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How Much Does it Cost to Clean Ducts & Vents?

Clean Ducts & Vents Costs
Average reported costs
$338
based on 8,775 cost profiles
Most homeowners
spent between
$242 - $437
Low cost
$115
High cost
$650
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The average national cost to clean ducts & vents is $338, with most homeowners spending between $242 and $437. This data is based on actual project costs as reported by HomeAdvisor members.

Did you know that cleaning your ducts and vents can help airflow and increase energy efficiency? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), duct and vent cleaning can increase energy efficiency and indoor air quality. While the cost to clean ducts and vents might sound high, the benefits to homeowners–especially those sensitive to allergens–is worth considering.

What is Air Duct & Vent Cleaning?

When a professional cleaner comes into your home to clean air ducts and vents, that means they will clean all the different elements in the HVAC system, including the supply and return air ducts, grilles, diffusers, exchangers, heating & cooling coils, drip pans, fans and the air handling unit.

When these aren't properly maintained, they can build up dust, pollen and even mold. This means when the air conditioner or heater turns on, the spores are released into the air for you to ingest. While some are less harmful, people who have allergies or sensitivity to certain spores will react negatively. Plus, mold is just dangerous for anyone to ingest and should be avoided by regularly duct and vent cleaning.

Do Ducts & Vents Need Cleaning?

In most modern homes with up-to-date heating and air conditioning systems, filters are changed regularly through the year, so you may not even need to have your ducts and vents cleaned. However, keep your eyes open for the accumulation of dust, dirt and mold. If you see it despite regularly changing your filters it could be an indication you need your ducts cleaned.

One of the best ways to know if your ducts or vents need to be cleaned is to just check them. Your eyes will be able to check for indications of mold, dust or pollen buildup in the ducts and vents. You might also be able to smell the presence of mold, which would be a clear indicator there is some in the ducts or vents. Ductwork will have some buildup of dust, since the return registrars pull air back in. However this doesn't mean your ducts have too much debris, and you can easily clean them with a duster or vacuum.

If you do have children or spouses who suffer from allergies or reactions to the air turning on, it might be an indication there is something in the ducts and vents making them react. They should speak with their doctors and then get a heating and cooling professional out if it is recommended that airborne pathogens are the cause of their reaction.

Here are some clear signs that you might need ducts or vents cleaned:

  • Insulated air ducts get and cannot be cleaned.
  • Recurring mold growth
  • Ducts have rats or other vermin crawling in them or their droppings.
  • Ductwork clogged with dust or debris that can be seen in the air
  • Visible mold inside the ducts or vents
  • Recent construction

Can You DIY Duct & Vent Cleaning?

A do-it-yourself approach will only really scratch the surface, as it is hard to reach some of the ventilation running underneath the floor or into the wall. Although it may help in clearing some of the dust and debris, you really need a professional cleaner to guarantee your system is truly cleaned out. A proper duct and ventilation cleaning procedure uses a powerful vacuum system with multi-brush attachments designed to loosen debris and feed it into the suction. Particles are then blown outside of the house or passed through a HEPA filter inside.

If you want to get some of the dust and debris out of your ventilation system, you can mix household cleaners like bleach with water, dip a cloth in the mix and then the clean out the system. This will remove a layer of the spores, which could increase the quality of air a bit and help with the flow of air throughout the house until a professional cleaner can come out.

What Professional Duct & Vent Cleaning Entails

Professional air duct and vent cleaning involves getting the dust and debris outside, so they use outdoor ventilation equipment. It is so important that homeowners make sure the professional is using good equipment then, as they could otherwise spread the spores into the home and further agitate sensitive family members. In the case of mold, a cleaner will only be able to tell you it is there, followed by needing an additional mold professional to come out and test or remove the mold. Air duct cleaning industry does not require state licensing in many states, so make sure to check for a company with references.

Removing dust and debris from ventilation might require the professional getting down on the floor if you have floor vents, so be sure to speak with them about your furniture and other valuables near the vents to avoid any damages or problems.

Decreasing Duct Cleanings

Your duct system can be treated with a sealant. These sealants prevent dirt and dust from getting sent back into the air. Sanitizer chemicals can also be added to prevent the growth of mold and other allergens. This is a possible solution for saving on fewer duct cleanings in the future.

 

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Judy Green More than 1 year ago
Did not realize cost had gone up so much for this service. Two years ago I had furnace and ducts cleaned at my old house and it was under $400. Now the cost is $700 for this house. I will keep looking for someone to offer a lower price, check them out, and have it done. Or will find the paperwork to see who did it before. I liked this article and did learn some things. Thanks.
Steve Marshall More than 1 year ago
The Environmental Protection Agency says that “duct cleaning services typically – but not always – range in cost from $450 to $1000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climactic region, and level of contamination” and type of duct material. Consumers should beware of air duct cleaning companies that making sweeping claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning – such claims are unsubstantiated. Consumers should also beware of “blow-and-go” air duct cleaning companies. These companies often charge a nominal fee and do a poor job of cleaning the heating and cooling system. These companies may also persuade the consumer into unneeded services with and/or without their permission. (If you have knowledge of a practicing “blow-and-go” air duct cleaner, contact your local Better Business Bureau to report the company, and your local, federal, and state elected officials to demand legislation.)
Steve Marshall More than 1 year ago
The most effective way to clean air ducts and ventilation systems is to employ Source Removal methods of cleaning. This requires a contractor to place the system under negative pressure, through the use of a specialized, powerful vacuum. While the vacuum draws air through the system, devices are inserted into the ducts to dislodge any debris that might be stuck to interior surfaces. The debris can then travel down the ducts to the vacuum, which removes it from the system and the home.
Mitchell Deborah 12 months ago
If you are in the Houston area please post the name. Thanks
Cynthia Guajardo 8 months ago
Call Beto's Clean Duct 371 0882 we will do it for 375.00 plus tax in the Rio Grand Valley only
Steve Marshall More than 1 year ago
The amount of time it takes to clean a residential HVAC system depends on many variables such as the size of the home, the number of systems, the extent of the contamination and the number of HVAC cleaners performing the job. Ask at least two contractors to inspect your system and give you a time estimate for your particular system. This will give you a general idea of how long the job should take as well as an idea of how thoroughly the contractor plans to do the job.
Cynthia Guajardo 11 months ago
Call Beto's Clean Ducts, we have a promotion for 6-10 air vents 1 sanitizer and 1 blower clean for 375.00 plus tax also if the coils need cleaning that is extra 125.00 Thank You Very Much for your time.
Frank Elkins 9 days ago
All interesting and informative.  Much to be considered but at least in this area, the available search field seems very limited. 
Dennis Simpson 19 days ago
The article was infomative and when I had new furnace put in,had the duct work done but now seeing
like brown stuff that stick on the walls in the corner and has been coming from the vents. Need to get this done.


Linville Howard 3 months ago
I havened cleaned ducts as of yet, just moved in and getting settled. Didn't realizie cost of. Will check around
Dolores Warwick 5 months ago
My house was built in 1959 and has asbestos ducts. Can they be cleaned?
Wade Stanley 5 months ago
Thanks for the graph showing the costs. I just had my five year old system checked out and the company gave me an estimate of $1865.00 which I knew was crazy high. Your article just confirmed it.
KEITH CASEY 6 months ago
Not yet addressed.
Connie Price 8 months ago
Looking for an honest company in he Zachary, La. area to clean and treat air ducts. May also need repair work done.
Edward McBarron 12 months ago
I wished I had seen this before I had my duct work cleaned. Everything in the article makes sense and is enlightening to the first time user as I was. Unfortunate for me, the only thing cleaned was my wallet!
Beth Cobb 12 months ago
The above information is informative, but did the data include the average size of the houses to go with the cost? It is hard to prove over pricing when you don't have all the facts. Thanks for the information...I did learn something.
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