The Environmental Protection Agency recommends cleaning your ducts when they contain mold, insects, rodents, rodent droppings and when dust particles can be seen escaping the ducts when your HVAC system is operating. Duct cleaning costs vary depending on the amount of duct work and the construction of the home.
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As of 2014, the cost of residential duct cleaning ranges from $450 to $1,000 per heating or cooling system. Cost varies depending on how large the system is, contamination level of the debris in the ducts and accessibility. Systems harboring rodents or that are difficult to reach with standard equipment will cost more to clean.
What to Expect
Proper duct cleaning includes cleaning the duct work along with the fans, heating coils, and furnace registers. The cleaner should use a vacuum that vents to the outside and maintain control over disturbed dust particles at all times. A professional service will protect carpet, furniture and other surfaces from damage and dirt while working and will properly seal any access points made during the cleaning in an airtight manner.
The cost of cleaning duct work will increase significantly if asbestos is found in or on the air ducts. Asbestos removal requires the services of a specialized contractor, and asbestos must be removed before duct cleaning can begin.
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association warns home owners to be suspicious of duct cleaning companies that offer extremely low cost services and use subpar equipment. Get more than one estimate and avoid companies that extol unsubstantiated claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning as these have not been proven.