How Much Does Air Duct Cleaning Cost? (2023 Guide)
The first question about air duct cleaning that homeowners ask is usually, “is it worth it to have my ducts cleaned?” Inevitably, the second question quickly follows, “how much will a duct cleaning cost?” These question are very closely related. People want to know if there is enough value in having their air ducts cleaned to justify the cost. And then they want an honest, straight forward answer to the exact cost they will have to pay.
Homeowners want to use that amount to evaluate the worth of having their air ducts cleaned. They also want to know they can shop around and compare apples to apples. Unfortunately, many people find it difficult to get accurate upfront pricing from duct cleaning companies. It’s no wonder that many people think air duct cleaning is some kind of unnecessary money making scheme rather than part of a good HVAC maintenance routine.
Experienced, professional companies are entirely capable of providing fair upfront pricing to homeowners. They are happy to explain the services they offer and the actual cost of each one. Homeowners can choose what they need and want, and then all that’s left is some simple math – just add it up!
The average cost of air duct cleaning for a family home
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that the average cost of duct cleaning for a single family home is between $450 and $1,000. That’s a wide range!
When you search the internet or call around for duct cleaning costs you’ll probably notice very quickly that there are a lot of prices out there, and that they vary greatly. It’s no wonder so many people are searching the internet trying to find out what a fair and accurate cost for air duct cleaning really is.
Unfortunately, even calling around to local duct cleaning companies may not bring much clarity. The quoted prices are all over the place! This leaves homeowners even more confused, frustrated, and skeptical about the integrity of duct cleaners in general. And who could blame them.
At Kennon Heating and Air Conditioning, we treat our customers like we want to be treated. The company’s founder and owner, Clint Kennon, started the business to address this very issue. He believes that when you deal fairly with people and back it up with unparalleled work, the long term relationship you can build with a customer is worth far more than seeing how much money you can make off of them at every turn. Plus, fundamentally, he knows it’s just the right thing to do.
As experts in HVAC systems and all the ways to keep them running at peak performance, we know exactly how to price duct cleaning services. There’s no voodoo, just fair honest pricing. There’s no need for a sales person to talk to you about air duct cleaning prices, anyone in the company can tell you exactly what your project would cost.
Cost factors – what’s legitimate and what’s smoke and mirrors?
Why is there so much difference between prices you see advertised? It’s in the details.
Sure, the size of the home matters. You may have one HVAC system or you may have two or three. The number of vents, supply and return, also comes into play in most (but not all) duct cleaning prices. This Old House reported that the average cost of cleaning one supply vent is $25-$50, and the return vents generally run about $40-$75 each. Some companies don’t include any in their flat rate and charge individually for each of these. Some include a set number in their base fee and charge for additional vents beyond that. (Watch out for this! Many companies say “unlimited” but cap that at a certain number, then start charging for each additional vent. Make sure you ASK!)
There may also be pricing per square foot of and average between $0.20-$0.40. This may be on top of a base fee. Sometimes cleaning coils, pans and other components also carry additional fees. Considering that most companies start with a base fee and then build up the costs in some or all of these ways.
We’ve heard lots of stories of people who were quoted a price, but when the duct cleaner got done the price was significantly higher. Turns out, the quoted price was only the base fee or an estimate clearly designed to get in the door. The frustrated, and sometimes angry, homeowners end up on the hook for a cost two, three times, or more, higher than they expected! As a consumer, I’d be angry too.
Doing a Google search, I quickly found an ad with a very low advertised “special” price. But when I read through the whole webpage clicking the link took me to, there was an asterisk. Unlimited ducts supply wasn’t exactly unlimited it was up to some amount, and nothing was clear about exactly what that meant, price wise. Another ad I saw showed a very low price, but after a closer reading of their website, that price is for a duct inspection, not a duct cleaning. So basically, you pay to have them tell you that you need a cleaning performed. Huh??
If a company cannot tell you a guaranteed amount before you even set an appointment, consider that a big red flag. An experienced company should know exactly what they charge and why, and not be hesitant to tell potential customers.
Can you clean your own air ducts? For the DIY’ers out there…
There are some tasks that a homeowner can reasonably do themselves. It’s a good practice to regularly replace your air filters and clean all of the vent covers. Beyond that, it gets more complicated. Duct cleaning isn’t just knocking the dust loose and vacuuming it up. Proper duct cleaning requires specialized equipment that can thoroughly clean the entire duct without damaging the ducts themselves. (A damaged duct will cost you more than a professional cleaning would have!)
The idea that you can use cleaning items you already have isn’t practical, or safe.
- It’s not worth risking your safety. Climbing a ladder with a home vacuum cleaner or shop vac is a recipe for injury. You can easily pull a muscle, damage a ligament, or even fall.
- It’s not worth risking damage to your air ducts. Home vacuums and brooms are much too harsh to use on ductwork, which is easily torn and damaged.
- And just how long are your arms? Without the right equipment, even if you managed to bang some dust loose and vacuum it out without doing harm to yourself or your ducts, you will at best only be cleaning a few feet into the duct. Without the right equipment there simply isn’t a way to clean the entire duct.
- Thinking about renting equipment? If you can find equipment to rent, there’s a cost for that. Plus your time to go get it and take it back, as well as the time it will take to clean the ducts. (And you will be way slower than a professional.) You may also need to purchase other items like drop cloths, protective clothing, eye protection goggles, just a name a few. By the time you add it all up, did you really save much money?
The risks and hassles involved in DIY air duct cleaning clearly outweigh the alternative. Hire a pro that can do the job quickly and completely, leaving no mess behind.
At Kennon Heating and Air Conditioning our pricing is transparent and easy to understand. We charge one price for each HVAC system (unit) regardless of size, square footage covered, or number of vents. There are no caps on “unlimited” vents, period. This fee includes all return and supply vents for the system. If you want disinfectant fogging, there is a flat fee price to add that service. If you need your dryer duct cleaned, there is a flat fee price for that add-on. That’s it. There are zero other costs, and no surprises on your invoice! If you’re interested in having your home’s air ducts cleaned, give us a call. Our pros will be happy to assist you!