Video: Avoid Air Duct Cleaning Scams

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David R North

Subject: Air Duck cleaning or replacement.

I could not find out why my down stair stayed so dusting. So I put the hose from my house vacuum and you would not believe what came out. So I went to a HAVC suppler and got new duct and elbows to replace all the duct work under my house for under $200.00 dollars. when they put the duct in the pulled the metal bands and was cutting off the flow of air. I found 1 duct with water in it, and another they ran about 6 feet. But the hard wood floor was NEVER cut for a vent. I suggest that everyone should look under their house and check the duct work for signs of trouble.


Subject: Duct cleaning

My take on duct cleaning is that if you think it hasn't been done in a long, long time, then it's probably beneficial. But I'm skeptical of anyone who says it needs to be done on a fairly frequent schedule. I'm thinking of having it done only because I live in a 50-year-old house that I've lived in for ten years and I'd lay money that it was never done before I moved in, and I've never had it done. But I don't trust someone that just vacuums -- seems to me some kind of rotating brushes would be necessary to dislodge the dust. And I would want to see visual proof that there was a difference afterwards.

John Schulte


It is important to keep your heating and cooling system cleaned. That is why the manufacturer put a filter in the design. But filters are not 100% efficient, so the system WILL get dirty and WILL need to be cleaned. If you do a solid job of changing filters, the cleaning should last about five years (plenty of variables). Make this decision based on an inspection - you can do this yourself, or call a qualified company.

If your system is dirty and needs cleaing, find a NADCA member in your area to do the work in accordance with NADCA standards. To do this job right - to clean the air ducts and the rest of the system - it generally takes two people half a day (or more, especially if they're working in a hot attic during the summer months).

Regarding those coupons, ask yourself: how can a company pay their crew, buy equipment, insurance, the work truck, gasoline to get back and forth, and pay for advertising - by charging such low proces? It likely costs the company more than $100 just to get to your house and back. Bottom line, you cannot do this work correctly for such low prices and stay in business. So if you go with an unbelievable price, expart to not only pay a lot more than advertised, but also expect to get a shoddy job.

More information, including short videos on all of this, at



I wish you had f "like" link & add a "comment" link to reviews...

Ric S


Duct Cleaning is part of the Heating & Cooling industry that is required. Please ask any company for proof on how you will know that the work "helped" your individual situation.

T.P.T. 71180


I've been in the heating and A/C field since 1999 in Wisconsin, and have personally had to duct clean in more homes than I can remember. The whole process when done correctly can normally take 4-8+ hours to do white glove job. If duct cleaning is not done correctly you can actually cause more harm to the home than good. The video may be an "example" but I've literally had to take out buckets/trash bags of dirt/debris/dander/dust and other unknown foreign objects otherwise it would just plug up our very expensive HEPA duct cleaning machine. If a heating guy "laughs" at someone when asked about duct cleaning, he may not be properly trained,educated,or may have never performed a whole house duct cleaning or ever even seen the correct procedure performed in his lifetime. Why keep spending lots of money on filters when you can remove the debris out of your home and stop breathing in all that nasty stuff. The filters get dirty cause that dirt is in your ducts and keeps blowing around your home, which may cause major inefficiency problems for your Furnace & or A/C. Our company our Indoor Air Quality specialists and perform 1-2 duct cleanings daily. In fact we just duct cleaned at fore closed home (37 cats) after another "expert" heating company charged the client over $500 for a couple hours of work and used nothing more than an oversized shop vac. We spent 8+ hours in the home and it was the most nasty, gross, stuff you can imagine.

To sum up this rant, do your research ask an indoor air quality specialist, if they aren't going in every single register with high pressure air hoses, hepa vacuum (as big a a refrigerator) cutting lots and lots of access ports/holes to inside the metal ductwork in order to brush out/blow out the debris, showing before and after pictures with a camera, and spending lot and lots of time, then you just got ripped off.


Subject: duct cleaning

Ive observed people with all that right equipment and when there don theres hairs of dust in the ducts. Ive observd people with just a vac and rags there ducts are dust free. If your intenshion is to do a good job you can do it with rags and a vact if not you cant do a good jod no mater what you have a lisons dont give a man hart. most lisiond contraters have a lisions. gust for there ezer hand off of there check part of there con job.



Floor vents DO tend to get lots of junk swept/knocked into them and it winds up in the ductwork for a few feet. Yes you should get ducts cleaned unless you know for a fact that ever since they were new ther has been High-FPR filter(s) in place and changed religiously. However even return ducts should be cleaned because they suck in the dust-laden air through unfiltered openings and do collec a amazing amount of airborne crud.



If you have air duct cleaning by COIT, you will not be ripped off. I have used them for 30 years for everything they do. (zipcode 94087).



When I asked my excellent AC/Furnace company in BG KY about cleaning my air ducts, the owner laughed and said, "Save your money! Just change the filters frequently and have a maintenance inspection every OTHER year. What an honest guy!"

B. Kaye


Is there any proof that this cleaning needs to be done ever? My oil company says no.


Subject: air duct cleaning

The proof is in the the actual cleaning out of the vents & returns. Unscrew the return cover and take a peek. You'll no doubt be shocked by all the stuff along the walls and floor of the vent. We have 3 SHORT haired dogs and 4 adults living in a 3 story house. Let me just say that when my AC/furnace folks came to install a new unit (we were hit by lightening), they showed me what we had been living with! No wonder the allergies never went away. No wonder the dust accumulated on tables, etc, daily, and no wonder the air was not circulating like it should have. Anyone who says save your money is either an old crumbmudgin, or hasn't lived in my house! (the house was only 9 years old when the units had to be replaced due to the damage.) Just don't fall for the quicky ads that will do the whole house for $50.00!



What is an average cost of airduct cleaning/blowing?
I have a 1,500 sqft house if that matters.



always use a reputable air duct cleaner. Don't use a company that will clean your carpet and your ducts for $59.00 they are a rip-off. Get references and chack the company out ... find ou the company the cleand the air ducts at your local hospital .. they are the real mccoy.

fh wolf


Air duct/vent cleaning service in area near zip code 11976. Pls provide list of service providers. DO NOT have providers contact me.

Michael Gallagher


The amout of debris coming out of the duct in the video should raise concern that the stuff is being planted.



Kathy is right, very little help on what is a good or bad cleaning. It's like warning someone of danger in the park; what should we be aware of? Robbers? Snakes?Terrorists?



This video gives no info on what to look for in a legitimate cleaning.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.