duct cleaning

Duct cleaning: why is it needed and how much does it cost?

These days, people are more concerned than ever about the quality of the air in their homes. Indoor air quality can have a significant effect on your health and comfort so it only makes sense that getting a duct cleaning periodically can help improve your HVAC system’s overall performance.

Why do I need to get a duct cleaning for my home?

If you’ve ever forgotten to change your furnace filter only to see it coated with a thick layer of dust when it does get changed, that blocked filter chokes off the airflow and allows dust to settle in the ductwork. Fine dust and dirt that enters your ductwork can sometimes get through a filter and collect on your furnace’s blower motor and air conditioner coil. Any hair or dead skin from pets or people in the home can build up creating a haven for insects and allergens. Majorly obstructed duct work not only leads to unevenly conditioned spaces in the home, but causes your system to lose its efficiency, burden it with additional wear and tear, and increase your energy bill.

How can I tell if I need a duct cleaning?

Most companies will say a duct cleaning should occur within 2 to 5 years, but that might be excessive. We think it’s a good idea to start checking your ductwork after 2 years. Unless your home is exposed to higher than usual amounts of dust, dirt, pet hair, etc. you can probably get away with having a duct cleaning performed every 5 years or so. Look for signs of buildup once in a while and use your best judgement. Here are some signs that will tell you that you may need a cleaning:

  1. Check your furnace filter and return air boot. If its clogging up quickly and you’re finding it frequently needs to be replaced sooner than recommended, you might have dirty ductwork. While you’re down there, check the return boot. It is the lowest point in your return air system and its to where most dirt in your system will get pulled.
  2. Check your registers and grilles. Pulling these off the floor or wall and giving a quick visual inspection can usually tell you what the inside of the rest of your ductwork looks like. The return ducts are always sucking air, so checking those first can save you some time.
  3. Check the inside of your furnace. If you pull the door off your furnace and see the interior or blower compartment covered in fine dust, it may be time for a cleaning.
  4. Keep track of how quickly you home is getting dusty. Do you feel like you’re constantly having to dust or sweep? It could be a result of your forced air system pushing dust back out into your home.
  5. Check to see if you’ve ever had a duct cleaning before. Companies that perform duct cleanings should leave a sticker on your ductwork indicating when the last one was performed.

What does a duct cleaning cost?

A full duct cleaning can cost around $300 to $450 for a 2,000 square-foot home, but prices and companies vary, so it never hurts to ask around.