How often do you get the ducts cleaned? How much does it run you usually? I've been quoted $49 to have my ducts cleaned. Besides better air quality what other benefits will cleaning the ducts provide?
What does the $49 cover? I had my whole house done, think there were 23 registers and it was around $250. I can dig the bill up, I think, but that's what I remember. Did it about April or May of 2012.
Per the EPA you should have your ducts clean if:
There is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface (e.g., sheet metal) ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system.
Ducts are infested with vermin, e.g. (rodents or insects); or
Ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris and/or particles are actually released into the home from your supply registers.
"How often do you get the ducts cleaned?"
Think about it, if you change the filter at your furnace on a regular basis, then how does the dirt get into your duct work? What kind of cleaning do you expect to get for $49?
If you floor registers, the you will see some dirt collect at the register boot. You can clean that yourself with a vacuum cleaner. Otherwise don't waste your money hiring someone to clean your ducts. The only exception is you either had an animal living inside your duct work, or your house has a severe mold problem.
My 130 year old dirt filled 2 55 gal barrels. Do what you think is best but I don't regret getting mine cleaned.
We just had a total new HVAC system installed and duct cleaning was part of it. They came in & took the registers off, did the vacuum thing (which I'll admit he shoved in the register quite a ways) then they sealed around the duct to the sheet rock, cleaned the register and moved to the next one.
I'd never had it done before. The guys said the real issue is the sealing the duct and sheet rock - that's where dust comes from. We"ll see.
duct cleaning..the uv lights of ducts!
if you have flex..the cleaning will tear up
the inner liner. and you'll need new ductwork.
if you have hard pipe and it isn't well screwed
together, the cleaning will knock it lose.
if your ducts are that dirty then replace them.
if ductwork and returns are sealed..not duct tape
but mastic sealed then nothing is in them except
duct cleaning without stopping duct/return leakage
is just making another job for themselves in a few
eagle mom..did they clean the ducts from the plenum?
clean inside the plenum? sealing the supply boxes
to the sheetrock is something every homeowner should
do. but it is only one portion of where dirt gets
into the duct system.
best of luck.
Interesting enough. I've always vacuumed out the ducts the best I could but I can't get all of the duct work. I think I'll give it a shot for $49 - what do I have to lose. I do change the filter and I'm sure there are no creatures living in the duct work.
I suspect the $49 dollar job will be exactly what you pay for it. For $49 they will be there one hour. It won't be a duct cleaning. When they did mine they brought a truck like Stanley Steamer or Service pro. Like when they clean carpets all the working equipment is in the truck. He sealed the heat runs first and sucked them. Next he opened the heat runs and sealed the cold air returns and sucked them. He was here half the day. I saw the two barrels of lint and ??? when he was done. Looked like dryer lint and unidentifiable things that fall down the registers in most houses.
I would assume that my ducts date from the coal furnace. My house was built in 1880 or there abouts. It's been remuddled a couple of times. It was a working farm until about 1990. I live on a gravel road. If you have a new house or live in town you wouldn't have the same dirt issues I have but if you have an old house that's been remodeled there is no way your ducts don't have dust in them. I think I would pass on any one who says they can clean your whole heating system for $49. I would call around and get an estimate from some other companies though. They probably have a flat rate plus per duct over a certain amount.
There are several reasons listed here that are among the ones that prompted me to eliminate my dependence on ducts.
The $49 job usually turns into a $500 job by the time they are finished cleaning your wallet.
They are mostly cleaning your wallet.
How did the ducts get "dirty"?
Do you people ever sweep your floor? And there is nothing there? Hmm. Maybe that's why my ducts had "stuff" in them. When I sweep my floors I always sweep up "stuff". and I sweep every day. How did you keep anything at all from going down your registers? Are they on the ceiling?
"You people?" lol
Makes you wonder why the EPA doesn't agree with you??? :-)
The forced air blows trough the ducts all the time the system is heating or cooling, so anything that is loose will be blown out.
Never vacuum your rugs?
"Never vacuum your rugs?"
Don't have no stinkin carpets. As far as rugs go, I tell my wife if it can't be taken outside and beaten, it it too big.
so who beats the rugs? you or her?
just poking at ya.
love the 'you people'..
fyi..I don't have ducts in my floors.
mine are on the walls 'cause my ductwork is
inside the house..not the attic.
110 gallons of dirt..if that were accurate
(and they didn't bring some of it on the job
with them to show you afterwards and say
it came out of the ducts..and yes duct cleaning
companies do this..welcome to the real world)
if it were accurate..you ducts would have to
be beyond hard pipe ducts to support all that
did they even do ducts 130 years ago? don't know
about coal set ups, so I won't hazard a guess.
and really..just post once, not same thing multiple times.
dirt gets into the ducts lots of ways..
bypassing the filter..
beyond the filter in an usealed return.
beyond the return through unsealed
return to equipment junctions.
from equipment cabinet doors and penetrations.
from unsealed supply plenum to equipment.
from unsealed supply duct take offs at the
from unsealed corners of supply boxes,
supply plenums and return plenums.
and from around the gap at the cut through
wall, ceiling or floor where supply box
penetrates into living space.
this is why properly mastic sealing the ductwork
is so important. and overlooked in most cases.
if the duct/plenums/supply boxes are sealed..
as they are supposed to be...
nothing other than air is in there.
$49 gets them in the door.
and if you let them use whips & brushes..
much less push a vacume into flex duct
you will be buying new ducts soon.
save your $49 and buy a gallon of mastic
and brushes. invest in some mastic tape
and caulk. and seal the areas listed
above. it will be the best investment
When they were cleaning the ducts they used mastic and sealed around the vents. With the new HVAC system we had a new plenum made (other was duct board and falling apart), Yes they sealed it all. I'm a clean freak - after the system was installed I did no cleaning / dusting for several days. Then I did the deep down dirt removal cleaning / washing / vacuum / polishing of entire house and floors. That was 5 days ago and there isn't a speck of dust anywhere. Very unusual for filthy air in TX.
I tell my wife if she can't be taken outside and beaten she's too big.
To the original poster: You have people who have never done it, have no first hand experience, are men for the most part who evidently have their wives do all the cleaning tell you it isn't necessary. On the other hand you have two people who have used a reputible company to do the cleaning who say it was money well spent. Make up your own mind.
brickeyee, I bet you've never run a vaccuum on a rug. Shop vac is not the same.
ionized, Who takes it outside and beats it? Your wife?
If your house was EVER remodeled, you have dust in your ducts. No matter how well you seal the openings, dust filters and/or tracks into the whole house. You have to clean the cold air returns, too, not just the heat runs.
No, I do. Unfortunately, the DW has not the aptitude nor the ambition for cleaning.
"I saw the two barrels of lint and ??? when he was done. Looked like dryer lint..."
Have you figured out why you found dryer lint in your HVAC duct work?
So why does the EPA generally not recommend duct cleaning except for three specific cases?
Someone who sweeps the floor everyday would probably want to periodically have their ducts cleaned.
Most people don't, and don't.
Have been in this house >15 years. Recently out for periodic maintenance, I asked the HVAC contractor (this was the owner) about having ducts cleaned. He had a short answer - Not needed!
My parents had this done at their house. I'm sure the ducts had never been 'cleaned' for 50+ years. Their ductwork is solid, insulated, with a return (or two) in each room. Single story. The house had a mix of hardwood and w2w carpet. And pets.
The guys sucked out (apparently) bags of crap from the vents. Afterwards there was a noticeable increase in airflow from the registers, especially the returns.
It is my opinion, and I cannot back it up with fact, that dust, pet hair, lint and whatever cannot make it all the way back to the blower filter all the time. It then settles in the vent pipes (especially the returns) where it slowly builds up over time. A loong time.
No doubt in my mind.
Wow, I will certainly hire this done now. Funny posts though everyone. Duct work gets dusty, I agree with this. I am sure there is nothing living in the ducts but I'm sure there is dust.
"brickeyee, I bet you've never run a vaccuum on a rug. Shop vac is not the same."
You would be wrong the wife and I alternate vacuuming every other day.
How does anything get in to the ducts?
There is a filter on the return, and plenty of air moving when the system is running.
every AC evaporator would be quickly clogged if there was really anything to 'duct cleaning.'
They are covered with condensate water whenever the AC is running.
the dust would stick and quickly cog up the fine passages between the fins used to increase the surface area of the evaporator.
It is almost always a scam to 'clean ducts.'
If there are multiple returns and the filter is at the blower, the returns can fill up with detritus.
Otherwise, yup, most likely a scam.
There are many people who don't think it's necessary and a waste of money.
If you have any doubts about getting your ducts cleaned, you should check out the link below.
Here is a link that might be useful: Is duct cleaning really necessary?
Rather than a link to a Contractor that can hardly be considered "neutral," try seeing what the EPA has to say... no dog in the fight and, if anything, I would have guessed likely to err on the conservative side of health.
The EPA suggests it is not needed except in some VERY narrow circumstances.
Here is a link that might be useful: EPA On Duct Cleaning
Concerning the reply to saltidawg's reply that states - Rather than a link to a Contractor that can hardly be considered "neutral,"
I do consider myself "neutral."
I have nothing to sell - just giving advice based on real world experience of being an HVAC contractor.
You think the EPA has no agenda?
Like any government agency, they do have to justify their existence when it comes to getting taxpayer dollars to keep their job.
37 year HVAC veteran
Here is a link that might be useful: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Help and Advice
You think EPA justifies its existence by suggesting that generally duct cleaning is a waste of effort and resources.
It would possibly be better for their "image" if they could advise us to do something to improve our health. It is frequently difficult to take a stand saying something is safe when someone else has said it to be unsafe.
Similarly, it would have been "expedient" for the EPA to take the "safe" stand and say "clean your ducts," instead they performed their studies and analysis and reported the few cases where cleaning is warranted.
70 year breather of uncleaned duct air veteran. ;-)
"If there are multiple returns and the filter is at the blower, the returns can fill up with detritus. "
And whatever settles is not going anywhere (the reason it settled out) and if large enough will STILL be stopped by the filter, you know, the one there to protect the system (especially AC evaporators)?
The only time I have sen an AC evaporator clogged is on a system run for many years with NO filter.
And it did clog, and then froze into a nice block of ice.
The reason for the call since it no longer was cooling.
My point is that the returns can fill with dust. For a significant number of people, those with dust mite allergies, this could be a problem.
I'm using services from these guys. Costs me 90$ every time. Great services.
Here is a link that might be useful: njductclean.com
You dusted of this over six month old thread to tout a company - are you affiliated with them?
If not, as the EPA points out you are likely wasting your money.
This post was edited by saltidawg on Sat, Feb 23, 13 at 10:57
still it was and is an amusing thread.
According to National Air Duct Cleaners
Association (NADCA), the air ducts in
the average six-room house cancollect
40 pounds of dirt, dust and allergens
and one ounce of that dust can house
up to 40,000 dust
the nadca recommends duct cleaning..wonder
why? they sell duct cleaning!
that is biased information, and therefore IMO
the latest link is for new jersey clean...
another duct cleaning org.
Mary is likely spamming for work.
mastic seal ducts & returns air tight.
test to verify.
use a media filter.
I did a furnace changeout in a furnace room with limited access to the duct and the owners were so proud that they had it all cleaned prior to us being there. When I pulled the coil, there was all kind of dirt, cig butts laying on top of it. Went to pull out the return drop to adjust for a high eff. filter and it was so full of lint that I had to wrap it in a sheet to get it outside to clean it up. I didn't have the heart to tell the people they had wasted their money. This wasn't a fly by night company, it was a big name restoration business in our area.