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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.
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.
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.
Air ducts need cleaning if these signs appear:
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.
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.
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.
Professionals clean air ducts through these steps:
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.
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.
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.
Start by searching our list of ductwork cleaners, then compare reviews and costs. Next:
After asking questions and verifying their credentials, hire the best pros in your area.
When hiring a vent cleaning company, ask them the following questions:
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.