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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 replace air ducts in a house?

If your air ducts have been damaged, you’ll need to replace them. The national average air duct replacement cost is $150-$280, which may not include materials. Factors such as duct material, labor, location of ducts and linear feet of ductwork will all affect your final costs. Labor costs will vary based on how accessible the ducts are and what material your ducts are made of. The least expensive duct material is a flexible, non-metallic ducting that costs approximately $1-$2 per linear foot. Flexible aluminum is generally more expensive and stronger than non-metallic ducting. Stainless steel ducting is the strongest, the least flexible (meaning installing it typically has higher labor rates), and usually the most expensive. An average price for air duct replacement could range between $35 and $55 per linear foot, including basic materials and labor. A typical single-family home has 6-10 duct runs; replacing or installing one duct run could average $150-$250 for labor.

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 and vent installers
Abe A.
Excellent service, punctual and responsive. Replaced all ducts and vents.
Ramsey O.
Hello, guys! Hand down the best business in South Florida, Broward, and West Palm beach. The company have highly excellent experienced in this field. They are specialize of cleaning the duct vent, carpet and AC Vent. Their quality work speak for itself. They demonstrate the before and after image of DRYER VENT CLEANING TASK. I’m totally satisfied. I’m looking forward for them to do AC Vent cleaning service. Thank you!!
Natural Air Cleaners LLCNatural Air Cleaners LLC
Thumbtack Customer
Bruce came on time as promised. Did a very good job cleaning our duct and vents. There was some miscommunication in regards to the numbers of ducts and as result he charged more than quoted. He recognized that our coil blower was clean and didn't clean it but nevertheless he charged for it as well.
Florida CertifiedFlorida Certified
Erica A.
I had my ducts and vents cleaned with them. It helped improve my breathing at night. Would hire again, professional and personable tech came out to help us.
Absolute EnvironmentalAbsolute Environmental
Sarah S.
Had the pleasure of getting technicians Jose and Manuel to service my ducts and air vents. They were very professional and pleasant to deal with. Completed the job quickly and swiftly without any issues. I could feel the clean air almost immediately; thank you!
Absolute EnvironmentalAbsolute Environmental
Thumbtack Customer
Bruce made our new home which was previously occupied by owners with 4 large dogs, smell brand new - the difference is incredible. Vents, ducts, and dryer vent were all cleaned. He even advised me on how to take care of a problem with my clothes washer. He sends photos so you can see before and after. Highly recommended, and I'd hire him again.
Florida CertifiedFlorida Certified
Thumbtack Customer
Absolute Environmental did a great job cleaning our air vents. They were on time and worked quickly and efficiently to get all of the dust and particles out of our air vents and dryer vent. The price was very reasonable, and even less than I was quoted initially. They also were one of the only companies I found that use an environmentally safe product to disinfect the air ducts, which is really important to me, so you don't have to leave the house when they spray it. I would recommend them and hire them again!
Absolute EnvironmentalAbsolute Environmental
Thumbtack Customer
Bruce performed an all round great duct cleaning and I also liked that he kept me informed in the process. I had him clean AC vents and exhausts, and the dryer vent. He was methodical and took his time. The only feedback that prevents the fifth star is that I wished he brought the same A game to cleaning up the dirt afterwards that he did to cleaning the ducts. I had to go around with him and point out the many areas that still had dirt. To his credit, he stayed and helped clean up, only leaving after I was satisfied. I will hire him again!
Florida CertifiedFlorida Certified
Paul S.
Came out to clean ducts for me prior to moving in and ended up finding mold in the vents and a clogged A/C. He went above and beyond and stayed till 3am to resolve the problem so we can have clean air when we move in and did it at a very reasonable price.
Natural Air Cleaners LLCNatural Air Cleaners LLC
Tarance M.
I contacted this company for the $20 per AC cleaning special as I only needed 6 ducts cleaned. Nowhere in the company's marketing introduction did it mention they had a minimum of ac ducts or a minimum amount to come out and perform service. They informed me 2 hours before appointment that they had a minimum of $175 to come out and service and they thought I had 10 vents but if I add the dryer vent cleaning they could do the job for $240. First of all, as a seasoned professional why would you ever assume anyting; all properties are of different shapes and sizes. Second of all, and the most insulting of the process is that they assumed could up-sell me on another service to get the end result I wanted of cleaning the AC ducts. All while trying to make up for the fact that they we're not upfront and transparent in their marketing introduction. In conclusion, this was a waste of time had they been up front at the beginning they wouldn't be getting such a low rating. It's not the price it's the principle! I would suggest you put the minimum amounts of ducts and service amounts in marketing introduction.
Eli Cleaning Services LLCEli Cleaning Services LLC
Eduardo V.
I really regret hiring this company. They told me that they would clean unlimited AC ducts for $119. When the worker arrived he told me that the ac needed a deep cleaning because of mold and the price would be more than $600 (but we could negotiate). I said I just wanted the ducts cleaned. Then, after a lot of talking, he told me he would do the simple ducts cleaning as I wanted. I showed him a vent in the bedroom that he didn’t clean, he told me that it was not a duct, it’s was part of the AC, but not a duct. What? They should have specified before coming that there are different ducts (for me it was the same thing). They look like scammer. And then another worker came by, he was disrespectful, he asked my wife’s age and then said she looked younger, then when she was at the balcony, he asked her if she wanted him to take a picture of her with the background. She said she felt really uncomfortable and felt like he was mocking her. They also kept talking in a different language between them while she was talking with them. The worse possible experience. They were unprofessional and they left behind a duct without cleaning. Scammers! Never hire them! Run!
Volar ACVolar AC
Thumbtack Customer
I called Dustbusters for the main reason of getting my A/c ducts cleaned because I had a major remodel done inside my house. They came on time and gave me a very reasonable price compared to others. They showed me the before and after status of each vent they cleaned. I highly recommend them and definitely will use their service again.
DustBusters IAQ SpecialistsDustBusters IAQ Specialists
Thumbtack Customer
Bruce, and his assistant Logan were excellent, and professional. it was very easy, and quick to set up the job. They showed up when he said they would. Did an excellent job cleaning A/C vents, ducts, and other parts that were part of the package deal. After job was done they cleaned up all debris left from the job, and put everything back where it was. It has been a couple of days since the work was done, and I noticed on the first day that the A/C ran more efficient, I didn't have to drop the temperature as low as I always did. I have been needing, and wanting to get this done for years, glad I found Bruce, and big thanks to Thumbtack for the help, great site.
Florida CertifiedFlorida Certified
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