You’ve probably heard that it’s essential to clean the ducts in your HVAC system on a regular basis. However, the air duct cleaning cost that you imagine might have you hesitating to call a professional. After all, why spend money on an HVAC technician if your system continues to function?
The catch is that your system may not continue to function very long if you keep neglecting to have the ducts cleaned. Furthermore, when it eventually does stop working, the damage caused by dirty ducts may be widespread and expensive to fix. The long-term costs of not cleaning your ducts are always higher than the short-term costs of cleaning them before things can become worse. Don’t believe us? Just read on and see for yourself.
What is the Typical Air Duct Cleaning Cost?
Many homeowners assume that cleaning their air ducts will require a major investment and let the fear of losing money prevent them from doing it. Don’t let fear decide for you—instead, why not do a little research? As of this year, the average cost of having the HVAC ducts in your home cleaned is just $354. Lower than you were expecting it to be, isn’t it?
It’s important to note that air duct cleaning costs can vary from one home to the next. On the low end of the spectrum, it’s usually just over $260. On the high end, it can be almost $500. In certain extreme cases, some companies might charge even more than that—but the best way to avoid the kind of job that comes with a high price tag is to have lots of little and inexpensive visits from your HVAC techs so that they can take care of small issues before they have a chance to become major headaches.
Why is Air Duct Cleaning Important in the First Place?
For those homeowners who are still skeptical about the value of air duct cleaning, here’s a quick run-down of why it matters.
The air ducts in a standard forced-air HVAC system are responsible for making sure that air can circulate throughout your home effectively (or your office, if you’re dealing with a commercial system). Maintaining proper airflow is vital to keeping your HVAC efficient. Unclean ducts can develop blockages that prevent air from moving through them in the right amounts. If air cannot move freely throughout the system, several problems can occur. These problems include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Reduced air conditioner efficiency. Your air conditioner is responsible for treating the air that moves through your ducts. If those ducts contain blockages, air won’t be able to reach the evaporator or condenser coils, and the system will not be able to cool or condition it. Essentially, you’ll be spending money to run an air conditioner that doesn’t produce the effect you want.
- Strange smells. If a duct is only partially clogged, air may still move through it. However, this air will carry the scent of whatever is clogging the duct with it, and eventually bring that smell into your space.
- Increased humidity. Air conditioners do not just cool the air in your building—they also remove moisture. Dehumidifying can be a critical step in preventing dust mite infestations—so if you want to make sure the air you’re breathing is free from allergens, make sure you keep the ducts clean and let the system do its job.
- Premature wear and tear. HVAC systems are sensitive, and if they work too hard, then certain components may break down before the regular end of their lifespan. An HVAC with airflow problems will have to work harder than normal to achieve the temperature you want in your space, which can put a strain on many of the most important parts. A new compressor can cost up to $1800, so you’ll want to avoid this situation at all costs. Just keep the ducts clean, and you should be fine.
Short vs. Long Term Air Duct Cleaning Cost
You might not want to spend a few hundred dollars to have your ducts cleaned, but that’s likely just a drop in the ocean compared to what you might have to spend if you let dirty ducts become worse. Rising utility bills, costly replacement parts, and pest control solutions are just a few of the expenses that can result from an airflow problem in your HVAC, and all of them are likely to cost much more than a simple duct cleaning. For best results, arrange to have the ducts in your system cleaned every 1-2 years (more frequently for homes at higher elevation levels). The money you save by doing so will help offset your initial air duct cleaning cost and help you enjoy better, more consistent cooling as well.