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How Much Does Duct Cleaning Cost?

Duct Cleaning Prices

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Your home’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system relies on a network of metal air ducts to deliver heated and cooled air throughout the building. Over time, mold, dust, pet dander, vermin, and other allergenic substances can build up in ductwork and reduce indoor air quality. A residential duct cleaning can remove irritants and improve air flow, resulting in health benefits and energy savings. To learn more about air duct cleaning—including the cost of duct cleaning—continue reading.

Do You Need Home Air Duct Cleaning?

If you’re already done a bit of research on home ductwork cleaning, you’ve likely encountered conflicting information about the necessity of this service. The bottom line seems to be that not every heating and cooling system requires regular air duct cleaning, but in some cases, it is beneficial.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there is no conclusive evidence that duct cleaning prevents health problems. The Agency further points out that there aren’t any significant studies linking dirty air ducts with higher particle levels in the home itself.

The EPA does, however, concede that there are certain situations that merit cleaning air ducts. If any of the following criteria apply to your home’s ductwork, strongly consider having them cleaned:

  • Visible mold growth on heating and cooling system components.
  • A vermin (rodent or insect) infestation in the ducts.
  • Ducts are clogged to such an extent that dust, debris, or other parties are being released into the home.

What Does Air Duct Cleaning Involve?

The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) describes a proper, chemical free duct cleaning procedure as one which uses a powerful vacuum system with multiple brush attachments designed to loosen debris and feed it into the suction. Particles may be blown outside of the house or passed through a HEPA filter inside. A duct system can additionally be treated with a sealant which prevents dirt and dust from dislodging and entering the air. Sanitizer chemicals may be applied to prevent the growth of mold and other microbial agents.

Be sure to get multiple estimates and perform a background check on prospective contractors. Be wary of so-called “blow and go” services. These contractors don’t use proper duct cleaning equipment and duct cleaning tools. Their work can actually release more irritants into the air and necessitate an expensive clean up. Often, contractors who provide such services are un-licensed. They may make claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning and insist it should be done annually, which is not true.

What are the Benefits of Duct Cleaning?

One member of the NADCA describes the essentiality of air duct cleaning as being similar to mopping and vacuuming. By removing particles that otherwise escape notice from your duct system, you and your family can reap the following benefits:

  • Improve home air quality and reduce allergies
  • Save money on your heating and cooling costs
  • Extend the life of your HVAC system
  • Remove offensive odors

Air Duct Cleaning Average Costs

Note that the actual cost of air duct cleaning depends on the size of the system to be serviced, the level of contamination, the actual cleaning services performed, the local climate and economy, whether complications—such as the detection of asbestos—are encountered, and other factors.

  • Air duct cleaning cost should fall somewhere between $400 and $1,200.
    • For a single-zone system (one with a single furnace), expect to pay $300 to $600.
    • For a two-zone system (one with two furnaces), costs might reach $600 to $1,200.
  • Some companies charge a flat fee for ductwork cleaning, while others have hourly rates. If billed by the hour, you might pay $100 to $150 per hour.

Author: Brian Eckert

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