the finest restaurants would be hard-pressed to beat roast turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and stuffing made in your own kitchen. 

Unfortunately, there are some risks involved when you’re making an elaborate holiday spread. Cooking is the number one cause of all fires in the home. They’re usually related to frying or oil-based cooking left unattended (which can happen easily when you’re answering the door for guests or have children running around). The growing popularity of fried turkey has also resulted in several kitchen fires each year: according to the International Association of Firefighters, 41% of all turkey fryer fires occur on the Thanksgiving holiday.

It is important to note that even if you experience a small kitchen fire that doesn’t require a 911 call, your home can suffer more damage than you think. In this blog, we’ll explain the importance of calling a duct cleaning specialist as soon as possible after a Thanksgiving cooking fire, as well as how often duct cleaning should be done after a fire in your home.


Your HVAC system filters and circulates air throughout your home. When the air is clean, the system normally has no problem getting rid of those strong cooking smells that aren’t so appealing the next day. When smoke is involved, it’s a different story.

When grease and other oils burn, they create a lot of smoke, which enters the ductwork and gets recirculated throughout the house. Small grease particles can stick to the inside of the ducts for a long time and catch contaminants like dust, dirt, and allergens. Not only does this lower your indoor air quality, but it puts your home at risk for fires in the future.

Other concerns include:

  • Fire extinguishers can also damage an HVAC system. When activated, they release a fine powder that goes everywhere, not just on the fire. Like smoke, these particles can get sucked into the ductwork and spread across the house. The only way to eliminate them is to schedule a visit from a duct cleaning specialist.
  • The HVAC system air filters can be clogged by smoke, soot, and fire extinguisher powder, forcing your system to work harder to keep you comfortable. The harder the unit has to work, the higher your bills will be. Eventually, the system will break down sooner than it normally might have, forcing you to spend even more money.
  • If your home is equipped with a sprinkler system or you use a water-based fire extinguisher, the resulting water damage can send mold spores into your HVAC system, where it develops into a serious health hazard for the entire household.


Furnace and duct cleaning is an often overlooked but important part of restoring a home after even a small kitchen fire. An HVAC system will carry the smoke, soot, and other debris far beyond the fire area, and each time you turn the unit on, you risk spreading fresh waves of odour and soot throughout the rooms. If anyone in your home has asthma or another respiratory ailment, they can become seriously ill.

A duct cleaning specialist will clear out your ductwork, reducing the amount of odour and soot deposit on furniture, carpets, and upholstery. Once the grease buildup and lingering smells are eliminated, you can talk to the specialist about how often your duct cleaning should be scheduled to keep your HVAC system in shape and eliminate any lingering consequences from smoke odour or soot deposition.


At Vacu-Man, homeowners frequently ask us how often duct cleaning should be done. We recommend that the furnace and ductwork should be cleaned professionally at least every two years, but when a fire occurs, a duct cleaning specialist or HVAC technician should be called right away. 

Recovering from a Thanksgiving kitchen fire can take time, but you don’t have to do it alone. We will come out to your home and provide a free estimate or arrive at a scheduled time to get your ductwork back in good and safe working order. For more information, please visit our website or call 905.333.5454.