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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How often should you get your air ducts cleaned?

How often you should clean your air ducts depends on your situation. If you or someone in the home has asthma or is acutely allergic to certain airborne materials or pollen, regular duct cleaning may be helpful. The Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t have an official position on the necessity of air duct cleaning unless the ducts have been contaminated by rodents, insects or mold, or you are aware of particles blowing out through the vents. The EPA recommends you have your air ducts cleaned on an as-needed basis. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) suggests having air ducts cleaned every three to five years.

Be cautious with companies that offer “whole house air duct cleaning,” urges the NADCA. The company may be using unscrupulous tactics to upsell you once they get started. Before any work begins, always clarify in writing what the job entails and what the cost will be. To protect yourself against fraud, read customer reviews and verify that your HVAC cleaning service has applicable licenses and certifications.

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, as recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency:

  • All doors and access ports opened to ensure the entire duct system is inspected and cleaned.
  • Thorough system inspection prior to cleaning to identify possible asbestos-containing materials. If asbestos is present, specially trained and equipped contractors must do the removal.
  • Use of approved vacuum equipment that exhausts particles outside of your house. If the vacuum exhausts inside your home, it must be HEPA equipment.
  • Furnishings and carpet covered and protected.
  • Soft-bristled brushes only on fiberglass duct board and sheet metal ducts internally lined with fiberglass.
  • Ductwork properly protected.
  • Adherence to guidelines and practices set down by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association.

How much does it cost to have someone clean your dryer vent?

The national average dryer vent cleaning costs range from $190 to $260. Dryer vent or duct cleaning costs can vary based on where you live in the country and what ductwork repairs may be required. Duct cleaning pros will use a brush cleaning method, a forced air vacuum, or a combination of the two to remove lint and other debris that can collect in your dryer duct, lint trap housing and vent. If left unchecked, this buildup of highly flammable debris can catch fire and lead to a home fire, says the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to home safety, a great reason for regular cleaning is the money you’ll likely save on energy bills and improved indoor air quality. Pros may offer a lower rate on their dryer duct cleaning costs when you also hire them to clean your entire HVAC duct system. To ensure you’re working with a pro who will keep your home as safe as possible, read their reviews and check whether they have been certified by a reputable organization such as the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) or the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). Many duct cleaning pros will also show you before-and-after photos as proof of the cleaning.

How much does it cost to have your air ducts cleaned?

If you’re concerned about dust, allergens or mold, it may be time to have your air ducts cleaned. The national average cost for air duct cleaning ranges from $190 to $250. 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. Here are some examples of average air duct cleaning costs:

  • Tiered pricing for different levels of service:
    • Standard cleaning: $100, which may include truck-mounted industrial vacuums, high-pressure air wands and air snakes to clean all supply and return vents, branch lines, and main trunk lines.
    • Advanced cleaning: $200, which may include standard cleaning services, plus rotobrush or viper clean sweep in the main trunk lines.
    • Ultimate cleaning: $400, which may include advanced cleaning, plus insertion of a viper microline into all vents to force debris down the branch lines and into the main trunk lines, to be handled by the viper clean sweep. Typically, all ductwork surface is contacted, before-and-after photos are provided, and the furnace is cleaned.
  • A flat rate for unlimited vents: $289.
  • Additional fees for larger houses: $20 for each additional 500 square feet over 2,500.

How does duct cleaning work?

Here’s how duct cleaning works in a nutshell:

  • A professional duct cleaner will inspect your ducts.
  • They’ll use vacuums and brushes to clean up dust and debris.
  • And then they’ll seal and clean everything up. 

During the inspection process, the air duct cleaner will also look for cracks or leaks. Depending on what they find, they may also recommend repairs.

To learn more about the duct cleaning process for your home, reach out to cleaners near you.

What is duct cleaning?

Air duct cleaning is the process of cleaning your various heating and cooling system units, parts and components. This process often includes cleaning the following, according to the EPA:

  • supply and return air ducts and registers
  • grilles and diffuser
  • heat exchangers heating and cooling coils,
  • condensate drain pans (drip pans)
  • fan motor and fan housing
  • air handling unit housing

For a more specific list of tasks, ask duct cleaners near you what's included in their service.

Reviews for Ashburn duct cleaners
Diana B.
Very prompt. Would hire again for duct cleaning.
Home Pro - Air Duct Cleaning , LLCHome Pro - Air Duct Cleaning , LLC
Gaurav K.
Tim and his brother are professionals and fabulous job in duct and units cleaning.
Ducts plusDucts plus
Stephanie L.
Jose was very professional and took the time to answer all of my questions. He was showing me stuff as he was going thru the duct cleaning process. I'm very happy with the service provided and will work with him again. Thanks!
EES Services, LLCEES Services, LLC
Thumbtack Customer
On time, friendly, and knowledgeable. The air ducts in the home we just bought had never been cleaned since the house was built 30 years ago. He cleaned out all of the vents and sanitized. He also deeply cleaned the vents including all of the screens over the vents. I highly recommend this company. I would hire M.A.C. Master again.
M.A.C. MasterM.A.C. Master
Sandra G.
They did an excellent job cleaning our ducts and dryer vent at a competitive price. They found mold in our system so we added their mold cleaning service and UV light system to prevent mold from growing again. We are all breathing better! The technician was professional and informed us of all our options. He worked in our system for 5 hours our so! My only complaint is that when he cleaned the dryer duct, our dryer stopped working properly (we got an error message after 20 minutes of drying indicating that something was blocking the air flow). My husband called them and they are coming tomorrow (Monday). So far, I would hire again! Will update once they resolve the dryer issue.
The Best Air Quality and RestorationThe Best Air Quality and Restoration
Nina A.
Great job! The technician was friendly and punctual . We have a really tricky set up and he was able to problem solve on the spot, identified issues with our recent furnace install, and gave us recommendations on how to fix a filter issue. He did a great job cleaning our incredibly dirty ducts with videos of the before and after. I would highly recommend and definitely use him again!
The Best Air Quality and RestorationThe Best Air Quality and Restoration
Crystal M.
Tim is amazing! My childhood home (where my parents still reside) had never had a duct cleaning before. Tim came in and did his thing. He was very professional, informative, and most of all his work was immaculate. We’ve already seen the difference and it’s only been a few hours. Will defiantly continue to work with Tim for all our future needs. Thanks again so much!!!!!
Ducts plusDucts plus
Lisa K.
Ducts and Such is a family business that includes Milton and his dad. They are excellent, and I give them my highest recommendation. Communication was perfect: it was easy to set up the appointment, and I appreciated Milton texting when he was on his way. They arrived on time, wore shoe coverings, cleaned the vents meticulously, and took pride in their work. Milton took "before" photos and also showed me what was removed from the vents. I cannot state enough how pleased I am with their work! I'll be using their services regularly!
Ducts and Such LLCDucts and Such LLC
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