How Long Does It Take To Clean Air Ducts?

If you are planning to clean your air ducts or even ask for a professional's help, you must know how much time will it take to perform the job. Well, you have come to the right place. We have asked some experts regarding that particular matter.

It will take three to five hours to correctly clean your air duct system. The supply side, blower compartment, return side, blower wheel, and return drop are all included in that time frame. Besides, you can determine the length of time it takes to clean air ducts by the size of your HVAC system.

We know you want more details about cleaning your air ducts. So, we suggest you keep reading throughout this post. We might also be able to answer some of the additional questions running through your mind.

Vacuum hose cleaning floor vent and duct, How Long Does It Take To Clean Air Ducts?

How Long Does Air Duct Cleaning Take

A complete HVAC system professional cleaning will take three to five hours. However, that will depend on the size of your HVAC system. Cleaning small houses will take about three hours in a professional cleaning service. On the other hand, larger homes like three thousand square feet can take up to five hours of air duct cleaning.

Worker with vacuum during duct cleaning in home

In addition, you should keep in mind that there are always some cleaning projects that exceed this duration range.

How To DIY Clean Air Ducts

Of course, not everyone is willing to spend much money asking for a professional's help to clean their air duct system. So, if you are one of those, it would be best to follow this guide to clean your air duct properly.

Gather All Your Tools

For you to be able to clean your air duct components thoroughly, you should prepare the following:

1. Brush

For this one, you can utilize any brush, such as a paintbrush or toilet brush.

2. Vacuum

A vacuum will significantly help you reach far or narrow areas in your air ducts. And it would be best to get a vacuum with a hose and nozzle.

Check out this vacuum with three cleaning tools on Amazon.

3. Air Filter

One essential tool you should prepare is an air filter. Once you finish cleaning the air ducts, you must replace your air filter with a new one.

4. Screwdriver

You will need a screwdriver to detach all the vents encircling your air duct.

Check out this screwdriver set on Amazon.

5. Paper Towels

While cleaning, you will utilize these to wipe down escaping dust and protect other supply registers.

Check out this paper towel on Amazon.

How To Clean Your Air Ducts (Step by Step)

1. Detach & Wash the Vent Covers

Hand in an protective rubber orange glove shows clogged air ventilation grille, cleaning service concept

Using your screwdriver, detach the vent covers from your ducts. And after you remove them, clean them with running water or put them in your dishwasher. Once you finish, set them aside to air dry.

2. Utilize Paper Towels to Cover all Vent Openings

Cover all the supply register openings using a few of your paper towels. Those paper towels will keep dust from blowing out of the openings and landing on your walls and floor while you take charge of your other HVAC system components. You will detach the covers to clean, but you should change them after each cleaning.

3. Remove the dust

Tap the handle of your brush around the sides of the ductwork to loosen the dust from its walls. 

4. Vacuum all dirt and dust

Get your vacuum and utilize the brush and nozzle attachments on your vacuum hose to suck up all the dirt present in your ductwork. If you notice some left dust on the walls even after cleaning, wipe them down using paper towels. Repeat this step for each opening.

5. Replace your old air filter with a new one

Once you finish cleaning the dust from the air duct, improve your indoor air even more by changing your old air filter with a new one.

6. Reassemble the vent covers

Handyman adjusting HVAC ceiling air vent

Lastly, you will now need to reassemble the vent covers back to their respective place.

Do this cleaning process as necessary to maintain the cleanliness and quality of your indoor air.

What Is Indoor Air Quality

Sometimes the air indoors is less healthy than the air outdoors. Your indoor air circulates less, and contaminants accumulate within it. They become encrusted on air ducts, furniture, rugs, walls, carpets, etc. We recommend cleaning your house and air ducts, especially if you have asthma or allergies.

In addition, aside from cleaning, you can improve the indoor air quality in a few more ways. You can air out the house and add some plants.

How Much Does Cleaning An Air Duct Cost

Handyman on a ladder cleaning a return air duct inside of a home

The cost of cleaning your air duct will depend on the size of your HVAC system. However, according to HomeAdvisor, the typical range is between $269 and $489.

The cleaning costs will vary specifically on:

  • the number of returns your air duct holds
  • the number of supplies
  • where the furnace or HVAC situates
  • the length of the air ducts
  • how many registers or dampers do you have

With all that said, size really matters.

How Frequent Should You Clean Your Air Ducts?

It is highly advisable to clean your air ducts every three to five years. However, if it is necessary to clean your ducts more often due to a lot of pet hair or home renovation, then do it. In addition, if you plan to relocate to a new home, cleaning the air duct is a must.

Read more about: How To Tell If Air Ducts Need Cleaning—10 Signs To Look For

What Is The Importance Of Cleaning Your Air Ducts

Blower attached to floor vent during duct cleaning in home

1. Maintain Excellent Indoor Air Quality

The air that flows through your air ducts is the same air that your family breathes. And you should check your air ducts since they can carry allergens such as pollen and pet dander. Those things can return to your living space via supply registers.

These particles can cause difficulties for people who have asthma, allergies, or other respiratory issues. Cleaning your air ducts will help to enhance air quality and keep airborne particles at bay.

2. Contributes To Energy Efficiency

If your air ducts are clean, expect that there will be no dust and debris that will obstruct the airflow from your HVAC system's components. But if you have clogged air ducts, your air conditioning unit or furnace will need to work harder and consume more energy.

Keeping your air ducts free from dust and dirt will allow your units to operate at maximum efficiency.

3. Protects Your Cooling and Heating Equipment

If your ventilation system is dirty, it can clog your air conditioner's coils, degrade blower wheels, and cause more problems that will lead your units to costly repairs. Keeping your air ducts clean will enable your HVAC equipment to last longer.

Read more about:"How To Clean Central Air Conditioner Vents And Ducts."

Do You Need Chemicals To Clean Air Ducts

Air duct cleaning does not involve the use of any chemicals. Brushes, vacuums, and other professional air duct cleaning equipment are all you need for air duct cleaning. You can only use chemicals for air duct cleaning if rodents, other living organisms, or dead organisms are present in the HVAC system and ductwork.

Can I Stay Inside The House During Air Duct Cleaning?

Yes, you can stay indoors if you want to. However, know that the cleaning process will cause some noise disturbances, and we recommend staying away from your HVAC units and some areas of your home.

How To Know If The Air Ducts Are Properly Cleaned?

If you want to ensure that your air ducts are well-cleaned, you can ask the professional to show and explain to you what they did in particular and the components they cleaned. And if you must, you can also scan any supply and return registers in your house. All you have to do is detach the vent covers and utilize a flashlight so you can check the insides. Once you see that the ducts are free from dust and dirt, they are well-cleaned.

Wrapping Things Up

Cleaning the air ducts may seem complex and challenging, but you can do it correctly within the intended time with proper tools and guidance. But if you don't want to do the cleaning and you have the budget, you can always opt to ask for the help of an HVAC professional.

Thank you for reading, and we hope you find this post helpful. If you have further questions, you can leave a comment below, and we'd love to answer you. You might also want to check the articles below or visit our website anytime.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Micro Clean DFW

    Are your air ducts clogged with dust, pet dander, or other allergens? If so, it’s time to call a professional to clean them. A duct cleaning can help remove all the dirt and debris built over time, making your home more comfortable. But how long does it take to clean an air duct? Here are three tips to help you get started:

    1. Estimate how much insulation and ductwork is in your home. This will help estimate the amount of time required for proper cleaning.
    2. Prepare the area ahead of time by removing any furniture or appliances that could obstruct the work area.
    3. Locate the air registers and vents in your home and identify any obstructions or gaps in their seals. Clean these areas as well.

  2. Olivia Smart

    Thank you for explaining how clean air ducts can help with your HVAC’s energy efficiency. I’ve been hearing about people getting their air ducts cleaned and hadn’t realize that this was something we should be doing for our system. I’ll be sure to have it checked over and see if it will help with our system’s efficiency.

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