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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
Franki S.
I’m so happy with my results of my duct and vent cleaning. They take before and after pictures to show what the ducts and vents looked like. Great job.
Eco Home HeroesEco Home Heroes
Mark G.
They did a great job cleaning my vents and ducts
Eco Home HeroesEco Home Heroes
Alpa S.
These guys responded so fast, got there on time and worked hard! I’m so happy with the job they did on our ducts and vents. Highly recommend!! Hire them. I’ll be calling them again too when the time comes.
Eco Home HeroesEco Home Heroes
Jeremy H.
Our experience with Duct-pro was amazing. They knew exactly what was needed. They did a thorough cleaning on our vents and did such a good quick job. They also were very friendly and understanding. So thankful to this company and the servicemen who came out today.
Duct-ProDuct-Pro
Don F.
Hi team of three guys showed up at my door and immediately began to work. The whole process of cleaning our ducts and our clothes dryer vent took approximately four hours. The team was courteous and friendly, and wasted no time with idle chitchat among themselves. They worked fast, and nonstop. We especially appreciate the fact that they worked hard to minimize the need for cleanup when they were done. They do great work, clean up after themselves and I highly recommend this company!
Eco Home HeroesEco Home Heroes
Stuart M.
We just moved in and found the dryer vent completely clogged. If that had never been cleaned what must the HVAC ducts look like. Eco Home Heros responded immediately and made their team available to us 2 days later. (we had movers the next day which is why we decided to do the work the day after. ) They had to work around boxes in every room and other vendors doing work. Never a complaint. Everything was kept clean they avoided damaging any of the walls that had just been painted event though they had lots of big bulky equipment. A hard working team that responded to all our requests and questions. They even showed us pictures of the before and after. Glad we are not breathing that dust and dirt any more. Thanks Eco Home Heros.
Eco Home HeroesEco Home Heroes
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