Many factors go into calculating the cost of duct cleaning. For example:
- Are your ducts commercial or residential?
- How much ductwork do you have?
- What are your ducts made of?
- Are your ducts in good condition or are they damaged?
- Do you have mold?
When searching for answers to “how much does duct cleaning cost,” don’t overlook the cost of NOT doing it. Ask yourself: “If I have moldy or dirty ducts that cause poor air flow or air quality, can I afford to skip duct cleaning?
How much does duct cleaning cost? It depends on who you ask.
If you’ve started researching how much duct cleaning costs, you’ve undoubtedly uncovered a range of prices. The EPA lists the typical cost between $450 and $1,000. Of course, that depends on your situation and the services you need. The EPA says the prices can sometimes differ from this range.
Duct cleaning cost: beware of the scam.
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) and HVAC experts agree: you should be wary of a ridiculously cheap price tag.
When looking into how much duct cleaning costs, don’t fall for the $99 duct cleaning special. Companies that make insanely low offers are likely to do a partial job. Or, they might tack on extra costs once they get a foot in your door.
Be suspicious of duct cleaners claiming to find black mold in your ducts and offering to remove it for an exorbitant fee. Ask for evidence. Even better, have it tested by a qualified agency to confirm if you have mold in your ducts.
Learn more: 5 Reasons Your Home May Need Indoor Air Quality Testing
Factors that determine how much duct cleaning costs:
Size of your space and your ducts. Larger structures have more ducts and vents, which means more labor.
Number of furnaces. large homes might have more than one furnace, which translates into more ducts and additional cleaning time.
Duct material. Ducts can be made of sheet metal, insulated fiberglass, or non-metallic flexible material. Though wire reinforces these flexible ducts, they are tricky to work with and can easily rip if not handled carefully.
Number of vents and registers. More vents add time to the process.
HVAC equipment location. If your ducts are located in difficult areas to access such as attics or crawl spaces, it adds difficulty and time to the service and increases the air duct cleaning cost.
Asbestos. Some older buildings may contain asbestos in the duct insulation, register boots or other areas. Removing the asbestos requires a specialized procedure and will jack up the cost of duct cleaning.
HVAC system use. If it is heavily used, it more likely equates to more buildup in your ducts.
Environment. The more dust in the air, the more clogged your ducts can get. For example, businesses that manufacture paper or fabric may spend more on duct cleaning because of all the dust in the air.
Mold. When mold heavily contaminates ducts, charges could escalate.
Duct cleaning cost: chemical biocides and sealants
Another factor that adds to duct cleaning cost is using chemical biocides and sealants. There’s a lot of debate about this.
Some duct cleaning companies claim they need to apply chemical biocides inside ducts. They claim these chemicals kill bacteria and mold, and the treatment will prevent their future growth. They may also use sealants to stop air leaks and to prevent dust and other particles from getting into your breathing space.
What does the EPA say?
“While the targeted use of chemical biocides and sealants may be appropriate under specific circumstances, research has not demonstrated their effectiveness in duct cleaning or their potential adverse health effects.”
When you need to know how much duct cleaning costs
When finding out how much duct cleaning costs, you’ll uncover conflicting opinions on the value of duct cleaning.
The EPA, which acts as a watchdog on environmental matters, advises duct cleaning when:
- There is substantial visible mold growth in ducts or other parts of your HVAC system.
- You have a rodent or insect infestation.
- Ducts are clogged with excessive dust and debris that gets into your home through your supply registers.
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) says you should consider duct cleaning when:
- You have heavily shedding pets.
- When moving into a new home or after a remodeling project. Sawdust and sheetrock dust can collect in your ducts.
- After a fire or flooding, which cause moisture and contaminants to build up.
- Someone smokes inside.
- You have rodent, animal or insect infestation.
- If someone suffers from asthma or allergies.
Learn more: HVAC Duct Cleaning: Do You Need It or Not?
As an HVAC service provider, Arista also recommends duct cleaning when clogged ducts cause reduced airflow from your HVAC system. Duct cleaning cost can be minimal compared to the cost of repairing damage to your heating and air conditioning equipment.
How to choose a duct cleaning vendor
Doing your homework about duct cleaning cost helps you choose a company that will do the job right for a competitive price.
Look for a NADCA-certified duct cleaning service, such as Arista Air. If you’re unsure if you need duct-cleaning, many offer free inspections. Make sure you get an air duct cleaning cost estimate from at least three vendors. Check out our helpful guide to learn more: FAQ: Duct Cleaning and Your Indoor Air Quality.