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How Much Should I Expect To Pay For An Air Duct Cleaning?

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

The reality of being a homeowner is that regular maintenance is required to keep everything in working order, from landscaping to roofing repairs, vacuuming, to cleaning out gutters. On your list of things to do around the house, however, having your air ducts cleaned may not be at the top. But just how important is it to have your air ducts cleaned, and what are air duct cleaning prices? As you consider air duct cleaning costs and the time required to have air ducts clean, learn what air ducting cleaning is, how important of a process it is for your home, and how much air duct cleaning costs are.

What are Air Ducts?

Your air ducts are responsible for the flow of hot or cold air throughout your home through the house’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. As you can imagine during the balmy days of the summer or frigid winter nights, the HVAC system is essential to your family’s comfort. Air ducts can typically be found in ceilings or walls. The most obvious benefit to these locations is that they are hidden, thus keeping the not so aesthetically pleasing HVAC network out of site.

Depending on the type of home, houses can have either rigid or flexible air ducts. With flexible air ducts, tube-shaped bendable plastic is covered with a wire coil and surrounded by insulation. The benefit to flexible ductwork is that it is easy to install, and can fit into tight areas of the house. Flexible ductwork does require minimal bends and kinks. On the other hand, rigid ductwork can be constructed from a variety of materials, such as fiberglass or sheet metal. Further, rigid air ducts are built in various shapes and sizes. Many homes are constructed with rigid ductwork as, in general, they are more reliable and durable than flexible ductwork.

Whether your home is outfitted with rigid or flexible ductwork, they face a similar challenge. The downside to their hidden location in ceilings or walls is that these spaces are prime spots for collecting dust and other debris.

What is Air Duct Cleaning

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), air duct cleaning is defined as the cleaning of forced air systems in your home, like those that provide heating and cooling throughout a house. This includes supply and return air ducts, grilles and diffusers, drip pans, fan motors, and heating and cooling coils. Some of the most common areas of the house that require air duct cleaning include dryers, vents in each room that collect dust and debris, as well as the furnace. Because of the complex nature of the air duct network, many homeowners are unsure of whether to undertake the process of cleaning air ducts. 

Why is Air Duct Cleaning Important

So, do you have to clean your air ducts? Yes, proper cleaning of your air ducts is important. Over time, your air ducts collect dirt and debris that can then be transported throughout your house through the ductwork system when you engage your heating or air conditioning. Recirculating this air can diminish air quality, leaving individuals or pets at risk, particularly those with respiratory conditions, environmental allergies, or autoimmune disorders.

In addition to improving the air quality of your home, cleaning your air ducts can help save energy and money. It is estimated that up to 40% of the energy the average home uses to heat or cool the house is wasted as a result of dirt and debris built up in air ducts. This is because the system must work harder to bypass the contaminates, even when filters are in place. By cleaning air ducts, your heating and cooling systems do not have to expend as much energy to reach your desired temperature, thereby decreasing the amount of time you use your heat or A/C. Next, we look at air duct cleaning prices you might expect to pay.

How Much Is Air Duct Cleaning?

You’re likely asking yourself, just how much is air duct cleaning? Depending on the type of air ducts you have, the size of your home, and the air duct cleaning company you select, the overall air duct cleaning cost can vary. On average, however, air duct cleaning costs will be between $400 and $1000. Included in this air duct cleaning cost, a specialist will examine your home, noting the number of vents, returns, and systems to determine a comprehensive price. In general, the most common breakdowns of price you might encounter include cost based on square foot of the home, cost based on a number of systems, and separate furnace cleaning cost, vent cleaning cost, dryer vent cleaning cost, and return cleaning cost. Added on to air duct cleaning prices are additional air duct cleaning costs for remaining vents and returns.

No matter how the company you choose breaks down the air duct cleaning cost, never select a company that charges per hour. In this case, you are likely to be charged air duct cleaning prices well above the average cost for this service.

How to Choose the Right Air Duct Cleaning Company

Before paying any company air duct cleaning cost to provide home maintenance services on your home, it is important to do your due diligence. In this field in particular, there are a number of scams present that will leave you paying much more than necessary. First, you’ll want to find an air duct cleaning company that adheres to NADCA standards. NADCA stands for the National Air Duct Cleaners Association and is a nonprofit organization comprised of companies dedicated to cleaning HVAC systems. NADCA recommends hiring an air duct cleaning company that is a member of NADCA and is certified by the organization to provide air duct cleaning services; is licensed; has proof of insurance; inspects all air ducts and system components as part of the cleaning process; and, avoids sales gimmicks for any furnace cleaning costs or vent cleaning costs, including dryer vent cleaning costs.

Air duct cleaning prices vary, but by making sure the company you choose adheres to these standards, you can avoid tricky scams designed to empty your pockets with no guarantee of quality service.

Taking the time to clean your air ducts will make your home safer and more comfortable for your family. Fortunately, air duct cleaning is not a task that needs to happen very often. It is recommended that air duct cleaning take place every 5 to 7 years, depending on factors such as if you have pets, smoke, or have a rodent infestation.