How Much Does Air Duct Cleaning Cost and Why It Is Needed?

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attic air duct cleaning and sealing

There is often much attention given to maintaining and repairing the central components of your HVAC system. These components typically include your furnace, air conditioner, and blower fan. While it is certainly crucial to keep these components well-maintained, there is another component of your HVAC system that you should work to maintain as well. That component is your system’s ducts.

Without properly functioning ducts, your HVAC system can’t send the air where it needs to be, meaning your home will remain uncomfortable, even as you waste energy to change the temperature of the air. That’s why it’s crucial to keep your ducts in pristine condition at all times. To help you better understand this process, here is a guide to some of the basics of air duct cleaning.

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What is the Average Cost to Clean Your Air Ducts

Though the cost can vary, the average cost of duct cleaning ranges anywhere from $250-$500, though there are a host of different factors that go into determining the ultimate cost of the project. Understanding the importance of this service, HVAC companies work hard to limit its cost to ensure as many people as possible can afford to have it done.

Factors That Affect the Cost

The main factor that determines the price is the number of vents in your home. Typically, a duct cleaning project is charged per vent, meaning that the more vents you have, the more the project will usually cost.

Of course, if you have long duct runs in a home with few vents, that can also change the cost of duct cleaning, as more time and equipment will be needed to properly clean your ducts. This means that the configuration of the ducts in your home plays a big factor. Ducts that are designed with tight turns are more difficult to properly clean than ducts that are generally straight.

One last factor is the overall size of your home. In especially large homes, extra crew members may be needed to expedite the completion of your duct cleaning project, which will increase the cost of the project.

How Long Does Air Duct Cleaning Take?

Thanks to the specialized machines used to clean ducts, the process of duct cleaning usually only takes between two to four hours. As with the price, though, there are many different factors that can affect how long a specific project takes.

First and foremost, the size of your ductwork will have the biggest impact on how long it takes to complete a project. Duct cleaning must be done slowly and methodically to ensure all the dirt and dust is removed. Therefore, if you have an especially large system of ducts, it will take longer to clean them in a satisfactory manner.

Another factor in the length of a project is the amount of dust and dirt that has to be removed. If your ducts are especially clogged, it may take more than one pass to properly remove all the debris. Plus, if the dust and dirt have been in your ducts for a particularly long time, it tends to be more stuck to the ducts, making it more difficult and time-consuming to remove.

As with price, the complexity of your ductwork also plays a role in the length of a project. If you have ducts that are routed unusually or are simply poorly designed, it will take extra time to clean your ducts correctly.

Poor duct design is often present in older homes, especially those whose ducts were added after the building was completed. In trying to fit the ducts into a pre-existing space, duct installers often made compromises in the design of the ducts that make those ducts more difficult to clean. Therefore, though these ducts had the benefit of adding central air and heating to an older home, they have the drawback of taking longer to clean.

Why is the Service Needed?

The importance of duct cleaning was briefly touched on at the beginning of this guide. Ducts are crucial to the proper flow of air throughout your home. Therefore, they need to be properly maintained to help support this proper airflow. There are many other reasons why duct cleaning is important, though.

The most important reason you should have your ducts cleaned is to help protect the health of your family. Dusty and dirty ducts can encourage mold growth that can cause sneezing, sore throats, and other symptoms in your family. Older homes may even have small particles of lead in the dust in their ducts, which, if released by blowing air, can lead to serious health consequences.

Another reason to keep your ducts clean is to support the efficient operation of your HVAC system. Your blower motor has a specific output capacity that is rated assuming an unobstructed airflow from the source to the vents.

However, any imperfections in the duct design can reduce this airflow. Additional, large amounts of debris in your ducts can further reduce the airflow, thus increasing the work your system has to do to bring your home to the desired temperature. If you have clean ducts, though, you can be sure that your system will be able to get all the air it produces to where it belongs, which is in the various rooms around your home.

Finally, proper duct cleaning helps to prolong the life of your ducts. During the warm months, when you’re running your air conditioner regularly, condensation can appear in the ducts, especially in areas that are poorly insulated. For clean ducts, this isn’t a big deal, as the moisture simply evaporates when air blows through. For dusty and dirty ducts, though, the moisture can be held in place, which can eventually create rust and cause your ducts to fail.

An Easy Decision to Elect for Air Duct Cleaning

Given the low cost and fast completion of duct cleaning, it’s an easy decision to have this service done. If protecting your family and your home is important to you, then duct cleaning is an easy way to do both. The important thing is to have your duct cleaning completed by a professional, as trying to do it yourself with a long vacuum hose will typically result in a lot of dust being released into your home without the majority being removed from the ducts. If you decide to treat yourself and your ducts to a thorough cleaning, then you can schedule your duct cleaning today.