questionsare air duct cleaning deals really a deal?

vote-for16vote-against
vote-for7vote-against

My husband did heating and air conditioning work for 20+ years and he is firmly convinced that air duct cleanings are one of the biggest rip-offs in the industry.

If your ducts are in the floor they can get dirty and a duct cleaning may help some but if your ducts are overhead keep your money in your pocket.

vote-for3vote-against

I know my intakes get dust bunnies on them. It would stand to reason the same thing would be on the inside... That's before the air goes through the filter, so maybe it's not a big deal.

vote-for1vote-against

@ohcheri: Basement is overhead but the rest of the stuff is in the floor. The cooling and heating gets really bad as you head up so I may take a chance. I have a single furnace so I might take a shot at getting them cleaned for $50. They will no doubt try to upsell (which will be declined) but hopefully they are better companies than the ones I get random mailings for.

vote-for3vote-against

I think it improves the dustiness of the home (at least for a little while) but I doubt it improves your furnace efficiency. Calling it a rip-off is overstating it. The reality is that since your furnace has a filter on the intake side, the furnace is blowing filtered air into the house. Most of the crud that will be in your ducts will be at the floor vents where things have fallen in. Most of that can be reached by hand and vacuum hose.

vote-for3vote-against

Total rip off. My wife and I almost died this year from carbon monoxide poisoning when the air duct cleaning company couldn't be bothered to put the furnace back together properly after their "free inspection."

Stay away.

vote-for2vote-against

@daveinsocal: I think this is the most telling answer. Thanks for sharing and glad that you and your wife were able to live to tell the story.

vote-for3vote-against

Before you do anything, read what the EPA says -> http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/airduct.html . The answer is almost always a resounding no. If you do decide to get them cleaned, use someone who is actually certified to do it. Most are not.

vote-for1vote-against

@lalian: Thanks for beating me to the link to the EPA site on duct cleaning. It is one of the best resources available on duct cleaning.

Let me give you the TL;DR version: unless you have had a significant infestation of rodents, there is a huge buildup of dust, or the ductwork was gotten very wet and now is supporting mold growth you don't need it. It should only be done when it is clearly indicated. There is no (repeat: no) need for routine or periodic cleaning of HVA/C ductwork.

vote-for2vote-against

My oldest son has asthma. I had our ducts cleaned which are overhead ducts and underfloor returns. It was amazing how much crap came out of those vents, enough to fill a 55gal trash bag. Most of that I am sure sats harmless in the vents. I am very avid about changing our filter every 4 to 6 weeks, 2" pleated filters. I think it was worth the money for my son's asthma, he does breath a little easier at night since the cleaning.

vote-for1vote-against

@wisenekt: Remember that hot air rises so you will ALWAYS have cooler air upstairs. This is not a issue with your air ducts. (most likely). You can close all vents in the lower level to send more of the cold air upstairs, and in the winter do the opposite. (if you have hot and cold seasons anyway like me) Close vents upstairs to allow more hot air in the lower level. This will only help a little since you cant stop the laws of physics... :)