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Air Duct Cleaning: What Should It Cost and Do You Need It?
If it has been some time since your last air duct cleaning, you’re probably tempted to find a person to sanitize those ducts so you’ll get cool air throughout your house in the spring and summer.
But before you do, you want to arm yourself with some knowledge to avoid falling prey to air duct cleaning scams!
In this article, I’ll tell you just how much an air duct cleaning should price, when you need it, the way to choose a company and how to avoid some common scams.
Here Is What You Need to Know About Air Duct Cleaning
1. Beware of Carpet Cleaners Pulling Double Duty as Duct Cleaners
Here’s a traditional upsell from carpet cleaners: They get in your house to work on your carpets and offer to clean your air ducts, also, to get a rock-bottom price.
That cost should also include cleaning your dryer vents. “A quality duct cleaning firm will and should clean your dryer vents, also,” an expert says. “They’re also ducts!”
2. Know When a Duct Cleaning Is Needed and When It Isn’t
Our expert recommends an immediate duct cleaning when you move into a newly constructed home.
“There’s lots of construction debris. Sawdust, drywall scraps and even Doritos bags can wind up in the ductwork of a newly constructed home,” he says.
Then, he says a duct cleaning should be done every seven to ten years — unless you have someone in the home with breathing issues.
“You should receive your HVAC provider to improve your furnace filtration scenario. That is money better spent than on a yearly or every two-year duct cleaning scam.”
3. Make Sure Your HVAC System Will Is Cleaning
“A quality duct cleaning isn’t, in my opinion, complete without getting your HVAC system cleaned at exactly the same time,” our expert says.
But here is the thing: Duct cleaners are not legally allowed to touch your HVAC unless they have a current HVAC license.
The company must provide you with the permit number upon request. That’s not a good sign if they won’t.
While we’re on the topic of HVACs and dust, most HVAC maintenance plans include regular changes of the furnace filter. But changing the filter between visits – usually every 3 months — will help cut down on dust and keep your system running at peak efficiency.
How to Change Your HVAC Furnace Filter
Not sure how to change your HVAC furnace filter? The first thing to do would be to eliminate the filter out of your furnace. Make a note of the filter size. It’ll be something like something or 14x25x1.
Remember to put the filter back when you’re done — at least until your new one is ready to install.
Next, head into the store or look online for a replacement filter. You can find a good one for anywhere from $5 to $20 in a big-box or home-improvement shop. Filters may be even carried by your local supermarket in sizes. But the prices will often be higher than at other areas.
If you’re noticing lots of dust or other allergens in your home, it may well be worthwhile to pay the few extra bucks to get a filter with a higher Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating.
MERV ratings are on a scale from 1 to 16 for most residential applications, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles it will trap and keep out of your lungs.
Once you’ve got your new filter, you’re ready to take out the old one and install the new one. We’ve got a DIY video here to guide you through the procedure.
4. Beware of Unsolicited Pitches
Here is how this one works: A company calls you and says they will be in your area next week. They offer to clean your ducts for $25 or some other outlandishly low cost.
5. Push Back on the Mold Scare Tactic
Some companies put a mold test kit in your home to convince you that you want your ducts cleaned. But you’re likely scaring.
“Mold isn’t the only reason to clean your duct work however. [Ducts] can result in having more dust and do get dirty over time. Dust is just a simple fact of life, as everything emits dust”
An air duct cleaning shouldn’t be treated as an add-on to a carpet cleaning trip. And even though it can be expensive to get it an annual air duct cleaning isn’t necessary for many people.
So it is sensible to budget for the true price of a legitimate cleaning every seven to ten years. Of course, if a person in your house has breathing difficulties, you’d want to do it.
Meanwhile, be certain that you’re hiring legitimate companies by checking with industry trade groups such as the National Air Duct Cleaners Association.
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Furnace Filter ………………………………………….
Craftsman 6 Gallon 3 HP Shop Vac ………….
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There are several video’s on youtube of companies that clean air heating vents, but there are none that show how you can clean them yourself. This is a video i made when i decided to try and clean my air ducts by myself. I used a shop vac and a leaf blower to do the entire job.
(Disclosure Note: Please note that the Amazon link(s) above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link.)