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Air Duct Cleaning – Pros & Cons

By Dave Trosdahl on June 20th, 2008

In deciding whether or not you should consider air duct cleaning, it is important to weigh the pros & cons. In a recent post on the Duct Cleaning Twin Cities blog, the author a Duct Cleaner from Minneapolis, has pointed out several things to keep in mind when making that decision.

The Pros and Cons of Air Duct Cleaning

Some of the “pros” listed are; contaminant removal, the benefit of breathing clean air, affordability and even dusting less. The “cons” mentioned included; the scams associated with duct cleaning, wide price ranges, incomplete cleaning methods and price gouging.

For a more in-depth study of air duct cleaning pros and cons I suggest reading:

As I always stress, remember to check references before hiring a contractor. Look for a “testimonial” page on the duct cleaners website, call the BBB and check with the Department of Commerce for your state. Although the price is very affordable, the duct cleaning industry is notorious for the old bait and switch technique. If the air duct cleaning company won’t give you a firm price over the phone, call another duct cleaner.

How Much Should Air Duct Cleaning Cost?

By Dave Trosdahl on August 25th, 2007

With air duct cleaning advertisments ranging in price from $88 – $450 – $1,000, it is quite difficult to guess who is right when it comes to the true cost of air duct cleaning. In the 1997 article entitled; “Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned?” The EPA says; ‘These services typically — but not always — range in cost from $450 to $1,000 per heating and cooling system, depending on the services offered, the size of the system to be cleaned, system accessibility, climatic region, and level of contamination.‘, with the BBB quoting them verbatim. But, how accurate are those 10 year old prices now that air duct cleaning has become highly competitive?

So, How Much Should Air Duct Cleaning Cost?

Well, that’s like asking; ‘how much should carpet cleaning cost?’, or window cleaning, or having new brakes installed on your car. Having said that, here are a couple of questions you might want to ask yourself and/or the air duct cleaning technician:

  1. Does the Advertised Price Include Cleaning ALL the Air Ducts?
    Read the ad carefully. If it only includes the first 10 vents, then count how many you have. Also, there is generally a hot and cold air return (main trunk lines), are both included in the price? If not, ask how much to clean the other one. Remember, the cold air return is usually the dirtiest.
  2. Is a Having a Video Camera Inserted into Your Air Ducts Worth the Additional Cost?
    For some the answer is yes, others feel it is over-kill or even a gimmick.
  3. Is Furnace Cleaning Included in the Price.
    If there was no mention of cleaning the furnace in the ad, assume it is not included. Ask how much more it will cost you to have this cleaned. Manufacturers recommend an annual cleaning, and most professionals agree that not cleaning the furnace may recontaminate your clean air ducts.
  4. Is Certification by a “For-Profit” Association Necessary?
    You might find peace of mind in a nationally certified air duct cleaner, but be prepared to pay a higher price. The membership to these organizations is very expensive. Ultimately, someone has to pay for it. If you have discovered a mold problem, this might give you the added security you are looking for. Perhaps more importantly, is that the company is a licensed heating and cooling contractor.
  5. Is the Air Duct Cleaning Company Also a Licensed & Insured Heating and Cooling Contractor?
    This should be very important to anyone searching for the very best air duct cleaner or furnace cleaner.  Heating and cooling contractors generally charge less because it is a service they provide to current and prospective customers. They already have most of the equipment and skills and don’t need to charge as much money per job.
  6. DID THERE REFERENCES CHECK OUT?
    This is crucial. Always check references before hiring any professional, whether for your home, car, or anything else. What do past customers say about them? Would they use their services again? Did the quoted price match the final bill?

Lastly, regarding duct cleaning cost, keep in mind they are only air ducts. You don’t eat or sleep on them and you never see them. Cleaning them to near-new condition might be excessive unless you have a mold problem or a medical reason for doing so. If you are like most people, you simply want the dust and dirt out of your air duct system. On the other hand, if you do require a more thorough cleaning, can your air duct cleaner provide that and what does their best type of air duct cleaning cost?

If you have done your homework, and their references have checked out, you should be able to pay $99 or thereabouts, to have ALL the air ducts in your home cleaned. If you decide to go with a rotary brush styled method, expect to pay a little more.