When the air-conditioning system runs, it churns through ductwork that can contain tons of dust particles, mold, germs, and other pollutants. Over time, the buildup of contaminants can trigger health problems like sneezing, watery eyes, headaches, lack of concentration, itchy skin and other flu-like symptoms. Dirty indoor air has also been linked to allergies and asthma. Cleaning ductwork can help alleviate these conditions.

Depending on the circumstances, duct cleaning near me can cost anywhere from $300 to $750. Generally, the more dirt and mold are found in a home’s ductwork, the higher the price.

Ducts can get dirty for a variety of reasons, including daily HVAC use, pet dander, new construction or renovations, and smoking. In addition, water damage and leaky ducts can leave behind substantial deposits of dirt and moisture. While most professional duct cleaners work on an hourly basis, they may charge extra if the job is particularly difficult or extensive (like in a house with hard-to-reach ducts).

A reputable contractor will carefully survey the condition of a home’s ductwork before beginning to clean it. They will often use a video camera to check the state of a home’s ductwork and identify potential issues. For example, if they see ducts covered in mold and must be cleaned before the cleaning process can continue, they will likely stop the project and recommend an exterminator.

Professionals typically begin a duct cleaning project by covering all of the supply registers. This creates negative pressure that will suck the dirt and debris into their truck-mounted equipment. They’ll then vacuum the ducts, usually from one end to the other, while checking for leaks and other issues.

The CDC recommends hiring only qualified contractors to perform duct cleaning. They will have specialized equipment that significantly shortens the cleaning time and can avoid damaging the ducts’ lining, insulation or HVAC connections. They should also have plenty of experience, which helps them spot and address other problems, like pests, mold, tears or punctures in the ductwork and loose fittings.