Is Air Duct Cleaning Worth It? How to Avoid Scams

There is an endless debate on whether or not to clean air ducts. Some people believe air duct cleaning is a scam.

So, you may wonder, "Is air duct cleaning worth it?"

Consider this: debris, dust, and dirt often hide in the ducts, and any moisture in the ducts can cause mold growth. Suppose you or a relative suffers from allergies. Would ignoring mold, dust, dirt, and other pollens accumulated on your ducts, in your home, be healthy? Definitely not!

The good news is that air duct cleaning doesn't need to happen super often (it's only recommended every 3-5 years)! But, it can be vital in some circumstances, for example, after a house renovation or due to recurring allergy or asthma symptoms.

Cleaning air ducts has several benefits, including better health and air quality. This article explains why your ducts need to be cleaned and the pros and cons involved.

Let's get started.

a male Zerorez air duct cleaning technician holding up an air duct cleaning hose into a ceiling air duct return register vent holding a fan

What Is Duct Cleaning?

Proper, thorough, professional air duct cleaning involves cleaning the entire HVAC system of your house: the heating and cooling system components, including the heating and cooling coils, grilles and diffusers, fan and housing, condensate drain pans, motor, air handling unit housing, and heat exchangers.

Is Air Duct Cleaning Worth It?

There's no scientific evidence confirming that regular duct cleaning is necessary.

However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agrees that duct cleaning may be required and beneficial in some scenarios.

Some of the circumstances when cleaning your air ducts is necessary include the following:

  • Mold growth in air ducts
  • Recurring allergies
  • Recent home renovation
  • Vermin (insects or rodents) infestation
  • Ducts smelling
  • Air ducts are clogged

Mold Growth in Air Ducts

Excess moisture in the air ducts causes mold growth. Prolonged exposure to mold spores in your home may cause respiratory or allergic symptoms. This is mostly the case for people with allergies or a compromised immune system.

However, duct cleaning may not permanently solve mold growth problems; hence, a professional should deal with the underlying problem.

On the other hand, it's good to be extra careful when hiring an air duct cleaning company, and here's why: most of the heating and cooling system sections may be inaccessible for inspection.

Hire a company with a highly trained air duct cleaning team that will professionally inspect your air ducts to determine if there is mold. You probably need to try Zerorez®, the experts in air duct cleaning!

Not only shall we clean the ducts, but we shall also ensure that the HVAC is running smoothly. Besides, we have a powerful negative air duct cleaning system that is the best in the business.

Before and After Zerorez cleaned air ducts, showing how worth it is as the before picture is almost a clogged vent with so much debris and dirt in it
Before and After Zerorez Air Duct Cleaning

Recurring Allergies

Your air ducts do not cause allergies. But, the mold, dirt, dust, and other pollen accumulating on the air ducts cause allergy symptoms, especially in the winter when the indoor air quality is worse than the outdoors!

So, if despite giving your home a deep cleaning, including removing the dust in the bathroom, you or (and) other family members still notice recurring allergic symptoms, call a professional duct cleaning company to come and inspect it.

Most of the respiratory issues result from heightened sensitivity to these airborne irritants.

Recent Home Renovation

If you recently renovated your home without sealing the air ducts, they may have accumulated a lot of dust.

Also, suppose there was paint removal or asbestos removal during renovation. In that case, hire a professional to clean the air ducts.

This is also the case if you have bought a new home and want a deep cleaning of each room and all systems, including the air ducts.

Vermin (Insects or Rodents) Infestation

If you start seeing nesting materials and other droppings signaling the presence of insects or rodents in your air ducts, you better contact a cleaning professional immediately.

Cleaning will stop the infestation, which could spread germs, dust, and other pollen in your home.

Ducts Smelling

Are your air ducts smelling? One of the most effective ways of fixing that problem is cleaning them. Musty sewers, dead animals, cigarette smoke, skunk, and urine are some of the major causes of duct smells.

We then recommend a fogging treatment that can deodorize and further inhibit future dust accumulation. A professional like Zerorez can help clean your air ducts without damaging them.

Air Ducts Are Clogged

Air ducts have minimal or no airflow when they get clogged. This is because dirt, debris, and dust block the proper flow of air from the air conditioner.

This can cause some rooms in your home to not be heated or cooled the same as others in your home. This can also cause your utility bills to shoot up, as the air ducts work harder than usual to heat or cool your home.

Is Air Duct Cleaning a Waste of Money?

If you hire careless, inexperienced cleaning companies, air duct cleaning will be a waste of money! Air duct cleaning can also be a waste of money if, at the time of cleaning, it's not dirty, smelly, or showing signs of mold growth.

If your air ducts are clogged, smelly, dusty, or have signs of mold, cleaning them won't be a waste of time.

Beware of anyone who offers $99 for whole house air duct cleaning, or other similarly cheap deals on air duct cleaning as they are most often a scam.

These cheap air duct cleaners may not be licensed, may not actually clean your entire system, sometimes lie about the presence of mold in order to charge you more, and work hard to upsell you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Their cleaning process often only involves putting air whips down the register vents and sucking debris away with a shop vac. That's only a small part of your entire ductwork and system and is a waste of your money.

You must hire a reputable air duct cleaning company like Zerorez who uses a truck mounted air duct cleaning system. You can read more about the Zerorez air duct cleaning process here.

Blue Zerorez Negative Air Duct Cleaning truck inflated, with a red hose coming out and going into the garage of a house

Otherwise, a careless, inexperienced cleaning company will leave you repairing or replacing your ducts, or hiring someone else to do it right.

So, testing a company's skill level is paramount. Ask them plenty of questions about their services. They should be able to provide complete and knowledgeable answers regarding their services. Also, confirm if they have the required certifications from associations that have set a standard, such as the National Air Duct Cleaners Association.

It's also paramount that they inspect and provide an estimated cleaning service cost beforehand. If the costs are exaggerated or too low for the inspected work, know you're dealing with scammers. Look for the service from other reputable companies.

Should You Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned?

Though studies do not conclusively prove that air ducts cause allergens and other respiratory diseases, dirty air ducts are a breeding place for dust, dirt, debris, pet hair, dead animals, and cigarette smoke, which cause allergy symptoms.

If there are signs of mold growth or vermin infestation, you recently renovated your home, have recurrent allergies, or the ducts are smelly and clogged, you should have your air ducts cleaned. It's not a scam to have them cleaned due to any or all of these reasons.

When you hire a professional to do the job, you'll notice better fresh air flow in your home, reduced ailments, and extended HVAC life.

Pros and Cons of Air Duct Cleaning

If you still think air duct cleaning is a scam, here are its pros.

Pro: Removes Hazardous Pollen From the Ducts

Debris, dust, dead animals, dirt, and other pollen in your air ducts could cause allergy symptoms to you and other family members. It's vital, especially if some family members have weak immune systems and respiratory or allergy problems, to clean ducts.

Cleaning removes this hazardous pollen and creates a clean environment for everyone.

Pro: Extends the Life of the HVAC System

Allowing dirt, dust, and other pollen to accumulate in your duct for years means these pollen will move down to the filters and the HVAC system.

Consequently, the HVAC and the filters will start to wear and tear, and eventually, your system will fail. Hence, cleaning dirty ducts prolongs the life of the HVAC system.

Also, cleaning your ducts helps the system cool or heat within the required time and effectively distribute clean, fresh air in your home.

Pro: Removes Odors

Duct smells, for example, caused by cigarette smoke, can be dealt with effectively through cleaning.

Dust, dirt, and moisture accumulated in your ducts for many years can also result in smelly ducts. Based on how strong the smell is, it can cause some family members to become nauseous.

Professionally cleaning them will freshen up the air in your home and make it a conducive environment for everyone. We don't mean to scare you, but there are cons related to duct cleaning if you choose to do the job yourself or hire an inexperienced duct cleaner to cut the cost.

Con: Potential Damages

It's easy to damage your air ducts if you hire a non-skilled person to clean them. This could easily cost you more if the ducts need to be repaired and replaced.

Avoid air duct cleaning companies that claim to be the cheapest. You will get what you pay for!!

Ask to see reviews or pictures of past work. If the company isn't established and lacks great testimonials from past clients, don't entrust them with your air duct cleaning tasks.

Before and after air vents were cleaned by Zerorez Air Duct Cleaning Service
Before and After Zerorez Air Duct Cleaning

Con: Visually Impossible to Inspect the Damages

An air duct is a complex system that needs to be handled only by experts. It's visually impossible to inspect all the components; only professionals should check for damages.

Get in touch with Zerorez today. We do a deep cleaning of the ducts and the entire HVAC system (when necessary and upon request). But first, we start with a pre-inspection of the ducts, provide you with an estimated budget, and use a powerful air duct cleaning system.

We also offer fogging treatments, lifetime air filters, and UV whole home air purifiers.

Need our services? We're only a call away and you can get a quote and book online. Get in touch now!

Book a Cleaning with Zerorez® Today!