10 Homeowners Share Their Duct Cleaning Experience & Total Costs

Kenneth Wilson

You may have read various claims about air duct cleaning as an unnecessary task, but is there any truth to this claim? If anything, cleaning your air ducts makes a whole lot of sense once you think about the intolerable dust and dirt build-up over time. It proves beneficial to several homeowners when done periodically.

In this article, let’s discuss different insights from 10 homeowners across the country who had their air ducts professionally cleaned– including the total service costs and how they benefited from it.

Air Duct Cleaning Average Cost

On average, you will spend $431 on professional duct cleaning services. Large-sized homes with several ducts or severe contamination may spend up to $805. Keep in mind that several factors, including the total number of vents, ductwork size, and accessibility, may influence the total air duct cleaning cost.

Ideally, have your ducts cleaned once every 5 to 7 years to enhance the efficiency and performance of the system. Doing so will also improve your air quality at home.

Duct Cleaning as told by 10 Different Homeowners Across the Country

Ten homeowners from different states shared their recent professional duct cleaning experiences. Let’s get to know if hiring a pro for the job turned out to be a good decision for them.

Michelle (Washington)

After searching for “air duct cleaning costs near me,” she finally had it done in April, shelling out $432 for her 1774 sq ft. house. Yes, duct cleaning did cut down on the dust. Her contractors removed quite a massive amount of trash and grime after the cleaning process.

Admittedly, Michelle was quite hesitant after reading claims of duct cleaning being unnecessary. She also initially believed that cleaning them out would just scatter all the dust throughout the home. However, now that she saw her ducts are as clean as a whistle, she's more confident about her home's air quality.

Imisa (Denver)

Imisa paid about $450 for professional cleaning on her central unit. Local contractors based the total expenses on the number of vents at her 3400 sq ft home. After the cleaning process, she noticed less dust in the house, and the system functioned so much better.

The cleaning of the actual unit was included in the service, as hers had construction dust– a root of several issues.

Emily (Houston)

Emily recently moved into a 2500 sq ft home and spent about $195 for air duct cleaning. When the duct cleaner discovered so much dog hair, skin cells, and construction debris in the area, she was finally relieved to get rid of all the nasty junk.

With the home's convoluted duct routing, she assumes the ducts were never previously cleaned at least once. Duct cleaning would have been somewhat impossible unless a professional did it.

Kat (Virginia)

After moving into her new home, Kat opted for professional air duct cleaning (around $500 for a 2,000 sq ft home) after her son suffered a lousy histamine response. It turns out the previous owners owned a bunch of dogs. She says the cleaning service was worth every penny. The contractors also made sure to show her everything that was removed from her ducts, from dirt to hair.

Kat recommends hiring a pro for the job should you have several environmental allergies.

Brian (Chicago)

Brian recently bought a 1400 sq ft house from previous owners who owned two cats and a dog. He spent $250 on the duct cleaning, which removed the foul odor lingering in the home. The dust they pulled from the ducts was no joke. Some stuffed shirts and several bizarre items in the ducts– presumably left by the previous owners to direct airflow to different rooms.

Thankfully, it was all sorted out. Brian wants to avail of the service once again in the future without any hesitation.

Danielle (Florida)

For her 2300 sq/ft home, Danielle spent $500 for a 2-hour duct cleaning service, which also already covered sanitizing the ducts. She deemed it was only necessary after finding out the presence of mice on multiple floors in the house.

After the process, she was also quite surprised to see 2 inches tall piles of dust and dirt in the duct. The area was caked with gunk. It may have been why the airflow in the house has been reduced to some degree.

Christy (Oregon)

Christy opted for professional air duct cleaning after dealing with forest fires and thick smokes over an extended period last summer. She spent about $200 on the process.

Her contractors showed her special vacuum equipment that collects even the smallest dust particle, and it proved to be beneficial as it helped tidy her house. The entire process only took about half a day to clean out the ducts. Now, the airflow in the whole home has been greatly improved.

Julian (La Junta, Colorado)

Living in a house that has been around for 70 years, Julian was stunned after having his ducts cleaned. He spent about $350 to cover the HVAC duct cleaning cost for his 2500 sq ft home, and he claims it's worth every penny. One notable thing after the process was how the air smells fresher, much cleaner than before.

His in-laws last had the ducts cleaned in 2013, but the previous contractors only blew everything down to the furnace. They didn't vacuum all the accumulated filth out. Hence, he had to change the filters religiously per month. Hopefully, he'll be covered for a while until his next duct cleaning session.

Lea (Harrisburg, South Dakota)

For approximately $250, Lea scored a deal from a local duct cleaning company she found on a Facebook Group listing. She is pretty allergic to several things, so it's a must for her to keep the ducts clean at all times.

The filter was already quite nasty every time she changed it, but after the cleaning procedure– it wasn't quite as dirty in between filter change intervals. The contractors also found many small toys in the ductwork, presumably from the children of the house's previous owners.

Sean (Kentwood, Michigan)

For a typical 1,400 square feet house, he spent $175 for a local air duct cleaning service. To him, the best part of hiring a pro to do the job was how they explained the whole process and answered his many questions with enthusiasm. It was also important that the project was completed quickly (only within a few hours).

After the process, he was taken aback by the amount of hair, dust, and general filth found in his ductwork. Now, he's pretty confident with the air quality in the house.

Factors Affecting Air Duct Cleaning Cost

If you're wondering, "how much does air duct cleaning cost?" or "how much does it cost to get air ducts cleaned?" – keep in mind that there are several other factors to consider in preparing your budget.

Generally, the total air duct cleaning cost varies on the contractor's flat rate, square feet, and the number of vents. Here are other essential considerations to remember:

Ductwork Size and Type

The average cost of air duct cleaning for your home will depend on the size of your ductwork. Most professionals either charge by the number of vents (at $28 to $57) or by the square foot (starting at $0.17 to $0.28).

HVAC duct cleaning costs range between $345 and $718 for standard 1,500 to 2,500-square-foot houses. For your reference, there are various materials, tools, and cleaning methods for foam board, fiberglass, or rigid ducts. Your duct cleaner can use air washing or power brushing to clean fiberglass or foam board ducts. Meanwhile, rigid ductwork is simpler to clean. You can count on most air duct cleaning companies to offer this service.

Contamination Level

Aside from dust, you'll be surprised at the things you find in your ducts. In some cases, homeowners find dust mites, mildew, mold spores, pollen, and the like. The contamination of your air duct system will influence the duct cleaning costs for your home. If the ductwork contamination is severe, the longer it'd take to clean.


If your duct installer deals with difficult-to-reach areas in the attic or tight crawl spaces, expect extra charges. The overall cost will vary depending on the location, the air duct cleaning company, and project scope.

As such, most homes have entryways in the basement or a utility room with quick access to the house’s air duct system.

  • Custom Designed Ducts - Cleaning custom ducts might require you to pay 25 to 30% more than their stock counterparts if the job takes longer than usual. It is because stock parts make the work foreseeable. Running into something unexpected might mean your duct professional will require more time, tools, or techniques to ensure the job is done right.

Labor Rates

Most air duct cleaning companies rarely charge their services per hour. Instead, they will charge you by the vent or square footage of the home.

Furthermore, they will also assess the air duct’s contamination level, the air handler location, system size, and accessibility of the system. The expected duration of the project will also influence the costs accordingly.

Duct Repairs

Your air duct cleaning professional may recommend a furnace repair, especially if there is visible damage to the heat exchanger or blower motor. For your reference, repair costs range between $150 and $575, while air conditioning repair can run for $184 to $632. Due to the difficulty in finding replacement parts, custom ductwork might be more costly to repair.

Vent Cleaning

An average vent cleaning may cost $28 to $57 for each vent. Count the number of ducts you have at home and multiply it by $35 to determine your expected total expenses.

You can figure out the average cost this way because vents connect the central system to the rooms through the ducts.

  • Mold and Mildew Removal - On top of the standard duct cleaning cost, you may also have to use professional mold removal for $600 to $2,000. If you have mold contamination at home, it will involve additional time and special chemicals or equipment.
  • Pests (Rats & Mice) - Vermin is a severe problem to look into because it may cause respiratory diseases in your home. Any noticeable droppings are a sign that you must call an exterminator. You might spend $150 to $500 for additional rat extermination.

Scope of Project (Number of Furnaces and AC Units)

The more furnaces you have, the higher the costs. Other furnace and ductwork setups may require you to pay $400 each. It is common in homes where the central furnace isn’t cut to heat the additional ones.

Should I Hire a Duct-Cleaning Professional?

Ideally, air duct cleaning is one task that is better off handled by a trained professional. If you want to save on duct cleaning costs and opt for DIY work, chances are you may lack the proper tools such as a high-powered vacuum and rotary brushes to carry out the job correctly. With that in mind, hiring a duct-cleaning professional is ideal for fool-proof, successful results. (Related: Mold in Air Ducts: The Causes & Solutions Homeowners Need To Know About) It's wise to research on your own to make the most bang out of your buck.

For instance, take pictures before the actual duct cleaning process begins so you can compare them with the after photos. You can also browse the internet for company testimonials, portfolios, and the like.

Benefits of Professional Duct Cleaning Services

 With the experience and expertise of a professional HVAC maintenance technician, they can assure you good indoor air quality. You won't need to worry about the well-being of your family anymore. When overlooked, polluted air may contain various allergens, bacteria, and dust particles which may become a root cause of health problems such as cold and flu, bronchitis, and eye or nose irritation.

Clean air ducts also ensure optimal airflow in the house, therefore extending the lifespan of your HVAC system. Since your unit won't have to work around the clock to provide sufficient cooling or heating, you are less likely to deal with mechanical issues or unit breakdowns. You will also benefit from the decreased energy consumption since your unit operates in prime condition. It will help you save money on costly HVAC unit repairs in the long run with lower utility bills.

Should you have pets, regular, heavy smokers, and mold in the home– these may leave a foul indoor smell. Your furnace or AC unit will only distribute the unpleasant odor throughout your home. Similarly, a dirty air duct system will only intensify the dreadful lingering smell. Once you give your ducts a thorough cleaning, the odor-causing particles are also likely removed. It will only make your home smell amazing!

Final Thoughts

Undoubtedly, having clogged, dirt-filled air ducts may affect your HVAC system's efficiency. It also puts your family at risk of several allergies and health issues. Despite many misconceptions, professional duct cleaning helps turn your home into a much more comfortable space. It also allows you to cut costs and save money in the long run.

In choosing a local air duct cleaning company, keep in mind to select pros who are certified, adequately trained, and experienced in handling high-tech duct cleaning equipment.

Kenneth Wilson
September 30, 2021
Cost Guides, HVAC

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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