Frequently Asked Questions about Duct Cleaning

1. How long should it take to clean a typical residential system?

It depends on several variables such as the size of the home, the number of separate HVAC systems and the amount of contamination in the ductwork. The average home of 1500 to 2000 sq. ft. should take one and a half to two hours to clean.


2. How often should residential ductwork systems be cleaned?

Frequency of cleaning depends on several factors, not the least of which is the preference of the homeowner. We normally recommend every three to five years. However, some of the things that may lead a homeowner to consider more frequent cleanings include:

  • Smokers in the household
  • Pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander
  • Water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
  • Residents who may have allergies or asthma
  • After home renovations
  • When moving into a new home


3. What kind of equipment is best for duct cleaning?

There are three main types of vacuum collection devices: 1. truck-powered, 2. truck-mounted, and 3. portable units. Truck-powered is the most powerful, because the truck engine powers the large vacuum system contained within the truck and generates the most suction. This is different from a truck-mounted system which is generally a portable system mounted in the back of a cube van, powered by a small engine, producing much less suction.


Portable systems are less powerful and are mainly used in those situations where a truck-powered system is not practical. For example, high-rise apartment and condominium buildings, commercial buildings and HVAC systems located in attics or upper floors of a house. They will still do an adequate job, but due to having less suction power, the job takes longer to complete.


4. Why should I choose a NADCA member to clean my air ducts?

Duct cleaning companies must meet stringent requirements to become NADCA members. These requirements include having certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialists (ASCS) on staff that have taken and passed the NADCA Certification Examination. Passing the examination demonstrates extensive knowledge of HVAC systems and cleaning methodologies. ASCS technicians must also further their industry education through annual refresher training to maintain their certification status.


NADCA members must follow NADCA standards for cleaning and sign a Code of Ethics stating that they will do everything possible to protect the consumer and operate in an honest and forthright manner.

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