Author Topic: duct cleaning cost? experiences?  (Read 2719 times)


  • Stubble
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duct cleaning cost? experiences?
« on: February 07, 2018, 02:32:57 PM »
What is a reasonable cost you can expect to pay for duct cleaning of your house? for a standard, 2 story house? Any experiences and anything to lookout for before getting this service done?


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: duct cleaning cost? experiences?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 03:11:21 PM »

There is lots of stuff on the internet about this being a scam / unneeded.  I'd be wary and investigate thoroughly. 


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: duct cleaning cost? experiences?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 03:29:47 PM »
I asked our allergist about this, and he said “don’t bother”, so I didn’t. YMMV


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: duct cleaning cost? experiences?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2018, 03:42:01 PM »
My grandfather did HVAC for many years and I've asked him and several other contractor friends about this and basically your ducts only get dirty enough to need cleaning if they were improperly installed. The dust from your house won't create enough of a build up on ducts to warrant cleaning. Now if you notice insulation or literal dirt coming from your ducts you likely have a hole in them and need to repair that.

You can always add additional filtration in the way of thicker filters or an add-on air filter to your air handler. Keep in mind that in general the more you filter the air, the more you restrict airflow which lowers the efficiency of your forced air system.

I think you would reduce dust in your home more by just doing a deeper than usual clean of your house and just change your air filters on a slightly more frequent basis. If you still notice problems with dust I would look into air sealing before paying someone to vacuum dust out of air ducts.

Capt j-rod

  • Bristles
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Re: duct cleaning cost? experiences?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2018, 04:14:55 PM »
I do HVAC for a living... It all depends on who is and has lived in the house. Dogs, cats, smokers, and people who never changed the filters? Then it is worth it. I have cleaned ducts and removed old ductwork that was disgusting. Return ducts are where the dirt hides. Most returns are open wall cavities and panned in floor/ceiling joists. There are two types of cleaning... Rotary brush and high volume air. You definitely want rotary brush. Think like the carwash. Either spray it off with the wand or get out the sponge and hand wash it. Finally the quality of the ductwork has a lot to do with it. If you have a lot of flex duct? Then no go. If it is all steel that was a clean professional install? Then clean away. When I swap new furnaces in and see a lot of dirt I open up the return as far as I can and shopvac the hell out of it to prevent old dirt and dust bunnies from plugging filters and getting into the new unit. Final topic is construction. Lots of people that build a home let the contractor use their band new furnace to heat the house during construction with all the drywall dust and construction dirt. Bad idea. On my new construction jobs I keep two old furnaces off of old jobs that I rig up for temporary heat. Then we go back and set the new one once the job is done. Like any other service, there are guys that do a great job, and there are guys that take your money.


  • Bristles
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Re: duct cleaning cost? experiences?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2018, 04:22:41 PM »
I invited one of the companies that advertise in the mail to come clean our ducts.  Oops.  The advertisement said $39.99 or something like that.

When they showed up, they poked around for a long time before informing us that the house is old and probably has asbestos and it will cost 'a lot more.' (Couldn't get them to tell me an actual number.)

Coincidentally, my wife had a medical emergency while they were stalling. They wouldn't leave when I told them to. I had to threaten them with violence to get them out of my house so I could take her to ER.

Later I took care of it myself with a shop vac.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: duct cleaning cost? experiences?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2018, 07:05:24 PM »
Under normal circumstances you shouldn't need to do it. Certainly not frequently. I had my vents cleaned last summer because they very clearly needed to be cleaned. I saw what came out of mine, they were bad. Previous owners had a dog, 2 children, didn't clean, and lived here for 10 years. I don't plan to clean them (other than wiping down the registers periodically) for probably 10 years, if then.

You'll pay per register. It will take much longer than you expect. Mine took about 4-5 hours. Call a couple companies and get per register quotes. They may have deals, so check around. This is not rocket science, it's pretty much the same equipment, same process. You'll need to count every register - both outflow and inflow to estimate price. Despite best efforts, there will be some dust. If nothing else, when you take the covers off stuff falls to the floor. They'll ask if you want sanitizer, etc - don't bother. The brush and compressed air to blow the dirt out. They will need clear access to each register, and to the furnace area. They basically hook up a big vaccum to the main branch of the air vent system and blow all the dirt towards it. Plan to spend some time after they're done cleaning.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: duct cleaning cost? experiences?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2018, 09:04:57 AM »
We had this done last summer.  Decided to do some painting and I took off a couple covers on the returns could see all the dust built up inside those was gross.   The house also seems to get dusty faster than anywhere else I've lived, so was hoping the duct cleaning would help. 

It was about $300, I don't think they charged per vent but just a flat price based on the size of the house (~2000 sq ft).  Took them about 2-3 hours and the machine was loud but the process wasn't bad at all.  Not sure if it was really necessary though.  It makes me feel better knowing things are clean but can't say I've noticed a big improvement in the dust level inside the house.   
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 09:31:20 AM by birdiegirl »