Is air duct cleaning worth it?

Though they differ in how often it should be done, the EPA and the National Air Duct Cleaners Association agree there is value in air duct cleaning.

Though they differ in how often it should be done, the EPA and the National Air Duct Cleaners Association agree there is value in air duct cleaning.

Linda Wetzel of Shaker Heights, Ohio, says she was skeptical about air duct cleaning until a friend told her it had improved her allergies. “I figured common sense said, if there’s dust on the table, there has to be dust in the vents,” Wetzel says.

After hiring a highly rated cleaner she found on Angie's List, Wetzel was very pleased with the results. She says she noticed an immediate improvement in air quality — everyone in the house suffered fewer allergies afterward — and the entire HVAC system worked more efficiently.

"We used our air conditioner less in the summer because it had so much more airflow," she says. "And we used the heater less during an incredibly cold winter."

Despite such anecdotal experiences, there's no scientific evidence that regular duct cleaning improves air quality, according to a 1997 brochure published by the Environmental Protection Agency. Laureen Burton, senior scientist in the EPA Indoor Environments Division, says that while the document is more than a decade old, the science hasn't changed and the agency stands by its recommendations.

"Checking and changing filters, keeping systems maintained, having regular inspections, and ensuring moisture doesn't get in are more important," she says.

However, both EPA and the National Air Duct Cleaners Association – which represents more than 1,000 cleaning companies nationwide – agree that there's some value in the work.

Buck Sheppard, NADCA president and duct cleaner in Portland, Ore., says the association consulted on the EPA pamphlet and agrees with all but one of its findings. "Where we differ is on how often it should be done," he says.

The EPA does not recommend that air ducts be cleaned routinely, but only as needed — such as when mold, pests or excessive debris clutter the system. According to a recent online poll, 13 percent of Angie's List members have their ducts cleaned routinely, but 60 percent do so only if serious problems develop.

NADCA experts argue the need for cleaning depends on a variety of factors, including pets, smoking, recent renovations, local weather conditions and overall home cleanliness. Sheppard recommends cleaning them every three to five years. He says a good contractor will offer to do an inspection beforehand for a nominal charge, if any, to see if a cleaning is necessary.

NADCA executive director John Schulte says the organization's standards dictate that a cleaning doesn't just sweep the ducts, but addresses every component air passes over, including coils and the central system. The task involves at least a couple of workers, several hours and costly equipment, which is why it generally costs $400 or more, according to EPA and NADCA.

A thorough cleaning can yield long-term energy savings. Bob Baker and Ross Montgomery, who study air quality and energy efficiency for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, say their research shows dirty coils and blowers in commercial buildings can cut efficiency by as much as 40 percent.

NADCA expects to complete its first residential energy efficiency study within the year. Sheppard calls duct cleaning an essential part of home maintenance, akin to mopping and vacuuming. "Because it's out of sight, people don't think about cleaning the system that delivers the air they breathe," he says.

EPA and NADCA agree that if you do hire someone to clean your air ducts, make sure they know what they're doing — a poor job is worse than no cleaning at all, as it can kick up particles or even break portions of the HVAC system. EPA recommends all duct cleaners follow NADCA standards.

Customers can look up NADCA members at nadca.com. Member companies must keep at least one technician on staff who has passed a NADCA test.

Tom Bergendahl of Wakefield, Mass., wishes he'd hired a reputable service to clean his air ducts instead of a local company that has since gone out of business. "Duct cleaning is a fragile operation, and if you don't do it right, you can damage the system," he says. "They completely wrecked the motor."

The company eventually paid to repair the damage, but Bergendahl still doesn't feel the work improved air quality or energy efficiency. "Why did I even bother?" he asks.

Despite Bergendahl's experience, Sheppard says NADCA's certification standards, developed in 1992, have improved the situation. "A lot of [service companies] weren't going about it the correct way," he says.

Other organizations have also established guidelines. The EPA's brochure available online provides a post-cleaning checklist, and in 2007, the Air Conditioning Contractors of America published criteria for HVAC service providers.

While none of the groups claim health benefits from clean ducts, many Angie's List members report an improvement. "I haven't woken up stuffy or congested since," says Margaret Hopkins of Glen Ellyn, Ill. "After the cleaning, my home smelled better and there was less dust on my furniture."

Experts say research on the health benefits of residential duct cleaning is still in its infancy. Glenn Fellman, the Indoor Air Quality Association's executive director, says that despite the lack of scientific data, he's seen and heard much common-sense evidence of improved air quality.

"This is the heart and circulatory system of your house," Fellman says. "If any of it is gunked up with dust or mold, the core system isn't going to function correctly."

Ultimately, the decision to clean air ducts comes down to a homeowner's own judgment. "Get a screwdriver, open up the register and look in there yourself," Schulte says. "Most can make up their mind at that point."

 

Join Angie's List Now

Find an Air Duct Cleaning Service in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Hartford, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Louisville, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Francisco, St Louis, Washington DC, See All Cities

 


More Like This

Hiring an air duct cleaner

air-duct-cleaner.jpg

Make sure your air duct cleaner adheres to industry regulations. (Photo courtesy of Peter Verstegen)
Make sure your air duct cleaner adheres to industry regulations. (Photo courtesy of Peter Verstegen)

Think you need your air ducts cleaned? Don't be mislead by mailers advertising low rates for whole-house cleanings. Follow these tips to make sure you get your money's worth.

Comments

I am going to flip this subject a little to try to help those people understand better what they are doing. Duct cleaning is a band aid that treats the symptom of a problem. The symptom being dust. If the dust got there, it got there somehow and just cleaning it is a temporary solution. It will come back. As an example.... let's say you have a car that goes through oil. The oil light comes on to tell you the car is low on oil. Your first thought is to add oil. You add the oil the oil light on the car goes off. A few days or week later the oil light comes back on and the procedure starts anew. How long would you go until you investigate why the car is losing and going thru so much oil? This dust problem is not addressed in simply cleaning a duct system. You are treating a symptom and not solving anything in most cases. Duct sealing doesn't always correct issues to a worn out duct system. Nothing is cleaner, better sealed, properly insulated than a new duct system. Equipment used to clean ducts varies widely. The cheaper the equipment used the more you are just wasting money. This is why it's typically not worth doing. In some situations it may be beneficial, but only after determining and investigating the duct system. This should be done by a licensed HVAC contractor and not a duct cleaner that typically do not hold and HVAC license. (Duct cleaners aren't required to be licensed in HVAC in many areas.)

The EPA is so far behind on useful knowledge because of the lack of funding so don't be mislead. The Hvac old timers were left at the dock so to speak and missed out on the IAQ movement. The ones that are savvy and up to date on the information do Air Duct Cleaning, even tho that will lead to a few less service calls its the right thing to do for their customer. Please take a look into a return duct that has never been cleaned, I dare anyone to say it does not need to be cleaned.

Only metal ductwork can be cleaned without causing damage to the ductwork. If the system is sealed air-tight and a really good filtering system is in place then you should NEVER have to clean your ductwork. Most dust people see in their homes (on beds furniture etc....) is broken down insulation that is being blown into the home from the attic (venturi effect) where the duct bucket (box etc...) is not sealed at the sheetrock ceiling. On the return side, ANY leaks in the ductwork will pull hot attic air and dust into the system, clogging up everything. In my area (austin, texas) only about 10% of the homes have metal ductwork. Metal is way better than flex duct or ductboard. It gets better airflow, holds up to critters and duct cleaners. I know of no hvac company here that cleans ductwork. (there probably is one somewhere) The mfg's of duct cleaning equipment keep trying to sell us hvac people on their benefits and profit potential but most all hvac people know that unless you have metal ductwork you are NOT doing the customer any favors. If your non metal ductwork is that dirty you should just have it replaced AND sealed. Also most duct systems are not very well designed. Look for proper sizing and do not go cheap with one or two intakes (return grills) You need them through-out the house. Here in Austin the duct cleaners are carpet cleaners and chimney swifts. (this is who the duct cleaning equipment mfgs call on when the hvac people do not get on board. They DO clean other types of ductwork and we (the hvac guys) have to fix them. I am not aware of any of these non hvac guys cleaning and servicing the actual equipment. Here in Texas it is against the law for them to do so. Treat the entire house as a system, not just the ductwork and /or hvac equipment. Home performance really does work to increase comfort and air quality while reducing operating costs.

in response to this reply " should your ducts be cleaned", i have to politely correct the person who answered this. you are not using common sense. first, most of the country uses metal duct work, so for you to say what you did, is wrong. second, the duct system in a house is a circulatory system. that means it draws air into the furnace, it gets filtered, and then it is blown out into the house to heat or cool. So, obviously that air is being brought into the house from somewhere right? Yes, its coming from the outside where there are many allergens and dust particles . For you to says that about whether a duct system is sealed or not, makes no difference. The air is coming from somewhere right? It has to originate from somewhere right? Just look on top of your cieling fan. If there is a bunch of dust up there, then there is obviously a bunch in your ducts. And the duct air is being circulated every day, and every hour through your house. Its simple, dust collects everywhere in your house. Imagine if you never dusted your shelves, or tv? There would be a ton of dust after a while. Well, now think about the air in the duct system. Of course theres gonna be a ton of dust in there. For you to say that it is not benififcial to clean the ducts, is plain ignorant. 90% of the air we breathe is in our household. Wouldnt you want that air to be as dust and allergen free? I could go on for hours about the benifits of duct cleaning, but i just wanted to make a quick point that the person whose says it is not benificial to clean them, is not using common sense. Not to mention, giving the people who clean ducts for a living, a bad name. Use your head .

First please forgive any spelling or grammar errors. My father started in the business of home comfort back in 1968, an I around 1986. We still don't have a duct cleaning machine. I am sure there are always applications for all tools in this industry. However I missed where anyone talked about where dust even comes from..........We do not have these little dust machines sitting in a corner puffing out little clouds of dust....soooo where does it come from? A house breathes just like you an I.For example every time your clothes dryer comes on it automatically creates a negative pressure inside the home.So if air goes out of the living area it has to be replaced.....now look above the ceiling fan ....you see the cover...underneath that is a hole straight to your attic....Now the stuff on your ceiling fan you call dust...call it insulation,rat fecies or anything else that is in your attic that could be pulled in your due to a negative pressure. So...imiagine a leaky duct system causing a positive pressure in the attic an a negative pressure in the house an how that would compound the problem!! To get rid of the dust.....fix the house.......replace the duct....no more duct cleaning.....period.... I am a small business owner in south Al..that spends a ton of money on continuing ed.....and I still don't know it all. Patco ac service.I hope this small bit of info will help someone out there make a decision on what direction on which way they choose to go.

Good article, but it fails to point out that leaky return-side ducts could be drawing dust and allergens into the duct system from the enclosed spaces in which they run, e.g. between walls, below floors, attic. So duct cleaning may only be a temporary solution. The homeowner can get a home energy audit -- free in many states -- to determine if they have significant duct leakage. An Aeroseal dealer may be able to effectively seal up the duct system without needing to tear into walls etc to get to the ducts.

As a homeowner and an owner of rental property I can tell you that the air ducts sometimes need to be cleaned. If you have had pets or anyone smoking in your home (even a visitor) for any length of time, having the ducts cleaned is really good idea. I had a tenant who did not smoke, but got married to a smoker more than year after moving in. When I realized someone was smoking I had them move out, but the smell was awful. I had the ducts cleaned and sanitized (it was a bit extra). The ducts were shiny like new afterwards. I left the windows open for a few days and we cleaned the place super clean and then replaced the carpets. The duct cleaning was worth every penny because the house looked, smelled, and felt new afterward. I plan to have my own house ducts cleaned again this year as we have two cats. We had them cleaned about 12 years ago and they found building materials in the ducts! If you move into a house that has never had them cleaned, it is good to do it. If you have allergies, clean the ducts to see if it helps. You never know what is in your ducts if you have never had them cleaned.

We moved to a house built in 1965 from a 1915 house with a dirt basement. Against what I anticipated, the 1965 house was much dustier. It was like felt on top of everything. I cleaned and cleaned and it did become less dusty over time. We then found out a cat lady with over 2 dozen cats lived in the house in the past. We then had to get our furnace replaced and I was able to look down some of the duct work, the dirt and debris was 3-5 inches deep. Additionally, the basement ducts were entirely plugged with debris including dirt, seeds, ants, toys, etc. I had already removed what I could from those. We had our ducts cleaned last year, and the dust in the house is greatly reduced. Also have lost the runny nose I got after moving here. There are duct cleaning con artists out there, but ours did a good job.

They don't clean the duct work that well its a rip off just get a good air filter and vacuum out grills..its a big rip off don't fall for it..i have more then 30 years in the bus...

I always get a laugh at anyone claiming to be in the business for any length of time that doesnt understand the importance of cleaning out a ventilation system. Not only for better indoor air quality but for maintaining your heating equipment. I guess it makes more sense to some people that the furnace will just run better with a ton of dust and debris and maybe this wont be a big cause of sytem breakdown and malfunction. I mean really? Maybe this guy got a bad company and or cleaning and is a little jaded but to advise cleaning your grills , which does nothing, and replacing a filter....come on guy.

The cooling coils the air comes into contact with appear to need UV-C lights on them in humid climates. That's the biggest thing. If the ducts have never been cleaned, then getting that done goes without saying. But those coils need to be cleaned, disinfected, and then UV-C light(s) installed to prevent mold & bacteria build-up in the future on them. That appears to be chiefly responsible for the dirty laundry and/or sour milk smell coming from forced-air AC systems in humid regions.

I read your article with interest and think it is a good start. One service that is always talked about is fogging ductwork for sanitizing. Many companies offer this service for disinfecting or adding a clean smell to the ductwork. Before any chemical or disinfectant is used, please read the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet). You might be surprise on what you are putting into the air stream. This is a high profit service and should be explored thoroughly before purchasing,

HELP is am drowing in LENT . It has been noticed in the master bedroom there is lent all over the furniture and the floors. I have dark brown/black furniture and same for the wooden floors. There are wods of lent every day. My furniture covered in lent. The rest of the house is fine just the tipical dust. I am sure my lungs are also full of lent. I looks like if my dryer vent was in my bedroom. Please help

The efficacy (or lack thereof) of duct cleaning can be settled with one key fact. Settled dust within a duct requires air speeds in excess of 160mph to reenter the air stream. This has been clearly demonstrated in studies. Of course, no furnace system in the world reaches anything close to 160mph. Yes, ducts can look terribly dusty. However, that dust will not become aerosolized during the normal operation of your furnace. There is an easy way to test this. Rent a particle counter and test the air flowing out of your registers before and after cleaning. You will not see any improvement in the air quality or any reduction in the airborne dust level. Think of it this way. Duct cleaning companies tell you that you need to clean your ducts when you can see a layer of dust in your ducts. Yet that very layer of dust is proof that duct cleaning is unnecessary, because that dust proves that the air movement in your furnace is not fast enough to re-aerosolize the dust.

Hi, my home office a/c vent has been blowing out blackish granular particles. It only happens with this particular vent. I've read lighting candles tend to do something like this... I do light candles every day. Can someone help me with what I should do? Thanks. Helena

If the one noticeable spot is where the wall [or ceiling or floor] is white.......first.....take a pair of needle nose pliers and bend each louver of the register to a straight outward position [as they all come brand new with a slant to each side]....so the register is shooting all supply air straight outward. If its a round register [in ceiling].....no help there. You also should always burn soy or beeswax candles.

I own and live in a mobile home and was told to install a mobile home air condition well I did not want one because the ones for moblie homes are to small,so I install a home air-condidtion and its good for heating and cooling the only thing I do is change is the filter every month or two,What I want to know is how does dirt and dust comes from????

As a person with severe mold allergies, I live in a the South where the climate naturally breeds molds.We noticed a difference when we had our ducts cleaned.The company used a vacumn type system and covered all of our vents with plastic that was held up by the suction. We had no damage, no leaking dust/dirt back into the house and it took several hours. I think if you use a reputable company it makes the world of difference. Now we use better air filters and also have a UV light to prevent mold growth on ours system.We 'd do it again when the time comes. From your car's air filter to your dryer...anything works more efficiently when it is not filthy dirty.That's just common sense.

On average, we (Indians in Ontario) receive 3-5 calls per day for duct cleaning services from India. I did get ducts cleaned twice in 25 years. For a newly built house, it should be done as material goes into the ducts. Every year, before turning the heat on, I clean the ducts, using the vacuum pipe or with wet towel. Most of the dust, pet hair, small items get to the ducts from the top floors, not where system is installed. Even in winter months, I open 2-3 windows for air circulation for 15 minutes, specially right after cooking, almost daily. We breath in the same stale air, develop health issues. Also, I have an added air cleaning and fileration system installed. At a low rate, this system constantly cleans the inside air and also that it pulls from the outside. Duct cleaning is a scam, there are other efficient and cost effective methods we can use to purify the inside air.

Duct cleaning is bs, unless there is mad buildup, which i would then just get a shop vac with a long hose and clean it out. if you do get your ducts cleaned, get the basic extraction, and no more. they WILL try and upsell you on extras that are a waste of money.

Some of the research I have done suggests to have your ducts cleaned when you first purchase a new home to remove drywall dust. Maintain your system well and you shouldn't have to do it again until you want to sell. Those are the two times cleaning was suggested. So for peace of mind maybe it is a good idea to do it even if you buy a used home and then maybe every 5-10 years.

I have had this done and am skeptical of the benefits. I watched the guy do it and it seemed he did a very thorough job, but my feeling are if your filter stays very clean for long after it is normally due for a change you do not need duct cleaning.

I have had the ducts cleaned at my last two homes when I had the furnace and air condtioning systems replaced. I figured the furnace will be new and clean, so have the ducts cleaned too. I do have good filtration systems on the new units as well which I do change filters regularly. I was amazed at the amount of debris, dust, pet hair etc. that came out of both systems, so in my opinion very much worth it. I wouldn't say do it again on a annual basis at all...but maybe in 5 years or so.

I am very interested by your post. We recently had a lead inspection on our property and one thing the lead inspector suggested was to get the air ducts cleaned out. We had our ducts cleaned last year after we under went a large renovation project (since we have a toddler in the house). This year we decided to go for lead compliance and had all our lead removed (we moved out for the work). Recently, my son had a false positive lead test, which prompted us to get a lead dust inspection around the house (including having the vents dust-wiped on the inside). The levels inside the ducts weren't crazy high (but more than would be acceptable for a floor). As it turned out my son's lead levels are very low (but not zero). Is it possible however that lead dust from the inside of a vent can come out? Would this be a scenario where you think air duct cleaning would be beneficial? I would really value your opinion on this since I have been given crazy quotes for duct cleaning when mentioning that my objective is to remove lead dust.

Sorry, there needs to be a better source of information than the trade association for Air Duct Cleaning and anecdotal evidence. This article is crap. "to a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail..."

I've been in business in Florida for 25 years and purchased a $12,000 duct cleaning system 4 years ago. In the last four years I've cleaned 5 duct systems charging around $400 each. Not a very good return on investment. What I have been doing most the time is I get a call by someone panicked because they called some low priced company to inspect their system and were told they have dangerous black mold. Then they call me to have a look. Most the time they don't have mold, ducts look very clean. However the coils are dirty and the inside of the air handler cabinet needs cleaning. Keep in mind not every system can handle supper high efficiency filters! These filters can block air flow quite a bit right out of the package. Many older systems can't handle pleated filters due to increased static pressure. "Back rooms with low air flow". I have taken many hours of classroom study on indoor air quality. Never got any certification because I don't want to pay another organization dues yearly. I think the problem with duct / system cleaning is most people are suckers for low priced scams that are rip- offs . People call me all the time and ask how much? When I tell them average $400 they hang up. I know I do the job correctly and honestly, and they are going to get racked over the coals by the scam artists by calling $79 whole house duct cleaning guys. People need to check internet, angies list and BBB reviews. But keep in mind even reviews need to be sifted through your rational person filter.

I would say keep doing what you have been doing and keep it honest. Ripping people off will get nothing but a bad reputation. Quality work will get you more referrals. It will pay off in the long run! :0)

How nice all of you HVAC companies are calling my profession a "scam". I am wondering how many of you would be willing to EAT the stuff we take out of ducts? Just last week we got some dead mice and their nest out....perhaps some Cabernet and white sauce with that? If you don't agree with duct cleaning, fine. If there are some things that HVAC people can do to make the system need cleaning less often fine, but to suggest that I need to GO TO JAIL????? If you need to knock others to make yourself look better....... If duct cleaning is such a scam, why are their governing bodies like NADCA (which I do NOT belong to),several manufacturers of equipment, and national restoration franchises (I'm not a franchise either) who provide this service? I guess the whole world is stupid and only HVAC people are smart. I suppose I am scamming them when I clean puff backs, water damage, fire damage, and clean their carpets too? Or did I wake up one morning and say "ya know, it is great to be a hard working, honest owner operator, but I would love to provide a service that unlike everything else I do is a con and rips off the 90% referral business I busted my butt to earn" BTW I tell my customers up front that we do not clean anything on the furnace itself and recommend they have their HVAC people come in for that portion. In reading your disingenuous comments I am hoping that I have never sent one of my valued customers to any of you.

Ok what you said is true but in most cases ducts are in a duct flex format, and knowing that the dust in people's flex duct is just surface dust, any real debris that are in the duct itself will result in very little to no air flow which will keep your unit from performing properly, but if it is true allergy reasons then replacing your duct system is better for overall better air quality, plus if you do pay attention to the warranty on flexible duct is that it only has a 10 year warranty and typically only lasts for 20 years so do your research before having a duct cleaning, and to add one more thing if your duct work is completely metal and you can't see visible insulation then your duct on the inside has insulation inside of it, if you replace that with duct work that is clean metal on the inside and wrapped with insulation on the outside then it will further reduce the air bourne fiberglass and dust. So if you do go with a duct cleaning make sure those options are offered before purchasing a duct cleaning

1. Ducts need cleaning mostly because they were not installed properly. There should be regulatory inpection and approval of clean and proper duct works on new houses. I was extremely unpset when I looked and found significant amounts of construction dust in parts of the ducts in my new house. There is apparently no way to hold the bullder to be responsible for clean ducts. 2. If air quality is so important and duct cleaniliness is so uncertain, why not adopt doubling filtering; that is, in addition to the existing main furnace filter, add a filter at each air outlet. I understand replacing so many filters would be a burden, but air outlets can be designed for easy filter replacement. The builders and home design engineers should bear responsibility to provide good and low maintenance homes, rather than prioritizing on fancy or costly featuers for homes.

I am a service technician [since '92].....and as to double filtering.....I have never recommended it. Granted.....it would be noticeably helpful if the fiberglass filters are the main ones used [which I also never recommend.....as long as system can deliver appropriate air flow with a pleated cotton filter...and any decent service tech can check the air flow for proper cfm]. Any particles small enough to pass through a pleated cotton filter are going to pass through a second filter as well....unless the second filters are so tight that the system is starving for air flow. Has anybody ever accidentally put two filters in their automatic drip coffee maker? What if cars used two fuel filters or air filters? I have told some homeowners to try using second filters at each register [the black thin filter material cut-to-fit....same type used in many window air conditioners].....but I only suggest this when I know they will still get at least 400 cfm per ton of air flow [350 absolute minimum]......as some homeowners know others who say it has helped and it gives them a peace of mind knowing they are doing something to help contribute to a solution, so it HAS to help [even though I think it falls in the "one-born-every-minute" category.....similar to duct cleaning]. I believe a $3 [sic] pleated cotton filter is all that is ever needed to keep a system running top notch. A cleaning of the blower squirrel cage and of the evaporator [indoor] coil may be needed one time if fiberglass or no filters have been previously used. The return air grille [or grilles] need vacuumed off occasionally, as they are upstream from the filter. The $3 filter should be changed every 3 months [rule of thumb]....and most of them have a little white square on the cardboard frame to write install date.....and the arrow should point into the duct [if at filter grille]....or towards the furnace [if in ductwork slot]...or towards the blower [if in blower compartment]. My two cents.....

In response to Dan A. I am sorry to hear he thinks air duct cleaning is an out and out scam. I agree there are scam artists in our industry just like any other industry, wish he would've explained a little more about his experience.

Don't be fooled, folks. Air duct cleaning is an out and out scam!

In reading through all this about duct cleaning, THE ONE preventative measure people need to realize is that a poorly installed HVAC system that is not sealed and air tight to ensure that ALL indoor air passes through a GOOD air filtration system IS THE best means of ensuring your ducts remain clean. Duct cleaning does not now and will NEVER improve an HVAC systems efficiency. Proper maintenance and installation are the key just as improper installation practices allow for dust infiltration into the duct system. I am a state licensed contractor in Texas, and unless people have their hvac system sealed and/or properly installed, duct cleaning is an absolute waste of money. My duct system is 12 years old as is as clean today as the day I installed the system with ductwork. SO before ANYONE jumps on the bandwagon of duct cleaning, get with your hvac professional FIRST.

Sounds like your first hvac company was ripping you off. Ask your new company to go to your coil and see if there is a leak. If there isn't the last company was just lining their pockets. If you have had ducts unhooked for a long time I would recommend duct cleaning, trust me I'm not a fan of duct cleaning myself. I have done hvac for 20 yrs. in GA. When I just bought a home built in 1996, we had all the ducts replaced immediately.

20 yrs ago I bought the house I am in and a Central H/A was installed at that time. At the beginning of ea season I have the unit serviced. Every yr since I have owned the house I have had to have freon added and been told that I must have a freon leak. Fast forward to this yr when I hired a new company to do the service. They went up into the attic as part of their overall servicing. Nobody else has ever done that. He came down showing me pics on his camera phone of ducts that were not even connected to anything and in my estimation have probably been laying there for 20 yrs. Of course he fixed this. I have not needed freon this year either. I have been complaining to friends about the huge amount of dust and how I can't keep up with the cleaning away of it for a long time. Now it makes so much sense.To me it is like that duct work was just up there laying around and every time my unit was blowing, all the insulation, debris, dust and whatever else over the years was just randomly filling up those ducts. What now that they are re-connected? Will it be better? Or am I someone that needs to have my ducts cleaned? I am so confused after reading all these comments. Can one of you experts tell me what you would do before I spend a bunch of money that I don't really have? Thank you for any input you can provide. Also, feel free to respond to email address denise@digitalflak.com

having unconnected duct will not fix a freon leak. central air is a closed sys. if there is a leak it must be fix.

I hired duct cleaning company out of "Service Magic" website. I did not realize the name of his company was Duck cleaning of Central Florida...that should have given me a hint.. The guy did a very poor, incomplete job, and ruined a closet full of clothes when he sprayed up to clean a vent instead of taking it down and cleaning it outside. He left me with more than 1/2 dirty vents and ducts, did not do the air handler in the garage and failed to fog the system. He spent 6 useless hours at my residence and now his insurance is denying coverage..very disappointed in Service Magic....

I live in a loft ducts haven't been cleaned in 10yrs

First of all, I think it is great that there are many companies out there who look out for the customer and protect their interest. Secondly, I think it is also important that customers consider having their HVAC systems checked thoroughly before moving into a new home. I have heard a couple of horror stories where previous owners have not had the best housekeeping skills. Even when the appearance of the home seems it has been well kept, keep in mind that surface clean only goes so far. You can never tell what lies underneath.

HVAC duct cleaning is as much a scam as fuel injector cleaning in automobiles. There is no discernible improvement in quality from either except it makes money for the people who sell you the service. Just use quality filters and change often, and use quality gas (Shell, Chevron) and you will do just fine.

Once i received a call from a Person he Named Steve and He told me that he is from some like GTA Home services and providing Air duct Cleaning in around 105$ and i booked an appointment because he convince me in very will mannered so i agree the services i placed an order and i don't think that they guyz do a great job as he describe but they do same as he told me on phone i'm just surprised that they do a great job and they provide me free inspections of furnace and A/C as well and they really do a great job and they don't waist my money and time. thanks Adam Stevenson and GTA home service Team.

I have been an Indoor Air Quality Investigator and HVAC abatement contractor for 32 years. These so called "duct cleaners", in many cases, are scam artists at best,and some ,(in my opinion), should go to jail.

Are there any health benefits that come from HVAC system cleaning? Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to act as a collection source for a variety of contaminants that have the potential to affect health, such as mold, fungi, bacteria, and very small particles of dust. The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC system and home should be considered as one component in an overall plan to improve indoor air quality.

Before you choose any duct cleaning service provider, interview as many service providers as you can. Ensure that the service provider is certified by the National Air Duct Cleaners Association or NADCA. Make sure that they hold a good standing in the Better Business Bureau and have all the necessary certifications and license. Be clear about their terms of service. Make sure they have the right equipment to do the job. It is best to go for a company that has been tried and tested successfully by any of your acquaintances or opt for a service provider that has been in the business for quite some time.

Greetings from Mama Duck from Ductz of Greater Atlanta. These are some awesome comments and a few are from high quality duct cleaners that I personally know. After 19 years in this industry I agree that a government agency is not always up to date with their knowledge but won't admit it. If they were out in the field with our technicians every day they would upgrade their info. I get calls all the time where customers have been taken advantage of by "go and blow" companies. The customers don't know what they don't know but many are too lazy to do the research and are just looking for cheap. The industry has gotten a bad rap due to these con artists but the customer has to take some responsibility. I ask them why they would want to do business with a company who lies to them in print? Are they stupid or just cheap? Thankfully there are those of us in the industry who are working diligently to raise the bar on quality, protect the consumer and perform high quality work. At Ductz all our technicians are NADCA certified, trained by the best in the industry and know how to clean the entire system.

I am NADCA Certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialist. Over the years I have learned on simple answer to this questions: there air duct cleaners and there are pretenders. There will be no benefit at all if you use on the very cheap pretender because they will not really clean anything. On the other hand if you call a qualified air duct cleaner with a NADCA Certification you will, like 99% of my customers, report improvement with your respiratory problems, you will see less dust and the job will pay for itself with energy savings and repair prevention.

We agree with our customers who tell us the allergies do not appear as bad after the ducts have been cleaned. Like all governmental agencies are always look to protect the people, they sometimes bend over the wrong way, and don't deal with reality of success.

@ www.nolacarpetcleaning.com we think you should get your air ducts cleaned at least every 3 years. Most of our customers have noticed reduced allergies when we clean their air ducts

I have repaired hundreds of systems. Too often I see a house where the ducts were allegedly cleaned, the blower and coils are caked with dirt taking several hours to clean. I call this fraud!

Pages

Add comment

Anonymous reviews are Internet graffiti.  Angie's List has real reviews from real people.

What is Angie's List?

Angie’s List is the trusted site where more than 2 million households go to get ratings and reviews on everything from home repair to health care. Stop guessing when it comes to hiring! Check Angie’s List to find out who does the best work in town.

Local Discounts

Daily deals up to 70% off popular home improvement projects from top-rated contractors on Angie’s List!