Air duct and vent cleaning cost guide

Air duct and vent system is one of the most essential ones in every home. It provides a home with clean air and guarantees proper air conditioning for healthy being of all the tenants. Over the years, heating and cooling systems tend to get polluted with debris and harmful build-up; this leads to improper work of the system and might even add harmful allergens to the air at home. With the help of professional air duct and vent cleaning service, one can keep a home or an office air clean and safe.

Here you will learn about:

Air duct and vent cleaning services are provided by professionally licensed companies that help with cleaning air ducts in both residential and commercial homes. The services are performed to improve overall air quality in a building and also verify the condition of the ductwork. The average air duct and vent cleaning cost is $260-$380 with the top end reaching $670. Some more complicated cases may also include additional costs that are always clarified by the cleaners.

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Cost-related questions

How do cleaners charge?

Air duct and vent cleaners can charge either per project (flat rates), per unit charge (with additional costs applying), and per square footage.

Flat rates

Flat rates are based on the existing packages air duct and vent cleaning services have. The packages may vary tremendously and depend on the company line of work (residential or commercial), location (small town estimates tend to cost less than the price of similar services in big cities), and, of course, company algorithm of calculations (it is individual and might be ungrounded). Here are the average package costs:

  • Standard package $100 Industrial truck-mounted vacuums, high-pressure air wands, and air snakes are used to clean all vents (both supply and return), branch lines, and main trunk lines.
  • Advanced package $200 Standard package + the use of rotobrush or viper clean sweep for the main trunk lines.
  • Ultimate cleaning package $400 Advanced package + application of viper microline to force debris down from the branch lines to the main trunk lines and further viper clean sweep application. Furnace cleaning.

Per-unit (a/c) rates

Per-unit rates are beneficial for small homes with poor ventilation system or for homeowners who clean their ductwork regularly. This is also a perfect payment method if you know that you have a problem in a particular part or with only a couple of units in your system.

  • Central unit (exterior) $5-$13
  • Central unit (both exterior and interior) $25-$73
  • Swamp cooler (interior) $28-$95
  • Swamp cooler (exterior) $10-$34
  • Wall mount (exterior) $5-$25
  • Wall mount (both exterior and interior) $15-$40
  • Window mount $5-$20
  • Window mount (both exterior and interior) $20-$40

Should you be interested in additional installation of an a/c unit, don’t hesitate to ask your service provider about the air conditioning installation cost and whether they offer such a service.

Square footage

The larger the building is, the higher will be the cleaning costs. Sometimes, aid duct and vent cleaning companies work on a square footage basis plus the extra costs. The extra costs, in this case, include manpower cost, equipment charges, and travel charges in rare cases. While the cost may vary significantly, here are the tentative estimates.

The primary method of charge is still package-based, but the companies inform that this cost applies to buildings under 2,500 square feet. If you have a larger space, then you will have to pay an additional $20 per additional 500 square feet for a standard or advanced cleaning and about $40 for the ultimate cleaning.

Does commercial duct cleaning cost more than residential?

Yes, commercial and residential cleaning cost varies with the former being a higher charge. As a rule, commercial air ducts are larger and more extensive than residential ones, plus they have more workload so require more cleaning. On average, cleaning companies charge about $20-$30/vent for a residential project and about $35-$50/hour for commercial projects.

What factors can increase the cost of services?

Mold and mildew removal

You already know regular duct cleaning costs, but if your home or office was neglected for a very long time then mold and mildew buildup tend to increase the cost of services. On average, companies charge $0.07-$0.08/square foot on top of the initial cost. In too complex cases you might even be advised to hire a mold and mildew removal specialist.

Custom ducts

Generally, the air duct system in both residential and commercial buildings have the same floor plan. This helps cleaning companies navigate without any problems in every home. However, if you have unique duct layout that would require additional work due to the difficult-to-access features, be ready that the cost may go up. This is due to the added work and time which will have to be put into the project.

Dryer vent cleaning

Dryer vent cleaning might not be a part of your cleaning package and it is always good to check the condition of it. If this service is not included, the additional charge is about $130/unit.

Disinfectant fog

Disinfectant fog is used for deep air duct and vent cleaning. This additional service is non-obligatory, yet highly advised for extremely dirty ducts. The cost is about $50-$100 for the substance.

Protective sealants

Some companies offer protective sealants that help to keep the dirt levels down between the cleaning procedures. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), however, does not recommend applying protective sealants after cleaning because they can be harmful to the overall air quality in the building. The cost of this service is $200-$250 and it is available only at request.


Older homes are built with asbestos in its composition. Unfortunately, asbestos was also added to the ductwork in residential homes built before the 1980s. If the cleaning company spots asbestos, be ready to pay for the ductwork replacement to avoid harmful asbestos influence. Replacement of a single duct may cost around $300-$400/duct.


Some cleaners advise repairs if they spot any malfunctions in the air duct systems. They may, as well, offer this service at an additional cost. Generally, these are furnace problems that air duct cleaners can deal with. This service can cost anywhere between $130-$500.

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Information to learn before hiring air duct and vent cleaners


Professional air duct and vent cleaning companies are all registered with NADCA. Visit its webpage to verify the membership of a chosen service provider.


Check how long a company has been in business. It is advised to cooperate with companies who have been cleaning ducts for at least 5 years to avoid getting your ducts damaged with the negligence of inexperienced workers.


The easiest way to check air duct cleaners’ reputation is to visit the page of Better Business Bureau (BBB) and verify its complaints record.

License and insurance

Always verify the license number of every cleaner! It is obligatory to have a professional license in the air duct and vent cleaning business. Insurance protects you and your home from accidents, so it’ also highly advised for verification.


Before you sign the papers, ensure that all required services are included, that all of them are described, and that you agree with everything stated on paper. Should you have any questions, never hesitate to ask your service provider to explain these issues to you.

Avoid too cheap offers

If you see prices that seem too good to be true, for instance, if the advertisement says $29 or $49 only, then chances are that this is either an untrustworthy company or that the package doesn’t include some essential services. It is better to stick to the price range described at the beginning of this article to avoid losing both money and cleaning quality.

Other frequently asked questions

How often should I get my ducts cleaned?

The recommended frequency of air duct and ventilation cleaning is every 5-7 years. The frequency usually depends on the pets in a building, level of smoking, prevalence of asthma and allergies among the occupants, HVAC damages due to a fire or flood, and pest infestation.

How can I preserve the condition of my air ducts and vents?

The easiest way to preserve the ducts in the current state is to apply a special sealant. It can prolong the cleanliness of the duct, yet as described above, professional association NADCA doesn’t recommend its use. So it is up to you whether to apply the sealant and worsen the overall air quality or to avoid it and have the ducts cleaned a little more often. After the cleaning, ask your cleaners if any chemicals can be applied to prevent mold and mildew build-up.

Bottom line

Aid duct and vent cleaning service is an essential maintenance project for every residential and commercial building. The services are performed once in 5-7 years and on average cost $260-$380.

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