Translate this website:

Duct Cleaning

  • Posted: 03.27.2019
Image of metal ductwork

You’ve probably seen ads about duct cleaning and wondered just how dirty and contaminated your own ductwork is. Is it worth the expense to have yours cleaned?

To Clean or Not to Clean?
According to both the EPA and the National Air Duct Cleaning Association (NADCA), many homes may not need duct cleaning. However, under these circumstances, you might consider the process:

  • If you have indoor pets that shed a lot
  • If a member of your family has allergies or asthma (depending on the type of allergies, duct cleaning may or may not help)
  • If someone in the home smokes
  • If you’ve got a mold problem
  • If you’ve undergone a very messy home renovation or remodeling
  • If you’ve had a pest infestation

Even if you fall under the circumstances listed above, the decision to clean your ductwork isn’t a slam-dunk. There has been little research done on the value of cleaning ductwork, but older studies conducted by the U.S. EPA and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation indicated that duct cleaning did not significantly improve air quality and that it also did not improve airflow or energy efficiency (all are reasons given by duct cleaning companies for why you should clean ducts).

Avoid Scams
A reputable cleaner will not be cheap. If you get a call or receive an ad for a $99 “deal,” you probably won’t get what you need. A thorough cleaning will cost much more and will involve cleaning the entire HVAC system along with the ducts. The company will also have several workers on your project.

In addition:

  • Ask for references
  • Check for certifications
  • Get several bids
  • Ask if the company shows you results via live photos or video; especially look at the supply ducts (which deliver air from the HVAC unit to rooms in your house) as they are likely to start out as the dirtiest
  • Check NADCA for reputable service providers in your area

Check other sources for more information before you sign a contract with a cleaning service:

  • EPA has a very complete list of topics to explore
  • NADCA for details on how ductwork is cleaned, finding a contractor and more
  • The Spruce, a short summary of what should be cleaned and details from experts
  • Washington Post, January 2019, Considering having your air ducts cleaned? Think Again.