How Much Does It Cost to Clean Air Ducts?

Mariel Loveland
Written by Mariel Loveland
Updated April 28, 2022
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Photo: kate_sept2004 / E+ / Getty Images

The average cost of air duct cleaning is around $375

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Air ducts play an essential role in your home’s air quality. Without them, air can’t circulate through your home. And since ducts filter out the impurities before we breathe anything in, cleaning them is necessary to combat the debris accumulated over time. Air duct cleaning costs about $375 on average, with some projects costing as much as $1,000.

How Much Does it Cost to Clean Ducts and Vents?

You should expect to pay between $370 to $490 to clean your air ducts. While it might not be a pressing issue, it would benefit those in your household that may have some allergies. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you should only get your ducts cleaned if you spot visible mold growth, have vermin living in your ducts, or excessive dust coming from the vents. 

Meanwhile, the National Air Duct Cleaning Association (NADCA) states that you should get your ducts cleaned at least every three to five years. The decision is up to you. Before choosing an air duct cleaning company, knowing what the service entails is essential.

A complete air duct cleaning involves other parts of your system, such as:

  • Grilles

  • Heat exchanger

  • Drip pan

  • Coils

  • Fan motor

However, a pro may recommend other repairs—like replacing your furnace—if they notice anything else wrong throughout the service.

Cost of Air Duct Cleaning Near You

One factor influencing air duct cleaning costs is your location. Here’s a rough idea of what you’ll pay in your area: 

  • New York: $268–$488

  • New Hampshire: $312–$538

  • California: $222–$452

  • Florida: $258–$518

  • Illinois: $267–$395

  • Michigan: $290–$429

  • Colorado: $239–$400

  • Nevada: $220–$462

  • Texas: $263–$712

Air Duct Cleaning Cost Breakdown

Professional air duct cleaning service cleaning floor vent
Photo: BanksPhotos / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

While the above numbers give you a general idea of what you can expect to pay, location isn’t the only factor at play. Other components to consider include:

The Number of Vents

Most professionals charge between $25 to $50 per vent. To calculate the final price, you’ll need to count your ducts and multiple that number by $35.

They may charge you per vent for the service. However, some pros may use other payment structures like:

  • A flat fee with additional vents included

  • A trip fee that covers the overhead plus each additional vent

  • A price per square foot

Rodent Infestation

As pets, friendly rodents aren’t a threat. But when unwanted critters are running through your ducts, things get a bit dicey. 

If you notice any signs of vermin in your ducts, you’ll need to call the exterminator. The cost of rodent removal ranges between $200 and $1,200. Unfortunately, this will add to your duct cleaning costs since a pro can’t tackle your ducts until they are critter-free.

Accessibility

Depending on your home’s size and layout, a utility room may make it easier for a professional to access the central air handler. Still, access points located in a crawl space could be more challenging to get the job done and enhance costs. What you’ll pay will depend on your location, the contractor, and the size of the job.

Mold and Mildew Removal

We can all agree that seeing mold around the house is unpleasant. But its presence could also warrant a rise in air duct cleaning costs. 

You’ll need to add mold remediation costs ranging from $1,125 to $3,345 on top of your duct cost. Although costly, it’s a great way to ensure your home’s air quality remains pristine.

How Much Does Air Duct Cleaning Cost per Square Foot?

As mentioned above, some air duct cleaners near you may charge per square foot. Here’s what that will look like depending on your home’s size.

Square FootageLow CostHigh Cost
1,000 – 1,500$150$375
1,500 – 2,000$225$500
2,000 – 2,500$300$625
2,500 – 3,000$375$750

Cost of Cleaning an Air Duct Yourself

Like most homeowners, you probably think cleaning the air ducts yourself will be the best way to save money. The most expensive tools to buy would be the ladder and vacuum, which can cost between $100 and $400 depending on the brand. Everything else, such as goggles, a bristle brush, masks, and rags, will only cost $10 to $30.

Cost to Clean Air Ducts Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor 

Depending on your air ducts, you could save between $200 and $500 if you opt to clean the air ducts yourself. But although you’ll save some money (and we appreciate your DIY prowess), hiring a professional for this job would be better.

Local air duct cleaners will use tools specifically designed for the job. A shop vacuum would be ill-equipped to handle the work, and other tools may cause damage to your ductwork. 

However, as you’re searching for the right contractor for the job, be aware of air duct cleaning scams that are too good to be true.

How to Save Money When Cleaning Air Ducts

If air duct cleaning costs feel a little stiff, there are a few ways to cut down on what you’ll pay for the service and how often. For instance, you can:

  • Vacuum around duct openings, registers, vent grills, and the furnace

  • Change air filters every few months

  • Use a home air purifier system

  • Clean AC coils regularly

  • Have ducts inspected annually

  • Do extensive research on duct cleaning professionals

Air Duct Cleaning FAQ

How do you know if your air ducts need to be cleaned?

You’ll know if your air ducts need cleaning if you see the following signs:

  • Excessive dust accumulation

  • Mold or mildew growth

  • Signs of rodents and droppings

How often should you clean your air ducts?

The EPA claims ducts only need cleaning if the above signs become an issue in your household. But the NADCA states that you should clean your air ducts every three to five years to prevent any problems with your HVAC system.

Because air ducts can irritate those with asthma or respiratory issues, you’ll need to consider your health situation to decide if this is worth the expense. (Hint: It usually is.) 

How long does an air duct cleaning service take?

Depending on the number of vents in your home and the contractor’s expertise, air duct cleaning can take two to five hours.

What other projects should you do at the same time?

Cleaning a dryer vent costs around $200; however, you could save by tackling this project while cleaning your air ducts. Clogged vents wreak havoc on your energy bills (it takes longer to dry your clothes), and they also increase the risk of a house fire.

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