What is Air Duct Cleaning?
Most people are now aware that indoor air pollution is an issue of growing concern and increased visibility. Many companies are marketing products and services intended to improve the quality of your indoor air. You have probably seen an advertisement, received a coupon in the mail, or been approached directly by a company offering to clean your air ducts as a means of improving your home’s indoor air quality.
Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers. Methods of duct cleaning vary, although standards have been established by industry associations concerned with air duct cleaning. Typically, a service provider will use specialized tools to dislodge dirt and other debris in ducts, then vacuum them out with a high-powered vacuum cleaner.
How long does it take to get your ducts cleaned?
The amount of time air duct cleaning takes can depend on how extensive your duct system is, how old your air ducts are, and whether they have ever been cleaned. On average, expect a standard size home (between 2,000 and 3,000 square feet) to take 2-5 hours for one to two technicians to clean. Here are the proper protocol and equipment you should expect from a professional duct cleaning service.
How much does it cost to have your air ducts cleaned?
These services typically — but not always — range in cost from $450 to $1,000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered.
Air duct cleaning costs will vary based on a number of factors such as your location in the country, the age and condition of your air ducts, the number of linear feet to be cleaned, and any repairs your ducts may need. HVAC cleaning companies should clearly outline what is included in their services and at what rate, so always make sure you understand and have a written agreement before work begins.
Why Clean Air Ducts?
Answer: Because they get dirty!
In addition to normal accumulations of dust and dirt found in all homes with air ducts, there are several other factors that can increase the need for regular HVAC system cleaning:
- Occupants with allergies or asthma
- Cigarette or cigar smoke
- Water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
- Home renovation or remodeling projects
HVAC Duct Cleaning Pros
If your home’s air ducts need to be cleaned, rely on the experts to do the job right. There’s a lot around your house that you can safely DIY, but air duct cleaning isn’t on the list.
Professional air duct cleaners use commercial-grade vacuum systems and powered brushes to loosen and remove dirt and debris from your home’s HVAC system and ductwork without worsening the quality of the air inside your home.
Residential vacuum cleaners and cleaning attachments simply aren’t powerful enough to do the job correctly, and a DIYer runs the risk of doing serious damage to the ductwork. Air duct cleaning pros are also trained to spot other problems with an HVAC system that the average homeowner may not know to look for.
Avoid the Scams
Homeowners should 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 a homeowner to pay for unneeded services with and/or without their permission.
Homeowners are told they have mold and other toxic substances in their HVAC systems – claims which are most likely false and used merely to extort money. Coupons and flyers advertising rock bottom prices on “whole house air duct cleaning” and “HVAC mold and soot removal” arrive in the mail daily for some households.
Like many other trades in the home improvement industry, air duct cleaning is subject to scams. Be wary of air duct cleaning companies that offer unusually low rates or that promise a super-quick service. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Trust your instincts and keep looking.