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How Much Does Air Duct Cleaning Cost?

Air duct cleaning costs $250 to $500 on average, with most homeowners paying about $380 per cleaning. If your home has air ducts in its heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, you must have them cleaned periodically to maintain a high air quality standard.

When You Should Clean Air Ducts

Learn the importance of regularly cleaning your air ducts and how to tell when to clean them.

Importance of regular cleaning

Even though you clean your air filters regularly, dust, mold particles, and other allergens can build up inside the walls of your ducts. Since these particles can present a health hazard, especially for young, elderly, and asthmatic people, cleaning your air ducts every three to five years is essential.

Signs your air ducts need cleaning

The easiest way to tell if you need to clean your air ducts is to watch for indications that dust particles are escaping and affecting the air quality in your home.

Visible Dust and Debris

Visible particles of dust and debris will be especially noticeable on surfaces near the air vents of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

Allergy Symptoms

If you or anyone in your family develops allergy symptoms, asthma, or other respiratory issues, that’s a sign that your air ducts are dirty. Cleaning your air ducts regularly is an excellent way to ensure that people in your family who struggle with allergies remain symptom-free.

Mold or Mildew Growth

mold remediation

It’s a good idea to take the air vent covers off occasionally and inspect the inside of your air duct. If you notice mold or mildew growth inside your air ducts or around the outside of the vent, call a professional mold remediation expert to assist you.

Inconsistent Airflow

A blockage in your air duct can cause reduced airflow or inconsistent heating. Keeping your ducts clean will ensure your system operates optimally.

Pest Infestations

Insects and rodents sometimes find their way into air ducts. Since unwanted guests can enter your ductwork through a hole the size of a pencil eraser, keeping them out can be difficult. 

Recent Renovations or Construction

If you have ever remodeled your home, you know what a mess renovations can make. Any construction in your home should be followed by duct cleaning.

Increased Energy Bills

inefficiency and high energy bills

If your energy bills have been increasing and you can’t attribute the rise to anything else, inefficient operation of your HVAC system may be a problem. Energy savings can offset most HVAC cleaning costs.

Visible Moldy Odors

Foul or unpleasant odors from your air duct aren’t normal and can indicate pest infestations or mold accumulations. A good cleaning should take care of this problem. 

Previous Water Damage

Moisture left behind after flooding damage caused by broken pipes or extreme weather events can lead to musty odors from your air ducts.

The Benefits of Cleaning Air Ducts

If you have an HVAC system, you can’t avoid the cost of cleaning air ducts in your home, but you can enjoy the many benefits.

Improved air quality

Your HVAC system moves air around and all sorts of tiny particles with it, including dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold spores. Cleaning your ductwork every few years eliminates the buildup of these particles.

Enhanced energy efficiency

A buildup of contaminants in your air ducts causes your equipment to work harder, leading to higher energy costs and inefficient operation that decreases lifespan.

Health benefits

Everyone in your home is affected to some extent when your air ducts are contaminated, even if they aren’t showing any symptoms. Clean air ducts can help alleviate allergies and other respiratory problems, and while HVAC mold cleaning costs are higher, mold can present serious health risks that must be addressed.

Speaking of healthy air quality, you may have wondered whether you need a HEPA filter? Maybe not …

Factors in Calculating Costs of Air Duct Cleaning

hvac maintenance

Air duct deep cleaning prices vary depending on the size, complexity, and accessibility of your system. When comparing prices, consider these factors.

Size and complexity of the HVAC system

Larger HVAC systems with more zones and vents take longer to clean, so they cost more to service. Long duct runs with a lot of bends also make cleaning more expensive.

There are various pricing structures for air duct cleaning. Some companies price per vent, usually between $25 and $50. To calculate an estimate, you can add up the number of vents in your home and multiply by $35 to get a good idea of whole house vent cleaning costs.

Location and accessibility of ducts

If your ducts or vents are in hard-to-reach areas or require special equipment to access, it can increase the overall price of your cleaning service. Cleaning costs are also higher when you live in a remote location.

Level of contamination and mold

clogged and dirty hvac air duct

The extent of contamination in your ductwork influences prices. Heavy dust accumulation takes longer to clean, and if you have issues like mold or mildew, you may have to pay more for remediation services that require special chemicals.

Additional services 

Air duct cleaning professionals may also offer additional services as add-ons to their standard packages, such as changing filters and inspecting the AC coils or blower motor.

Additional Air Duct Cleaning Costs and Considerations

In addition to the primary factors influencing air duct cleaning costs, the following considerations can help you avoid unexpected expenses.

Sanitization and deodorization costs

You could see extra charges for sanitization, sealing, deodorizing, or application of antimicrobial chemicals. Some companies include these services in their base rate, and this information should be included in the duct cleaning quote.

Duct sealing expenses

Duct sealants are atomized polymers sprayed into your ductwork, sealing tiny gaps. With cleaner air and fewer leaks, duct sealants make your HVAC system more efficient.

Some experts say that your air duct cleaning service isn’t complete until the ducts have been sealed, but this could be an add-on service not included in a standard package. 

Accessibility challenges and obstructions

In some cases, air duct cleaners may be required to create new access points to reach parts of your ductwork. These accessibility challenges usually involve extra charges.

Hidden costs to watch out for

Hidden fees on your bill could include services like disposal fees or travel charges. You could even be asked to pay additional fees for vent or grille cleaning, though many companies include this in their service package.

Types of Air Duct Cleanings and Prices

air duct cleaning cost

Air duct cleaning services vary in scope and size, and the pricing is often based on various services. Most professionals offer various packages with different price ranges for each one. 

Standard air duct cleaning

Not all duct cleaning services are the same, but it’s common for the following services to be included in a standard package:

  • Inspection and assessment
  • Vacuuming all ductwork 
  • Using compressed air to loosen and flush contaminants at registers

Deep cleaning vs. regular cleaning

Standard packages may include the cost of cleaning all the vents in your home, but some companies include this service in a deep cleaning package. If it has been longer than five years since your last air duct cleaning, it’s a good idea to ask for deep cleaning.

The difference between deep cleaning and regular cleaning of air ducts is the intensity. Deep cleaning may include using deodorizers, sanitizers, and antimicrobial chemicals.

Specialized services 

Some air duct cleaning companies will take on the following services, but you may also have to seek outside resources to address these issues. The costs vary depending on the extent of the contamination or problem.

  • Mold remediation
  • Pest control
  • Water damage restoration
  • Fire damage restoration
  • Biohazard cleanup

Price ranges for each type

The following chart outlines the price ranges for each type of service:

Type of air duct cleaning Price range
Standard cleaning package $250 to $500
Deep cleaning package $500 to $1,000
Specialized services $500 to $2,000 or more

Many companies base the price of air duct cleaning on the square footage of your home.

It’s very common for professionals to charge by the square foot. It makes sense since HVAC systems and components are rated and installed according to this measure.

The average price for duct cleaning is $0.15 to $0.40 per square foot. Here’s what that looks like for various size homes.

Size of home (square feet) Average cost range of air duct cleaning
1,000 $150 to $400
2,000 $300 to $800
3,000 $450 to $1,200
5,000 $750 to $2,000

DIY Air Duct Cleaning vs. Hiring a Professional

Duct cleaning requires special equipment, and it’s a job that’s best left to the professionals under most circumstances. However, if you have the time, you can purchase special tools to make it easier and tackle this job independently.

Pros and cons of DIY cleaning

The main benefits of cleaning your air ducts are choosing when it gets done and saving money doing it yourself.

However, DIY cleaning won’t address mold problems sufficiently, and the tools you buy won’t match the quality of the ones professionals use. There’s also a possibility that you can damage your ductwork, leading to costly repairs.

Benefits of hiring a professional

Hiring a professional for air duct cleaning offers several advantages over doing it yourself. Professionals are quick, efficient, and thorough. Because they are experts, they may notice problems that you would have overlooked.

Residential duct cleaning costs vary depending on the size of the company and its overhead. For larger buildings, commercial vent cleaning services are typically well worth it. Many vent cleaning services can be scheduled to come regularly and most handle many other cleaning needs. 

Safety and equipment considerations

Working around HVAC equipment presents several safety hazards. You must know what you’re doing to avoid problems like electric shock. Ladder safety issues and health risks posed by chemicals are also a concern.

Professional services have quality equipment like high-powered vacuums, cameras, and duct brushes that enable them to clean your air ducts thoroughly without causing damage or voiding any warranties.

How to Save Money on Air Duct Cleanings

Follow these money-saving tips to lower your duct cleaning costs.

Negotiating pricing and getting quotes

Anytime you hire a professional, you should ask friends and family for referrals and obtain quotes from at least three companies. Then, you can compare costs and may even be able to negotiate a better price.

Maintenance tips to reduce future cleaning needs

Good home hygiene will ensure that your ductwork stays cleaner between regularly scheduled professional cleanings. In addition to regularly replacing filters, you should vacuum, clean your carpets, and dust your home frequently. 

Finding discounts and promotions

When it’s time for your air ducts to be cleaned, search online for discounts and promotions in your area. Inquire about senior, veteran, or first-time customer discounts if they apply to you.

5 FAQs About the Costs of Cleaning Air Ducts

What’s the average price for duct cleaning?

The average air duct cleaning price range is $250 to $500, with most homeowners paying about $380. For large homes, you could spend as much as $1,000.

Most companies charge by the square foot, referring to the house size, not the ducts themselves. Air duct cleaning cost per square foot is typically around $0.15 to $0.40. For a 2,000-square-foot home, you would pay $300 to $800. 

Are there additional costs for AC mold cleaning?

Mold remediation requires special tools and cleaning supplies. Since there are many types of mold, it’s a job that’s best left to professionals because they know how to treat different types and ensure that no spores are left behind. On average, AC mold cleaning costs $550 to $2,200.