How much does it cost to clean air ducts?
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Air Duct Cleaning Cost Guide
Updated: August 17, 2022
A home’s heating and cooling systems are made up of several components. Among the most essential are the air ducts that run throughout the home and deliver air to the entire home. They are connected to your central heating and cooling system and work to keep the home comfortable. Over time, these ducts and other parts of the system become dusty or even experience mold growth. Regular cleaning of your air ducts is recommended to prevent this issue.
The national average cost for cleaning the air ducts is between $350 and $1,000, with most people paying around $530 to inspect and clean a 1,000 square foot home with eight ducts. At the low end of the spectrum, however, you can pay $200 for a cleaning package from a cleaning company. At the high end, you can pay up to $7,700 to inspect and clean a custom air duct system in a 3,500 square foot home with mold remediation services.
Home Air Duct Cleaning Cost
|Air Duct Cleaning Cost|
|National average cost||$530|
Air Duct Cleaning Cost per Vent
The most common cost homeowners pay to clean a vent is $30 to $40 per vent for up to 20 vents and then $20 to $25 per vent for every extra one. This means that if you have 12 vents, you can expect the air vent cleaning cost to be $360 to $480. You may have more than the average number of vents in your home, so you can expect to pay a higher price for cleaning them. However, bigger homes are more likely to have greater linear feet of ductwork, so the cost to clean air ducts in bigger homes will be higher. The vents in your home are connected to the central HVAC system through ducts and need to be cleaned separately. Most companies give a quote based on the number of vents you have. However, some quote you based on the square footage of your home or per hour. Some companies charge a flat fee, known as a service fee or mileage fee, and a per vent charge, but this is less common.
Air Duct Cleaning Cost per Square Foot
In some instances, air duct cleaning providers charge per square foot, which averages between $0.15 and $0.25. This charging method is less common, but some providers use it. This will be based on the square footage of your home and duct system, not just by the linear footage of ductwork running through your home. Consult with your cleaning provider to ensure you understand the pricing structure and get a fair price.
Air Duct Cleaning Services Cost per Hour
Some companies charge by the hour for air duct cleaning at a rate of $90 to $125 per hour. Most jobs take between three and eight hours, or $270 to $1,000. This work is usually done by HVAC professionals or specialty air duct cleaning companies, which have similar hourly rates for service.
Several factors are involved in providing a cost estimate for your air duct cleaning. One major factor is the size of your system. Larger, more complex systems take more time to clean and cost more. Furnace components will also need to be cleaned, so the pros factor in the cost of cleaning multiple furnaces. The location of your air duct system is also a factor. The harder it is to reach, the more expensive the cleanup. Some other factors that determine how long the cleaning will take and cost are the size of the home, the number of systems, the extent of the contamination, and the number of HVAC cleaners.
Professional air duct cleaners know how to clean every component of an HVAC system. In most cases, the cost includes loosening and vacuuming debris and dust from the ducts and air duct components and applying EPA-approved cleaners. All components of the system will need to be cleaned, including the blowers, plenums, air vents, and cooling components. Cleaning is that much more important if your ductwork is prone to forming mold or already has mold. If any parts are left uncleaned, mold can form quickly and damage the whole system.
Air Duct Cleaning Prices by Brand
A few national companies offer air duct cleaning services for a cost of $200 to $1,000. Depending on the cleaning service provider you choose, you can get air duct cleaning as a separate service or as part of a cleaning service package. Aside from the number of vents, the cost is also affected by your location and the accessibility of the air duct. Here is a table with the most popular companies in the U.S. and how much they typically charge for an air duct cleaning project.
|Company||Cost (Labor Included)|
|Zerorez||$200 - $700|
|Servpro||$200 - $800|
|Sears||$250 - $1,000|
|Coit||$400 - $800|
|Duct Doctor||$500 - $700|
|Stanley Steemer||$500 - $1,000|
|Four Seasons Duct Cleaning||$600 - $750|
Zerorez Air Duct Cleaning
The cost to clean air ducts in houses with Zerorez runs from $200 to $700. They offer different specials depending on the time of the year, so you can often find discounted prices and cleaning packages. The cost includes taking the vent covers off, sealing the system, and brushing and vacuuming each vent. They use a whipline to remove dust from the duct walls and suck in the compromised air using a powerful vacuum. Once they are done, they inspect the vents once again to ensure everything is clean.
Servpro Duct Cleaning
The cost to clean air ducts with Servpro ranges between $200 and $800, including cleaning the air ducts, furnace, dryer vent, and standard filter. Aside from air duct cleaning, Servpro will recommend how you can address any indoor air quality concerns. They have over 1,700 franchises across the U.S. and provide fire and water restoration, mold removal, cleaning services, and more.
Sears Air Duct Cleaning
Cleaning your air ducts with Sears can cost from $250 to $1,000 for ten vents depending on the service package you use. The cheapest package is their annual package which includes having a Sears HVAC expert tune up the systems twice a year and check for any needed repairs. Aside from HVAC cleaning services, Sears provides flooring and upholstery cleaning services and water damage restoration.
Coit Air Duct Cleaning
Coit’s house air duct cleaning cost is around $400 to $800 for ten vents depending on the package you choose. Coit is a NADCA certified cleaning service provider that offers residential and commercial cleaning services across the U.S. They offer air duct cleaning services separately or as a package with dryer vents and other home appliances. Their services include cleaning carpets, floors, tile, furniture, and drapes.
The cost for air vent cleaning services from the Duct Doctor ranges from $500 to $700, depending on the size of your home and how many ducts or vents need to be cleaned. The company has package options available. All jobs are performed by NADCA-certified specialists trained in duct cleaning. The cost of this service includes a two-man crew (at minimum) to clean and inspect all the ducts in your home.
Stanley Steemer Air Duct Cleaning
The average price for cleaning air ducts with Stanley will typically cost $500 to $1,000. Stanley Steemer is a company founded in 1947 as a carpet cleaning company and has since expanded to provide various other cleaning services. The air duct cleaning process starts with them doing an air duct inspection to verify that your ducts need cleaning. Then, Stanley Steemer uses a special HEPA-filtered vacuum to clean your furnace and vent covers and connect the vacuum to your ductwork to pull the dust and dirt from it. After this, they blow compressed air throughout the system to flush away any contaminants lodged in the ducts and into their vacuum system.
Four Seasons Air Duct Cleaning
If you choose to go with Four Seasons duct cleaning services, you will pay between $600 and $750. This varies depending on the number of ducts that need to be cleaned, the square footage of your home, whether it is a basic cleaning or mold remediation is required, and other factors. Four Seasons sends a team of two specialists to perform duct cleaning. All employees are NADCA-certified.
Certain companies provide hospital grade air quality by using machines that create negative pressure, which sucks the debris from the ducts. This debris then passes through 3 layers of filter including a HEPA filter so that the air becomes healthy, clean, and fresh. In addition, your home will remain clean without any debris from the ducts. Being NADCA certified means following the highest standards for air quality and code of ethics.
Air Duct Mold Cleaning Cost
Mold remediation applied on air ducts ranges from $2,000 to $6,000 depending on the scope of the mold problem. There may be mold in your air ducts, but it will need to be tested to verify for about $50 per test. If the test discovers that you have mold in your air ducts, you will have to hire a separate mold remediation service that will deal with the mold problem in your ducts before they spread to other areas of your home. While air duct cleaning removes mold from the air ducts and connected areas, mold remediation is a more in-depth service that identifies all sources of mold and eliminates not just the mold but also what causes it.
Air Duct Inspection Cost
An air duct video inspection costs between $75 and $125. Depending on your home, your air ducts may be harder to access, so it may be tricky to see if they need cleaning. A video inspection is an easy way to look for signs your ducts need cleaning, even in the spots that are not visible to the naked eye. The video inspection may be part of a regular HVAC inspection or part of a more extensive cleaning process, which will cost more.
Air Duct and Dryer Vent Cleaning Cost
Some people choose to have their air vents and dryer vent system cleaned at the same time, which costs between $450 and $1,220, with $100 to $220 making up the additional cost for the dryer vent cleaning. Dryer ducting collects lint and debris just like air vents. It would make sense that if you are trying to improve air quality, you would clean both at the same time. It will ensure the work is done promptly and your home is not disrupted for longer than necessary. The same professionals perform both services but are considered separate entities in most cases.
How Often Should You Clean Your Air Ducts?
The average household should have air ducts cleaned every few years. However, houses with a recurring vermin problem, recurring mold, or lots of pets will need to have them cleaned more regularly. An annual inspection helps you determine if your ducts need cleaning and potentially reveals underlying issues with your HVAC systems. A visual inspection may also show signs of mold on hard surfaces.
If you have pets, air ducts should be cleaned regularly. If you have had a vermin problem, you should have your ducts cleaned after they have been eradicated. Another time when your air ducts need to be cleaned is after a fire or flood when moisture and contaminants may build up in your air ducts and compromise the air in your home. A similar case is when you’ve recently remodeled your home. The renovation and remodeling cause excess debris to get trapped in your air ducts. It needs to be removed to ensure the air in your home is healthy and safe.
Signs Your Air Ducts Need Cleaning
Some signs reveal when your air ducts need cleaning. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mold is the main sign that your air ducts should be cleaned. Mold can become a serious problem, but disreputable companies may try to convince you there is mold to upcharge you. Laboratory analysis is required to officially determine if the visible substance is mold, which costs about $50. If your insulation is wet or moldy, it has to be replaced immediately.
Pests are another problem with air ducts. If you have rodents and insects, you must remove them from the air ducts and clean them once the infestation has been eradicated. Depending on the scope of infestation and how easy or difficult it will be to access the infested area, pest extermination services can cost from $350 to $1,000. Some other signs to look out for are excessive dust and debris coming from your heating and cooling appliances and experiencing sudden allergies or breathing problems (or worsening of existing ones).
Benefits of Air Duct Cleaning
Like many home services, having your air ducts cleaned has its pros and cons. While it is an added expense and a slight inconvenience to your everyday living, it ensures that your air ducts are not pushing through particles you don’t need to inhale. Having your air ducts cleaned every few years and inspected annually helps you stay ahead of problems before they escalate. Cleaning the ducts will ensure they are free of mold and remove excess dust and debris, which may help reduce allergy symptoms.
There are no real disadvantages to air duct cleaning, provided that you hire a reputable contractor. Generally speaking, air filters should be able to keep ducts free of dust and debris. If you are not changing filters regularly, that could become an issue. If you do not hire a trained contractor, you could also risk damaging the ducts. That is easily remedied by making sure that you work with vent cleaning experts with years of expertise and specialized training.
Air Duct Maintenance
To avoid clogging your air ducts with dust after everything has been cleaned, you can do a few things. One of them is using high-efficiency air filters. You should change them as needed to ensure they aren’t overused and allowing harmful particles to compromise the air ducts. You should also close off registers and vents during remodeling work and not use the HVAC system until the renovation dust has been cleared. Make sure to maintain dehumidifier components as directed as faulty dehumidifying equipment can lead to mold and mildew. Finally, make sure to dust and vacuum your home regularly to get rid of dust and debris laying around in your home.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Air Duct Coating
Air duct coating or sealing is charged at a rate of $90 to $125 per hour, with the job taking two to five hours depending on the size of your home and the length of your duct. The sealant is applied to the duct surfaces and prevents dust and dirt particles from getting past the ducts and into the air in the home.
Air Duct Sanitizing
If air duct sanitizing is not included with your cleaning service or performed as an addition to your routine cleaning, you can expect to spend between $100 and $250 on this service alone. Sanitizing occurs once the ducts are cleaned of physical debris, allowing potential bacteria and other contaminants to be removed. In light of the COVID pandemic, most companies now include sanitizing as a standard service, but it is also available on its own.
In-Duct Air Purifier
In-duct air purifiers cost depends on the type of filter you use. Most homeowners install extended media filters that trap smaller air particles for $40 to $60 per filter. Media filters typically have a MERV rating of 6 to 12, which means they can trap between 50% and 90% or more of the small air dust and particles. Homeowners install air purifiers to trap harmful pollutants and particles before they enter the home and the air you breathe. It will prevent the polluted air from entering the home and causing breathing issues, allergies, or other negative effects.
Air Duct Asbestos Removal
Asbestos removal varies in cost based on the scope of the removal project. You can anticipate paying $35 to $55 per foot of duct. It’s a mineral that is resistant to heat and found in many consumer products. However, exposure to asbestos can irritate and scar lung tissue and even cause some diseases. It needs to be removed from your air ducts as soon as you notice it.
Technicians typically charge $70 to $195 for annual AC maintenance. In most states, the law requires the duct cleaners to have an active HVAC license to be allowed to touch an HVAC system. Parts of the air conditioning unit need periodic cleaning. As part of the maintenance process, an HVAC inspection will be performed prior to cleaning, costing from $250 to $400. An annual inspection by an HVAC professional can identify problems, determine whether cleaning is necessary, and even replace air filters as needed.
Furnace and Duct Cleaning
A related service to the air duct cleaning is also furnace cleaning, which costs $60 to $150 for one furnace. If you have multiple furnaces in your home, the cost can increase to $300 per furnace. An HVAC professional can do the inspection, which takes about an hour (not including repairs) and includes some cleaning but not necessarily full duct cleaning. Air ducts don’t need to be fully cleaned every year, but annual furnace maintenance ensures better efficiency. Furnace maintenance includes a visual inspection of the furnace, ducts, and wiring and cleaning them if necessary.
Air Duct Repair
If needed repairs are discovered during the cleaning process, you can expect to spend between $200 and $800 on ductwork repairs. Common repairs include damaged or leaking ducts, which could be caused by holes, rust, or loose joints. There could also be damage due to clogs, condensation, and collapsed ducts, which require immediate repair to keep the airflow in the house moving appropriately. The more severe the repair, the more expensive it will be.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Health benefits. Cleaning your air ducts can certainly help with allergies, but it’s not a miracle cure. Allergy and asthma sufferers may have other triggers beyond indoor air particles.
- Bills. Duct cleaning can help your HVAC system run more efficiently, but your power bill may not see a noticeable difference.
- Mobile homes. An air duct in a mobile home is different from that of a traditional house. Mobile home ducts are H-shaped and can trigger breathing problems when left uncleaned for too long. The cost for mobile home air duct cleaning varies depending on the size of your house.
- Hiring tips. When looking for a professional, you should find someone with experience working with a system similar to what you have.
- Cleaning materials. Discuss your air duct cleaning needs with your pro before they get started. Make sure they don’t use any harsh chemicals, insecticides, or other products you don’t want to inhale. Remember, what goes into your air ducts will be what you breathe in later.
- DIY. You can certainly replace your own air filters, but the cleaning process requires a lot of safety equipment that you may not have readily available. You may also not be able to access all of the places you need to go, so it may be easier and safer to do this job with a professional.
- Certification. While the EPA doesn’t certify professionals, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) has thousands of members and provides certification to air duct cleaning professionals. Some scurrilous pros claim they are members of NADCA, but you should check the professional directory to confirm. Some states require a specific license, so check your state’s guidelines to determine your area’s requirements.
- Scams. Be wary of scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. For example, a company advertising a “Whole Home Air Duct Cleaning” for $99 is not a reasonable estimate. You will probably not get any benefits from the cleaning process.
- Custom ducts. Expect to pay 25% to 30% more if you have custom ducts installed in your home, as cleaning them will take longer than regular ducts and potentially require using different tools and techniques.
- Quality control. Some companies provide a before and after photo of the air ducts to allow you to verify the cleanliness and condition of the air ducts. Others do an inspection after the cleaning to check and prove that everything was thoroughly cleaned.
- Carpets and draperies. Some companies package carpet cleaning or drape cleaning services with their air duct cleaning. However, these are usually priced cheaply and offer low-quality service. Cleaning the carpets and drapes can effectively improve air quality, but only when done by experts with the proper equipment and at an additional cost to air duct cleaning.
- Is cleaning air ducts worth it?
The cost to clean out air ducts is more than worth it, especially if you have allergies, asthma, or other health conditions. Although it has not been shown to prevent health problems, cleaning the air ducts ensures that the air you breathe in your home is healthy for everyone.
- Is duct cleaning a waste of money?
Considering dirty air ducts may mean breathing in mold and other particles that impact your ability to breathe. Cleaning them regularly is worth it to ensure you create a healthy environment for everyone in the household. Duct cleaning is especially important if you have asthma or allergies.
- Does duct cleaning prevent health problems?
Duct cleaning has never been proven to prevent health problems. However, regular cleaning ensures that the air in the home is healthier and free of harmful particles and pollutants.
- Can you clean air ducts yourself?
You can certainly replace your own air filters. However, the cleaning process requires safety equipment that you may not have readily available to access all of the places you need to go. Some states also require a specific license to clean air ducts, so you would not be able to clean the ducts without having one. Since the job is complex and difficult, it is always advisable to hire an HVAC professional for the cleaning regardless of the local regulations.
- How much does it cost to have ductwork cleaned?
The average cost to have air ducts cleaned is $350 to $1,000, including an inspection and cleaning of a home with eight air vents.
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.
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