How to Hire the Best Air Duct Cleaning Company for Your Job

Candace Nelson
Written by Candace Nelson
Updated December 20, 2021
Father and son using smartphones on sofa
Photo: Creative Flame / Adobe Stock

Breathe easy with a thorough air duct cleaning from a qualified technician

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When it comes to keeping your family safe, healthy, and happy at home, the air you breathe can play a big part. So, if you’re noticing mold, dirt, and other substances in your air ducts, you’ll want to contact a local air duct cleaning company to get it taken care of right away. If you’re unsure where to start, we’ll give you everything you need to know to hire a vetted air duct cleaning pro.

How to Find an Air Duct Cleaner

To start, it’s important to figure out if you need to get your air ducts cleaned. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, your air ducts probably only need to be cleaned if someone in your home has sudden allergies, symptoms, or illnesses, or if you notice your ducts are full of mold, large amounts of dust and debris, or vermin.

It’s also worth noting that the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) recommends that you get your air ducts cleaned by a professional every three to five years, so ultimately, the decision will be up to you.

Once you make that decision, it will be time to find a pro. Common ways to find an air duct cleaning company include:

  • Reading online reviews

  • Asking friends and neighbors for recommendations

  • Using neighborhood boards to ask for recommendations

  • Checking professional associations like NADCA for technicians in your area

Once you find a few pros you’re interested in hiring, verify their business licenses. Then call at least three for an estimate before making a final hiring decision.

Before Hiring an Air Duct Cleaning Pro

Prepare to tell them the number of rooms in your home as well as the square footage so the pro can give you an accurate price. The scheduler might ask if you want dryer vent cleaning, a service commonly done simultaneously. 

Just remember that if you want dryer vent cleaning, you can’t do laundry while the service tech is at your house.

Check Your Air Duct Cleaner’s Qualifications and References

Before hiring a company, double-check that they are licensed, bonded, and insured. The company should be able to send you copies of their certificates. You can also search for the company’s name on your state’s business registry site. 

Questions to Ask Your Air Duct Cleaner

Before choosing a company to hire, call and ask a few questions and get a price estimate. Here are some questions to ask any potential air duct cleaning company

1. “How Does Your Company Perform the Air Duct and Furnace Cleaning Service?”

The business should follow the NADCA guidelines for air duct cleaning. These include cleaning both supply and return air ducts, cleaning and replacing all registers and grills, and sealing the access panel.

Listen for a description of the tools they use, too. They should mention specialized vacuums and brushes designed for HVAC systems. They should also explain how they will capture the dirt and dust and remove it from your home because you probably don’t want to keep that.

2. “Tell Me About Your Company and the Technicians That Will Be Doing the Service.” 

Listen for cues the company did its due diligence vetting the people who will come to your home. Are they background checked? What kind of training and experience do they have? 

Then ask about the company. Is it insured and bonded? Has the company been around long enough to have a reputation as a quality company that stands behind its work? 

3. “Can You Give Me a Cost Estimate?”

Finally, ask for a number before agreeing to hire a company. Pricing should be comparable to the typical air duct cleaning cost range in your area. 

If the company quotes you at a super special, amazingly low price, be cautious. Pay for quality and for reputable service providers. Similarly, if their quote is higher than you anticipated, ask why. Your home might be larger than average or have other special circumstances. Trust your gut if it doesn’t sound right, and keep calling around.

Tips for Hiring Your Air Duct Cleaning Pro 

Man opening ceiling air vent
Photo: The Toidi / Adobe Stock

You want to make sure you feel comfortable with the person working in your home and confident they have the skills necessary to clean your air ducts correctly the first time. Take the time you need to vet the pro and the company.

Interview Your Air Duct Cleaner

Contact at least three pros before choosing a company to clean your air ducts. Make sure they answer your questions to your satisfaction, and you leave the meeting feeling confident that they’ll do a good job.

Look Into Their Past Work

Take the time to check their references before hiring an air duct cleaner. Do a web search on the company and read online reviews. Check their insurance and business license. When you schedule the appointment, ask specifically who they are sending to your house and for their qualifications.

Get a Contract and Arrange Payments With Your Air Duct Cleaner

Ask for the terms of service to be emailed to you, so you can review and make sure you’re satisfied before the technician comes out. At a minimum, understand the terms of payment and what they include. Know when the payment is due and ask about how they will dispose of the dirt and how the technician will clean up and protect your house.

Keep Records of Your Air Duct Cleaning Project

After the service, you should receive a receipt that itemizes the work. Hang onto that for the next time you need air duct maintenance or in case you need to reference it later.

Look for Red Flags and Prepare to Troubleshoot

Be especially wary of companies that send coupons, then say your price will be much higher than advertised. You might also want to ask what add-on services they offer so you can do your research and be prepared for when the technician is in your home. For example, some offer mold removal services, which you might not need.

Finally, be sure to ask about the follow-up policy: Who can you call if anything goes wrong with the service, and what remedy will be available to you?

Do a Walk-Through Together

When the pro arrives, walk around the house together so you’re both on the same page about the work. The pro will probably help you understand your system better during the air duct assessment.

After Your Air Duct Cleaning Pro Has Finished

When your air duct cleaner has finished the work, ask for an explanation of what they did and make sure that it matches what is on the bill. Ask about any follow-up maintenance and what you can expect in the hours or days after. 

Hopefully, the air duct service leaves you and your family breathing more easily. If so, be sure to leave an online review and recommend the air duct cleaner to others in need.

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