On average, air duct cleaning costs $200, and prices will usually range from $179-$250. Duct cleaning costs $582-$860 on the high end and $79-$99 on the low end. Many companies offer tiered pricing to help you choose what you need or a flat rate for a specific group of services.
Air duct cleaning cost:
|National average cost||$200|
|Typical cost range||$179-$250|
|Low-end cost range||$79-$99|
|High-end cost range||$582-$860|
If you own a home or a business, you might need to hire a professional duct cleaning service to clean out the heating, cooling, dryer, and exhaust vents and ducts. Technicians at cleaning companies that specialize in air duct cleaning are equipped to work with any type of duct, including rigid sheet metal, flexible nonmetallic material, fiberglass and other materials.
Before you hire a service, get an idea of what factors affect air duct cleaning prices, what the process involves, what you need to know when hiring a pro and how you can save money.
What's in this cost guide?
- Air duct cleaning cost per square foot
- Duct cleaning hourly rates
- Flat rate vs. tiered service levels
- Vent cleaning cost
- HVAC cleaning cost
- Dryer vent cleaning cost
- Air duct cleaning cost factors
- What's included in air duct cleaning?
- How often should you clean your ducts?
- How to save money on air duct cleaning
- Whole-house air duct cleaning scams
- What are the benefits of air duct cleaning?
- How to hire an air duct cleaner
- Find a duct cleaner near you
The larger your home, the more expensive it will be to clean your air ducts. To clean your HVAC system, expect to pay about $3 per linear foot of duct. Some companies offer a set price up to a certain square footage and charge an extra fee for any additional square feet. The added cost covers employees' extra time and the use of equipment required for larger homes.
A Thumbtack pro in Maplegrove, Minnesota offers three cleaning options up to 2,500 square feet. For homes larger than 2,500 square feet, they charge the following additional fees:
- Each additional 500 square feet for a standard or advanced cleaning: $20
- Each additional 500 square feet for an ultimate cleaning: $40
Companies generally charge for duct cleaning based on an hourly rate or tiered service levels. The national average hourly rate is $79 per hour, but ranges from $40-$200 per hour.
|National average hourly rate||$79/hour|
|Low-end hourly rate||$40-$60/hour|
|High-end hourly rate||$125-$200/hour|
Many companies charge a flat rate for air duct cleaning and will outline what services are included in their rate. Some companies will charge a flat rate up to a certain amount of square feet (such as 2,500 square feet), then $20 to $40 for each additional 500 square feet, depending on the service level you've chosen. Other companies offer tiered pricing based on the extent of the services they provide.
To help you estimate air duct cleaning prices for your home or business, here's an example of tiered pricing from Twin Cities Furnace Cleaning:
|Service||Cost||What it includes|
|Standard duct cleaning||$99.95||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 duct cleaning||$199.95||Includes standard cleaning services, plus Rotobrush or viper clean sweep in the main trunk lines.|
|Ultimate duct cleaning||$399.95||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. All ductwork surface contacted, before-and-after photos provided and furnace is cleaned.|
Several factors impact duct cleaning costs, including your home or office's square footage, whether it's a commercial or residential building, and the number of vents and furnaces present.
Commercial air duct cleaning typically costs more than residential because furnace and air conditioning systems operate at a higher rate, with more airborne particles than most residential homes. Costs are based on the number of forced-air components in the commercial space, square footage and any special sanitization required.
If you have a business that generates a lot of dust or dirt, or if you run a restaurant that fries food in oil, your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system will be dirtier than a residential air duct system. This makes duct cleaning more costly.
Some older homes have more than one furnace, which increases the cost of air duct cleaning. Each furnace has its own set of air ducts, so professionals must hook into two different systems and clean the ducts for each. The added time plus the use of equipment and tools will typically result in a higher cost.
Air duct cleaning is a complete cleaning of your air conditioning system and all of its parts. This includes the air ducts, coils, drain pan, registers, grills, air plenum (the space above dropped ceiling tiles), heat exchanger, air filter, air cleaner, and the blower and motor assembly. A proper cleaning of all these parts consists of two key steps: breaking contaminants (like dust, dander, and other debris) loose and collecting those contaminants.
A cleaning service will loosen contaminants from within your air conditioning system by using agitation devices like brushes, air whips, and compressed air nozzles or “skipper balls." The cleaning service will usually attach a vacuum to your HVAC system to create continuous negative pressure during the cleaning process so that any contaminants loosened during the cleaning are pulled out of the system and your home.
Duct cleaning companies can also check and clean your dryer ducts at the same time.
National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends getting your air ducts cleaned every 3-5 years, or every 2-3 years in regions where homeowners use their air conditioning and heater for many months of the year.
Here are some additional instances when you should consider hiring someone to clean your HVAC system and air ducts:
- After water damage to the home
- After renovations or remodeling
- Before occupying a new home
- If there are smokers or pets that shed in the household
- If residents in the home have allergies or asthma
- If residents in the home are sensitive to poor air quality.
- If you suspect mold, pollen or high levels of dust
Regarding the last point, keep in mind mold can grow when pollen and dust combine with humidity in the HVAC ductwork or settle in the drain pans. When an inspector detects mold in your home, a duct cleaning service provider might apply antimicrobial chemicals to control microbial contamination.
Certified HVAC technicians or contractors will only use chemicals registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). After cleaning, you should notice an improvement in the overall indoor air quality.
Many air duct cleaning companies offer one-time specials to bring in new customers. Read the fine print carefully to confirm what services will be provided, and make sure the equipment used by the company is professional — such as vacuum-equipped vans and negative air machines — and that the trapping of the dust will not take place inside your home.
Here are examples of specials for overall air duct cleaning and add-ons to larger services from a few Thumbtack pros:
- Dryer vent cleaning in Denver, Colorado: $65 with air duct cleaning
- Air conditioning tuneup in Denver, Colorado: $75 with air duct cleaning
- Air duct cleaning of unlimited vents in Elk Grove Village, Illinois: $289
NADCA recommends being skeptical of services that offer extremely low prices for “whole-house air duct cleaning." These could be bait-and-switch schemes that offer you a low flat rate and then charge for unneeded services. NADCA also warns that “blow-and-go" scams have also defrauded homeowners by telling them they needed expensive mold removal when they really didn't.
Cleaning your air ducts can provide several benefits for you and your household. For example, air duct cleaning can:
- Eliminate mold. But in extreme cases, cleaning might not be sufficient — you may need to remove and replace your ducts.
- Get rid of vermin. This includes rodents and insect.
- Unclog ducts that have filled with dust and debris.
Some have claimed that duct cleaning can provide health benefits. However, the EPA states: "Duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems."
Keep these tips in mind as you're searching for a professional to clean your ducts:
- Be skeptical of companies that report finding mold in your ducts and encourage you to purchase mold elimination services from them. If you believe mold could be in your air ducts, get a separate opinion from an independent mold removal specialist before contracting any additional work.
- Ask questions. For example, HVAC cleaning technicians may need to cut access holes into your existing ductwork to reach inside with cleaning tools. Before scheduling any work, confirm what is needed to gain access for cleaning.
- Visually inspect your HVAC system with a flashlight before and after the cleaning.
- Confirm they're certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA).
- Check licenses. Depending on what state you live in, an HVAC contractor or cleaning company may require a state license as well.
Whether you want to improve the airflow in your cooling system or remove allergens from your home, getting your air ducts cleaned by a professional is a worthwhile investment. Find a professional duct cleaner near you on Thumbtack.
Does cleaning air ducts really make a difference?
Cleaning your air ducts may make a difference, but it depends on your situation. The EPA states you should consider air duct cleaning if:
- Dust and debris are clogging your duct.
- Your ducts have substantial visible mold growth
- Rodents, insects and other vermin have infested your ducts
Can I clean my air ducts myself?
Air duct cleaning is not typically a DIY job. The project can be complex and requires special equipment. If you don't know what you're doing, you may accidentally damage your ducts. For most homeowners, hiring a service provider is the best route to take. But if you're handy (and have the time), you can consider cleaning your air ducts by yourself.
How do I clean the air vents in my house?
Cleaning air ducts and vents is a complicated project.You can always wipe and brush the grates and grilles. Some homeowners may choose to vacuum inside their ducts as well. But if this job is not done right, you could end up damaging your duct system or HVAC components. For the best possible outcome, consider hiring a professional instead.
How do I check my HVAC ducts for leaks?
To check your HVAC ducts for leaks, the Department of Energy (DOE) recommends doing the following:
- Looks for gaps and cracks around your home. For example, inspect the area where your siding and chimney meets and all of the corners on your home's exteriors.
- Inspect your home's interior. This includes looking for gaps around electrical outlets, attic hatches, window frames and more.
- Conduct a building pressurization test. This will help push air through cracks so you can detect a leak more easily.
- Shine a flashlight over potential gaps at nighttime. Have a partner, friend or neighbor stand outside as you do this. If they see light coming from the gaps, you have a large crack.
For more tips on how to detect air leaks, visit the DOE website.
Does duct cleaning remove mold?
Duct cleaning can help you detect and remove mold. If your service provider finds mold in your ducts, you may want to test it to ensure it is in fact mold. And if the mold is severe or has damaged your insulation, cleaning won't be sufficient. Instead, you should talk to a professional about removing and replacing the materials.
Do I have mold in my air ducts?
How will you know if you have mold in your air ducts? There are a few signs you should watch out for, including:
- There's a moldy, musty smell in your home and you can't detect where it's coming from.
- Members in your household are experiencing some of the health side effects. This can include runny noses, sneezing, red eyes and skin rashes.
- You can visually see the mold in your air ducts.
Ultimately, a professional should help you determine if you have mold in your air ducts. This may include taking a sample and testing it in a lab.