How Long Does Duct Cleaning Take?

Learn how much time you might need for cleaning house ducts

Written by Olivia Paxton. Updated on How Long Does Duct Cleaning Take

To keep your ventilation system properly working, you should clean it regularly. However, if you will be doing it for the first time, you might be wondering how much time it would take for your duct system to be cleaned.

And this is quite a normal question that you must not feel silly for asking!

Taking care of your air ducts is an important part of ensuring the longevity of your heating and cooling system. However, in order to clean your air duct system, you might need quite a lot of time.

And if you are planning to do it alone, you will surely need to calculate how many hours you might spend on the process. This is why people tend to wonder about cleaning out HVAC ducts so often!

So in this article we will tell you how to clean house ducts, and what the amount of time needed for this depends on.

Also, you will learn how much time this procedure takes and what air ducts cleaning actually does for your vent system.

Finally, you will learn when it is best to have your duct system cleaned.

How Long Does Air Duct Cleaning Take?

To have clean and properly working air ducts, you need to clean them regularly. This is a basic rule of thumb that must be followed no matter what. However, there is no set amount of time that is needed for doing this.

In most cases, most duct systems have ten to fifteen vents that will need to be cleaned.

If you have a two-man team working on your system to clean it, you can expect the entire cleaning vent ducts process to last anywhere between two and four hours.

Nevertheless, this is an approximate time frame that usually depends on several important factors that should be taken into consideration.

This is why, in order to be able to calculate the actual time needed for cleaning your duct system exactly, you should think about such things as:

  • How dirty your vents are
  • How many of them you have
  • How many people will be cleaning them

Of course, if you have extremely dirty vents that have to be cleaned by one person only, it will take more time than if a team of workers is cleaning them.

In comparison, if your duct vents are not super dirty, you can even cope with the cleaning task yourself or by hiring one worker who would do everything for you professionally.

How Long Does Air Duct Cleaning Take
Credits: Jamiga, via

How Do They Clean Air Ducts?

Since now you know how much time you might need for cleaning your house ducts, we think it is time to introduce you to the process itself.

See, during the complete air duct cleaning, your technician will have to work on the return side, supply side, blower compartment, blower wheel, and return drop.

Of course, this procedure is best to be done by professional cleaners since one must be extremely careful and cautious when dealing with the ventilation system!

If anything is damaged or removed there during the cleaning, you will then have to call for technicians to come and repair it! In addition, cleaning your duct system requires the use of special tools that only the professional cleaners have.

How Do They Clean Air Ducts
Credits: coffeekai, via

This is why, if you need to have your air duct system cleaned, we recommend you hire a reputable and trustworthy professional instead of trying to do it yourself.

When the specialist arrives, the whole process of duct cleaning will look like this.

  • Your technician will inspect your ducts that lead to the return and supply registers. This is a good first step for homeowners to take as well, so they can see the before and after differences for themselves. The technician you invited may use a camera to inspect your ducts thoroughly before the cleaning begins. Then your technician repairs any issues they see with the ducts. He may repair leaks, kinks, and replace any damage seen in your ducts.
  • The next step is to create a negative pressure. At this point, your technician uses a large vacuum system that they take to the furnace. This is a very powerful high-efficiency particulate air vacuum that creates negative pressure in your vents. They will hook the vacuum collect device’s hose to a duct close to the air handler. The technician will have to cut an access hole into the duct and seal it tight. Next, all your supply registers are closed to make the negative pressure maximal. Then they will turn on the vacuum and start cleaning each duct one at a time.
  • Now it is time to agitate the dust. As your technician goes through the air duct cleaning process vent by vent, they’ll use some powerful vacuuming tools to clean the ducts. These tools include rotating brushes and compressed agitation air whipping tools to move settled dust. Your technician will clean the supply side ducts and return vents. This will dislodge settled dust into the main lines so it can be sucked into the vacuum easier.
  • Finally, your technician will complete a system remainder cleaning. Following the cleaning of your ducts and vents, the rest of your HVAC system will be inspected. This includes the furnace, air blower motor, evaporator coil, drain pan, and more. Your technician should clean up after themselves and ensure that rooms are not dustier than when they entered them. They should take you on a walkthrough of their work so you can see the difference for yourself.

Like that, with all this information in mind, you will be able to better understand what is going on when your technician is doing his job.

Being aware of the general matter will also allow you to ask questions if there happens to be anything that you are not quite sure about during the cleaning process.

How Do They Clean Air Ducts (2)
Credits: DenBoma, via

Related: How to Clean Pilot Light

How Often Shall I Clean My Duct System?

Basically, professional duct system technicians recommend homeowners to clean their vent systems every three to five years.

However, this is a general suggestion.

If necessary, the cleaning procedure can be taken more frequently – for example, if your ducts get dirty quite quickly.

Also, do please note that your ducts must be cleaned more often in case you notice any signs of mold or mildew growing in your house, if you have excessive allergy symptoms, or have had recent construction performed in your home!

The air duct cleaning process can help remove dander, dust, and allergens so you can breathe easy. Your furnace will appreciate it, too. Clean ductwork helps your furnace run smoothly and last longer.

Do NOT Get Your AIR DUCTS CLEANED Until You Watch This Video! Air Duct Cleaning In St Louis MODo NOT Get Your AIR DUCTS CLEANED Until You Watch This Video! Air Duct Cleaning In St Louis MO

Related: How to Clean a Window Air Conditioner Without Removing It

What Does Air Duct Cleaning Do?

Keeping your house ducts cleaned is important, but not only because of the aesthetical reasons. Also, it is not just important for increasing the lifetime of your heating and cooling system.

Clean ducts are also important for improving the overall performance quality of your system. Dirty ducts can lead to clogs in your system.

You can easily identify if you have a clogged duct because the airflow to the room with a clogged duct will be stifled. You will experience a room that is hotter or cooler than other rooms in your home.

This is why make sure you clean a duct system regularly to keep your home properly ventilated and safe for those who live in it.

What Does Air Duct Cleaning Do
Credits: ronstik, via

When to Have Your Duct System Cleaned?

Many homeowners that are concerned about the safety of their homes often wonder how they can tell when it is time to have their duct system cleaned.

Are there any visible signs that will tell you the ducts must undergo the cleaning procedure? And how often should the ducts be cleaned?

Well, basically, duct cleaning is a process that depends on how dirty your ducts are.

The dirtier the air ducts are, the longer it will take to clean the air ducts. How often duct cleaning is required can depend on a number of different factors.

You should be sure to ask a professional how often duct cleaning should be done in your home.

When to Have Your Duct System Cleaned
Credits: nostal6ie, via

Asking the advice of a professional is always the best idea when you are in doubt.

You should be on the lookout for rooms with higher temperatures. You should also look out for excessive heating or cooling bills.

So, now you are informed about the amount of time needed for cleaning your home ducts, as well as about what this amount of time may depend on. In addition, you have learned how the cleaning process happens and why you should not do it yourself.

Since the duct system is an important part of your home that is actually your home’s “lungs”, you must entrust its cleaning to the professionals only! In this case, they will do everything properly and your home will be filled with fresh air again.

But if you decide to clean the ducts yourself, chances are that you might accidentally damage something there thus causing more trouble!

So, if you notice that the airflow in your home gets stiffed, or if one of your rooms is colder or hotter than others, consider calling a professional duct cleaning service for help!

They will inspect your vent system and see if there is anything that you should worry about, or it’s just time for it to be cleaned.

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ How much does air duct cleaning cost?

It depends on how big your HvAC system is, but usually it’s from 200 to 1000 dollars in total.

⭐ How often should I clean my air ducts?

Every 3 to 5 years.

⭐ Can I clean my air ducts myself?

No. It must be done by professional technicians.

Written by
Olivia shares all she knows about the hotels, houses, and home cleaning with Beezzly readers. And she knows a lot! 15 years of work experience as a Manager in a former Four Season Service gave Olivia an exceptional base of professional knowledge and practical experience.
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
Duct Cleaning BEFORE AND AFTER: Does duct cleaning work?Duct Cleaning BEFORE AND AFTER: Does duct cleaning work?