The above costs cover basic cleaning for HVAC ducts and air vents, but the following complications and contamination may increase your price:
- Rodents: Rats or other vermin will need to be exterminated before HVAC cleaners can clean the air ducts.
- Mold and mildew: Toxic mold will likely require remediation beyond a simple duct cleaning.
- Dryer vents: Dryer vents, which remove excess heat from your dryer to prevent fires, must be unclogged regularly. Clogged vents may result in extra cleaning costs.
- Accessibility: Any obstacles that substantially increase the time it takes to access or clean the ducts may increase costs.
Air Duct Cleaning Cost for Rodents
Rats, mice, and other pests can chew through ductwork and begin living in your cooling system. Since rodent droppings pose a potential health hazard, you should deal with the infestation right away. If air duct cleaners spot signs of a rodent infestation, you’ll need to call an exterminator before they can proceed. Rodent control usually costs $170–$520, but it may be more expensive if the infestation is severe.
Air Duct Cleaning Cost for Mold and Mildew
In terms of both health risks and air duct cleaning prices, there’s a big difference between simple mildew and hazardous mold. Some fungal growth sheds dangerous spores that can cause serious respiratory problems. The process of eradicating this mold and ensuring it doesn’t grow back is called mold remediation. You’ll need to hire a special contractor for this and will likely pay upwards of $2,000–$6,000.
The good news is that only a few types of mold are this toxic; the bad news is that it’s almost impossible to tell by looking. If you spot mold or mildew, you should send a sample to a microbiology lab for testing, which costs $50–$100. If it isn’t toxic, or if it isn’t mold at all, you won’t need remediation.
Note that air duct cleaning doesn’t remove all mold and mildew. Even sanitizing, which costs an extra $75–$150, uses antibacterial rather than antifungal chemicals. These chemicals don’t kill mold and may damage fiberglass ductwork.
Air Duct Cleaning Cost for Dryer Vents
Unlike air duct cleaning, which isn’t a necessary part of routine home maintenance, dryer vent cleaning must take place at least once a year. A clogged dryer vent increases the risk of a house fire and makes your clothes dryer less efficient. Air duct cleaners may include dryer vents as part of a whole-house cleaning, or they may charge $40–$100 extra. If you request only dryer vent cleaning, it will cost around $80–$180.
Air Duct Cleaning Cost by Accessibility
Professionals rarely charge by the hour for residential HVAC cleaning. However, you may be charged extra if something about your system substantially increases the time it takes for the air cleaners to do their work. For example, if there are difficult-to-access ducts or plenums (aka air distribution boxes) in attics or crawl spaces, or if your ductwork has a custom design. In rare cases, the level of contamination may increase the price as well.
Other Air Duct Cleaning Costs
Here are some other costs you may encounter when having your air ducts cleaned:
- Annual air conditioner maintenance: $75–$200
- Air conditioner repairs: $100–$1,300
- Duct repair/replacement: $130–$550
- Furnace cleaning: $60–$150
- Visual air duct inspection: $80–$180
- Video inspection: $200–$500