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Air Duct Cleaning: What should I expect?

Updated: Dec 15, 2018

With so many different types of ductwork and configurations, it’s important to hire a licensed professional to clean your HVAC system. During the cleaning, special tools are used to dislodge dust, dirt, and debris within your air duct system. These contaminants are then contained in a HEPA vacuum collection system, ready for proper disposal.

The key components of a professional air duct cleaning procedure are the vacuum unit, the mechanical agitating tools and a strong understanding of air duct cleaning standards and recommended practices.

Here are the things your service provider should do when cleaning your home’s air ducts:


  • Open access ports or doors to allow the entire system to be inspected and cleaned.

  • Inspect the system before cleaning to be sure that there are no obstructions, damaged ductwork or unsafe conditions.

  • Protect the indoor environment and the occupants by using containment strategies and HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuuming equipment.

  • Protect the carpet and furnishings during the cleaning process.

  • Use forward and reverse air sweeps, rotating brushes and contact vacuum cleaning equipment as required, to clean various types of ductwork.

  • Take care to protect ductwork, including sealing and re-insulating any access holes so they’re airtight.

  • Follow (The HVAC Inspection, Maintenance and Restoration Association) NADCA standards for air duct cleaning procedures.

  • Follow (North American Insulation Manufacturers Association) NAIMA’s recommended practices for ducts containing fiberglass or constructed of fiberglass duct board.

  • Follow (Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association) SMACNA standards when dealing with sheet metal ducts.

  • Follow all state and local codes.

  • Be a state licensed air conditioning contractor.

A reputable air duct cleaning company should be able to explain to you what they are doing and why they are doing it that way. Visual inspection is the number one method to verify cleanliness. Since properly performed air duct cleaning projects cost between $600 and $1000, don’t be afraid to get in there and see that the job is done correctly. Tampa Air Systems, Inc. offers photo documentation with before and after cleaning pictures when necessary or requested.



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