Ask Angi: Do I Need an Air Duct Cleaning?

Dirty vent covers and clogged air filters are some signs that your air duct needs cleaning.
Ask Angi: Do I Need an Air Duct Cleaning?
Air duct cleaning addresses every system element, including the air handler and not just the vents. (Dreamstime/TNS)
Tribune News Service
By Paul F. P. Pogue From Ask Angi

Air duct cleaning ranks high on the list of household maintenance that can easily be forgotten as it’s out of sight, out of mind. You‘ll rarely see the impact of debris in your ducts, and since the job only needs to be done every two to five years, it can easily fall by the wayside. But if you leave an uncleaned duct system long enough, you’ll eventually start noticing lower efficiency and odors if debris or pests have gotten into it.

An air duct cleaning addresses all aspects of your system that air crosses over and can improve air quality and efficiency. Generally, you will only need an air duct cleaning once every few years. Make sure to hire a reputable company that follows a code of ethics from a trade organization such as NADCA, and be wary of $50 coupons that seem too good to be true. A good air duct cleaning takes several hours and costs at least a few hundred dollars.

Regular air duct cleaning is essential to maintain optimal indoor air quality, improve HVAC system efficiency, and prevent mold growth, vermin infestations and increased energy bills. This season is perfect for scheduling a cleaning. February, March and April are slow months for air duct cleaners. You can get ahead on their schedules before the busy season.

If you observe signs such as dirty vent covers, clogged air filters, unusual noises in the HVAC system, weak airflow, increased dust or a spike in your power bill, air duct cleaning should be considered. Additionally, it’s recommended every three to five years, or more frequently if specific issues arise.

A professional will inspect your ducts, assess debris levels, access the entire duct system, and use tools like brushes, compressed air and vacuuming to remove accumulated dirt, dust and debris. They may also provide recommendations based on the specific issues in your home. Hire a professional air duct cleaner with experience, proper training and the necessary tools to perform a thorough cleaning. Consider their expertise in dealing with specific issues like mold or vermin infestations.

The average cost of air duct cleaning is around $400, but prices can vary based on the size of your home and the accessibility of the ducts. Get quotes from multiple professionals to compare costs and services.

When hiring, inquire about the professional’s experience, training and methods for air duct cleaning. Ask for a detailed assessment of your ductwork, potential issues, and a cost estimate.

Before your pro arrives, remove obstacles around HVAC entry points to expedite the cleaning process. Additionally, consider bundling services, as some professionals may offer comprehensive packages that include cleaning of dryer vents and furnace vents.

Tweet your home care questions with #AskingAngi and we’ll try to answer them in a future column. Copyright 2024 Ask Angi. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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