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Frequently asked questions
How much does air duct cleaning cost near me?
Air duct cleaning costs $300 to $700 for the average house or up to $1,000 for larger homes or ducts with more contamination. Duct and vent cleaning costs $25 to $45 per vent or $0.15 to $0.25 per square foot of living space.
How often should you clean air ducts?
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) advises cleaning air ducts every 3 to 5 years. Other HVAC pros suggest cleaning every 5 to 7 years with well-sealed ducts. Cleaning frequency depends on duct conditions, climate, system usage, number of residents, and if people have respiratory issues.
Is air duct cleaning worth it?
Air duct cleaning is worth it to save 10% to 30% on utility bills when maintenance includes changing filters, servicing all attached HVAC units, and eliminating contaminant sources. Cleaning air ducts also helps HVAC systems last longer and purify air better to reduce allergy symptoms.
How to tell if air ducts need cleaning?
Air ducts need cleaning if these signs appear:
- Mold growth around vent covers
- Excess dust in the home
- Visible dust blowing out of the vents
- Rodent droppings or chewed areas around ducts
- Abnormally high utility bills
- Air filters clog up in less than a month
- Debris and dust collect near supply vents or in registers
- Inconsistent airflow in each vent
- Increased respiratory problems
- Unusual sounds when the HVAC blower runs
- Dust buildup on the furnace blower fan, furnace motor, or AC coils
- Musty smells in air vents
What is duct cleaning?
Air duct cleaning removes all dirt, debris, pollutants, and hazardous materials from the entire ductwork ventilation system and its heating and cooling system components. Air duct cleaning increases HVAC efficiency and can improve indoor air quality.
Is air duct cleaning necessary?
Air duct cleaning is necessary and not a waste of money when excess dust or debris blocks the airflow, there are signs of mold or mildew, or signs of pest infestations inside ducts. Cleaning ducts also effectively helps remove smells in homes with pets or smokers.
How long does air duct cleaning take?
Air duct cleaning takes 2 to 4 hours on average for a 2-person crew to clean one complete system. Larger or older homes take 3 to 6 hours. Cleaning times increase for homes with pets, complex HVAC systems, or contamination issues with mold, pests, or asbestos.
How does duct cleaning work?
Professionals clean air ducts through these steps:
- Inspecting ducts to check for hazardous materials
- Spreading out drop cloths to protect home areas near vents while cleaning
- Attaching a high-powered HEPA-filtered vacuum and blower to ducts
- Dislodging debris inside the ducts
- Extracting all dust and debris through the vacuum hose into an outside truck
- Cleaning all supply and return vents
Does duct cleaning reduce household dust?
Duct cleaning does reduce household dust, but only if it came from leaky ductwork without air filters. Ducts are just one possible dust source. However, dust inside well-sealed and filtered air ducts shouldn’t enter home interiors. The EPA hasn’t proven that duct cleaning reduces health problems.
Who cleans air ducts?
Professional duct cleaning services, janitorial and cleaning companies, and some HVAC technicians clean ducts and vents. Nationwide duct cleaning brands include Stanley Steemer, Sears, COIT, Duct Doctor, and Zerorez.
Can you clean air ducts yourself?
A licensed professional with high-power vacuums, rotary brushes, and other special equipment is necessary to clean air ducts thoroughly. Improper DIY duct cleaning damages the ducts, insulation, lining, and all connections in the HVAC system.
How to find air duct cleaning services near me?
Start by searching our list of ductwork cleaners, then compare reviews and costs. Next:
- Compare three or more bids from experienced vent cleaners.
- Choose air vent cleaning companies satisfying these licensing requirements:
- Air conditioners license, required in some states
- Certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA)
- Mechanical contractors license
- Select licensed, insured, and bonded air duct cleaning service providers.
- Review their ratings on HomeGuide, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Verify the estimates include material, labor, and equipment costs.
- Never pay in full upfront.
- Beware of scams or cheap and quick bids that signal low-quality cleaning.
- Before signing a contract, ask the questions below:
After asking questions and verifying their credentials, hire the best pros in your area.
What questions to ask local duct and vent cleaning companies?
When hiring a vent cleaning company, ask them the following questions:
- How long have you been cleaning ducts?
- Can I see a list of your references?
- Do you inspect ducts with a video camera to show conditions before and after cleaning?
- Does your initial inspection include checking for asbestos and mold?
- Will you make additional duct-access points besides register and grate openings? If so, how will you seal them after cleaning?
- Do you use a vacuum designed specifically for ductwork cleaning?
- How do you ensure that your equipment doesn’t damage ducts?
- Will you use a vacuum truck to collect all debris outside?
- How will you clean debris caked onto the interior duct walls?
- Do you use disinfectants after cleaning, and are they non-toxic?
- Can you use drop cloths and plastic guards to keep my home clean?
- Do you offer a labor guarantee, and what does it include?
- Can I see proof of your liability insurance, licenses, and bond guarantees?
- What extra costs may apply?
- Do you charge per vent or offer flat rates?
- Are all cleanup costs and debris disposals included in my estimate?
- Will you clean my entire ductwork system, the furnace, AC vents, and registers?
- When can you start and how long will the job take?
- How do you handle unexpected delays?
- Do you maintain negative pressure in ducts to prevent spreading dust in my home?
- Will you encapsulate mold or asbestos inside ducts?
- Can you provide a copy of the contract before starting?
Do you tip vent cleaners?
You don’t need to tip vent cleaners, and some company policies don’t allow HVAC cleaners to accept tips. Most people offer workers drinks and restroom access instead.