How much does air duct cleaning cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does air duct cleaning cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does air duct cleaning cost?

$450 – $1,000 average cost for whole-house air duct cleaning

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$450 – $1,000 average cost for whole-house air duct cleaning

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Tamatha Hazen
Written by
Tamatha Hazen
Edited by
Tara Farmer
Fact-checked by
Kristen Cramer

Air duct cleaning cost

Air duct cleaning costs $450 to $1,000 on average, depending on the home size, level of contamination, and ductwork accessibility. Some air duct cleaning services charge $25 to $50 per supply vent, while others use a duct cleaning price of $0.20 to $0.40 per square foot of home size instead.

Average cost of air duct cleaning by vents
Number of vents Average cost
8 $200 – $400
12 $300 – $600
16 $400 – $800
20 $500 – $1,000

The number and type of vents in a home affect the overall air duct cleaning cost. Larger homes have more vents than smaller ones, increasing the total cleaning costs.

  • Supply vents (where air comes out) typically cost $25 to $50 each to clean.

  • Return vents (where the air goes back in) can cost $40 to $75 each to clean, but the return vents are often fewer in number compared to supply vents.

Get free estimates from air duct cleaning services near you.

Duct cleaning cost by square footage

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) estimate air duct cleaning costs between $450 and $1,000 for an average-sized home. Some companies base their prices on square footage, charging $0.20 to $0.40 per square foot. This means larger homes pay more for air duct cleaning than smaller homes.

Duct cleaning price by home size
Home size (square feet) Average cost
1,200 $240 – $480
1,500 $300 – $600
2,000 $400 – $800
2,500 $500 – $1,000
3,000 $600 – $1,200

Duct cleaning price factors

In addition to home size and the number of vents, other factors can influence the cost of air duct cleaning services, including:

  • Location: The cost of duct cleaning services can vary depending on the region or location, as labor and overhead costs may differ.

  • Type of ductwork: Certain types of ductwork, such as flexible ducts or older ductwork, may require more gentle cleaning methods or additional precautions, which can affect the overall cost.

  • Ductwork accessibility: Difficult to access ductwork, such as in tight crawl spaces or behind walls and ceilings, can increase the labor time and complexity of the job, resulting in higher costs.

  • Level of contamination: Ductwork that is heavily contaminated with dust, debris, mold, or other pollutants will require more intensive cleaning efforts, which can increase the cost.

  • Cleaning method: Different cleaning methods, such as rotary brushes, compressed air, or mechanical agitation, can impact the overall cost of the service.

  • Environmental factors: Some factors, such as homes with pets, smokers, and multi-family living environments, can cause more debris in the system, which increases cleaning costs.

Professional ductwork cleaning before and after
Professional ductwork cleaning before and after

Labor costs

Labor is a significant factor in the overall cost of air duct cleaning. Most duct cleaning professionals charge $90 to $125 per hour. A whole-system duct cleaning takes around 2 to 4 hours with a 2-person crew. Cleaning times increase for larger homes, severe contamination, or ductwork that is difficult to access.

Additional services

Some duct cleaning companies may offer additional services like HVAC system inspections, dryer vent cleaning, or more specialized services which can add to the overall project cost. The following table details the most common expenses.

Duct cleaning company additional service cost by type
Service Average cost Description
Air duct inspection cost $80 – $180 Inspection to verify the need for duct cleaning or repairs
Dryer vent cleaning cost $80 – $250 Involves removing lint and debris buildup from the dryer vent duct to ensure proper airflow and prevent fire hazards
Rodent removal cost $150 – $600 Complete removal of rodents living in the ductwork to stop damage and avoid rodent-related health risks
Asbestos removal cost $5,000 – $30,000 Involves safely eliminating asbestos-containing materials from buildings to prevent exposure to harmful asbestos fibers
Mold removal cost $2,000 – $10,000 Cleaning and mold remediation using professional gear and equipment to ensure total containment of airborne spores

How to save money on duct cleaning

The best way to save money on duct cleaning is to properly maintain your entire HVAC system to prevent duct contamination in the first place. Follow these guidelines for an effective routine maintenance plan:

  • Clean air filters regularly rather than replacing them, as it costs less to clean them than to constantly buy new filters.

  • Repair air duct damage quickly, as cracks or punctures lead to contaminants and reduce the system's efficiency.

  • Remove obstructions in the surrounding area to ensure the air vents and registers maintain proper airflow.

  • Monitor your energy usage to promptly identify issues with your HVAC system or ductwork.

  • Avoid "cheap" duct cleaning deals or gimmicks, as these may be signs of a scam and end up costing you more overall.

How to tell if your air ducts need cleaning

If you notice any of these issues, you should have your air ducts professionally inspected and cleaned:

  • Mold or musty smell: These odors coming from the vents could be a sign of mold growth in the air ducts.

  • Visible mold or pests: Mold growth around the vents or signs of rodents/insects in the ductwork are a clear indication that you need professional duct cleaning.

  • Excessive dust: If your home accumulates dust quickly, even after regular cleaning, or if dust is visibly blowing out of the vent, it indicates dust buildup in the ductwork.

  • Clogged air filters: If your air filters are getting dirty and clogged much faster than the recommended replacement schedule, it suggests there is excess dust and debris in the ducts.

  • Increased energy bills: Dirty ducts can reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system, causing it to work harder and leading to higher energy bills.

  • Allergy symptoms: Dust, dander, and other contaminants in dirty ducts can worsen allergy and respiratory symptoms for occupants.

Get free estimates from air duct cleaning services near you.
Air duct cleaning - before and after
Air duct cleaning - before and after

Air duct cleaning FAQs

What is air duct cleaning?

Air duct cleaning means having your duct system, including the supply, intake, and return vents cleaned using professional air duct cleaning equipment, including hand tools and high-powered vacuum systems.

Is air duct cleaning necessary?

Air duct cleaning can be beneficial in certain situations, but it's not always necessary for every home or building. You should have your air ducts cleaned if you see visible mold growth, have had renovations recently, have a vermin infestation, or notice excessive dust or debris blowing out from the registers.

How often should air ducts be cleaned?

Most experts recommend having air ducts cleaned every 3 to 5 years, depending on the age of your system. Newer systems can handle duct cleaning every 5 years, while older systems require more frequent service.

Can air duct cleaning cause damage?

Yes, improper air duct cleaning can potentially damage your HVAC system and indoor air quality. Selecting a reputable and experienced professional is crucial to avoid duct damage such as leaks, loose connections, broken seals, or further contamination.

Who cleans air ducts?

Professional duct cleaning companies or HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) contractors typically perform air duct cleaning.

Duct cleaning service using a high-powered vacuum and soft brush
Duct cleaning service using a high-powered vacuum and soft brush

Getting estimates from air duct cleaners

Follow these tips when seeking estimates from air duct cleaners near you:

  • Schedule free on-site estimates with several reputable air duct cleaning companies in your area.

  • Check their reviews on HomeGuide and Google

  • Check their credentials and confirm they're licensed and insured.

  • Ask for a detailed breakdown of the services included in their estimate, including specifics such as the scope of the cleaning, the methods and equipment used, and any additional fees.

  • Ask about guarantees on the quality of their workmanship or warranties on parts and labor.

  • Once you've selected a provider, get the estimate and any agreements in writing to avoid misunderstandings later.

Questions to ask an air duct cleaning company

These questions will help you gather important information about the company's services, expertise, and customer satisfaction to make an informed decision:

  • What is the total cost of the service, and what does it include?

  • How long will the cleaning process take?

  • What methods and equipment do you use for air duct cleaning?

  • Are the chemicals you use safe?

  • Are your technicians certified and experienced in air duct cleaning?

  • Do you have insurance coverage in case of any damage to my property during the cleaning process?

  • Can you provide references or testimonials from previous clients?

  • Do you offer any guarantees or warranties on your work?

  • Will you inspect the air ducts before and after cleaning to ensure thoroughness?

  • Are there any additional services or fees that I should be aware of?

  • How often do you recommend air duct cleaning, and what factors determine the frequency?

  • Do you offer any maintenance plans or packages for regular cleaning services?

  • Can you provide recommendations for improving indoor air quality beyond duct cleaning?