Angi (formerly Angie’s List) indicates that homeowners can expect to spend an average of $370 to clean their air ducts. However, the total air duct cleaning cost can reach $1,000 or more if the ducts are in poor condition.
Does Air Duct Cleaning Live Up to Its Promises?
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) companies promote air duct cleaning as a way to improve air quality in a home. They also claim the process can improve health conditions, including asthma and allergies. At the other end of the spectrum is the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA states that air duct cleaning does not reduce dust levels or improve any health conditions. Who should you believe, and is the investment worth the cost?
Per the EPA, homeowners should clean their air ducts if they notice dead rodents and insects inside them or an excessive amount of dirt and debris. Having any of these items in your air ducts means that your HVAC system blows them out into the air you and your family breathe when you turn on the heat or air conditioning. The EPA also advises homeowners to arrange for air duct cleaning if mold has developed in the HVAC system or its vents.
Factors That Influence Air Duct Cleaning Cost
The first thing HVAC companies consider when preparing your air duct cleaning quote is the number of vents you have. Some vendors charge a cost per vent that ranges from $20 to $50. Others charge a flat fee, so be sure to ask about this when scheduling service.
The accessibility of your vents is another factor that can add to the cost. The attics and crawl spaces in some homes are difficult to reach, creating more work for the HVAC technicians. This will increase your rate if they charge by the hour.
Having mold, mildew, insects, or rodents in your vents will also drive up the cost of air duct cleaning. If you do have rodents, you will need to hire an exterminator before the HVAC technicians can do their job. Since rodent droppings can cause breathing problems, these costs are well worth protecting your respiratory health.
Mold that has spread throughout the ductwork can increase the cost of cleaning to as high as $2,000. The best way to avoid this high fee is to remove moisture from the vents to prevent it from developing in the first place. If the mold has just started to spread, you can save money by hiring a mold specialist to remove it before you have the air ducts cleaned.