Just like the easy-to-see surfaces in your home that get dirty over time, your home’s HVAC system pulls contaminants and air pollutants like dander, dust, and chemicals right into your air ducts — and then recirculates that air throughout your home an average of five to seven times per day! Yikes! Believe it or not, all those unseen particles are generated through normal, everyday life; and despite routinely replacing filters, your home’s HVAC system gets really dirty with regular everyday use. Since your air ducts are a favorite hiding place for dust, dirt, and allergens to linger, those dirty ducts can contribute to larger health issues, especially for those with respiratory conditions, auto-immune disorders, or asthma and allergies. Indoor air pollutants can also lead to irritated eyes, nose, and throat, as well as headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. By simply removing those everyday pollutants, air duct cleaning can vastly improve your indoor air quality. But the benefits of air duct cleaning don’t stop there — clean air ducts also can help you save money! A clean HVAC system is more efficient and doesn’t use as much energy to maintain a comfortable temperature, ultimately saving you money on monthly utility costs. Considering air duct cleaning? We’ve got all the answers to the top questions that homeowners ask about cleaning those air ducts!
1) WHY SHOULD I GET MY AIR DUCTS CLEANED? Your heating and cooling system is the lungs of your home, and the bottom line is that air duct cleaning improves indoor air quality! If that’s not convincing enough, air duct cleaning will save you money in the long run. Why? Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder, and ultimately shorten the life of your system. Even with proper use of filters, the heating and cooling system gets dirty through normal, everyday use. When an HVAC system is clean, it doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you desire. As a result, less energy is used, leading to lower electric bills.
But don’t take it from us! According to the U.S. Department of Energy, families can cut their energy bill by as much as 20% to 30% by simply doing proper HVAC system maintenance, including air duct cleaning.
2) HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE? Air duct cleaning is not a “one-size-fits-all” service, and the amount of time it takes to clean a residential HVAC system depends on many variables such as the size of the home, the number of HVAC systems, the type of ductwork in the home, the extent of contamination, and the number of HVAC cleaning technicians needed for the job.
3) HOW MUCH WILL IT COST? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), properly cleaning an entire system in an average-sized home typically ranges in cost from $450 to $1,000. Again, duct cleaning is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and there are several factors that affect cost (including those listed in #2 above). For instance, air duct cleaning for a 10,000-square-foot home with three HVAC systems will cost quite a bit more than a 2,000 square-foot home with a single unit. Don’t forget that homeowners can recoup some of the cost with lower utility bills!
4) HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GET MY AIR DUCTS CLEANED? Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors such as whether or not there are smokers in the household, residents who suffer from allergies or asthma, or pets that shed lots of hair and dander. Also, if there is water contamination or other damage to the home or HVAC system, or the home has been recently renovated, more frequent air duct cleaning may be necessary. To maintain an efficient HVAC system, NADCA recommends getting your air ducts inspected at least once a year, and cleaned as needed. Your professional air duct cleaner will be able to assess the condition of your air ducts, and pinpoint any problem areas (including leaks) during the inspection process. An annual assessment can help avoid costly repairs down the road.
5) WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING A CONTRACTOR? Watch for scams! Avoid advertisements for “$99 whole house specials” and other sales gimmicks. It’s important to know the signs of a scam, and as a homeowner, you can take steps to ensure you don’t fall prey to dishonest tactics. When choosing an air duct cleaning service provider, our most critical advice for homeowners is to make sure you choose a qualified contractor to ensure the job is done right – one who is trained and certified for the task. NADCA members have technicians on staff with advanced training and certification in HVAC system cleaning, and membership requires that they must follow high standards when it comes to customer service.