What is Air Duct Cleaning?

Air duct cleaning is a full scale cleanse of ventilation systems and ducts involved in your central air systems and any other ventilation systems. Dryer vent cleaning is an important job to consider doing as well. If your dryer duct becomes riddled with lint it becomes a fire hazard and is potentially dangerous to both you and your loved ones. Professional cleaners will have the proper dryer duct cleaning equipment to get the job done and get it done well.

According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, a 6 room house on average collects about 40 pounds of dust every year! That dust contains millions of dust mites that can carry or provide host to a slew of different bacteria, fungi, and mold. This is not something you probably wanted to hear. The central air you use to heat and cool your house is going through these vents and it is estimated by the EPA that indoor air can be anywhere from two to five more times polluted than outside air. Aside from the negative health risks, this can also make for your bills to be much higher. If the system is too clogged to work at its best, it’s going to have to use up more energy to accomplish the same jobs.

DIY vs. Professional Air Duct Cleaning


  1. Cheaper
  2. Can get enough cleaned to make a difference

Deciding to do your own air duct cleaning can be cheaper if done with simpler tools as opposed to paying between $500 and $1000 dollars for the professionals to handle it. It will be nice to know that even with simple hand tools and a new furnace filter, you can remove as much as 80% of dust and pollutants removed!


  1. Won’t be able to reach some areas without proper equipment
  2. Somewhat long and tedious process
  3. Air duct cleaning equipment is expensive

The downside to a DIY air duct cleaning is that without proper equipment, there are some areas that you will not be able to reach with simple hand tools. It can also be a difficult process including the time it takes to learn how to do it and actually doing it. When you opt to do the whole thing yourself, it’s entirely possible that you might break something and end up costing yourself more money than it would have cost to simply have it done professionally.

However, if you are still geared up and ready to do it on your own here are some of the things you will need:

  1. New Furnace Filter
  2. Vacuum(“Shop Vac” preferably)
  3. Brush(stiff bristled)
  4. Screwdriver(correct type to take off vents)
  5. Paper Towels

Cleaning your air ducts on your own is a long process. If you wish to know more about DIY air duct cleaning you can go here for more information.

Air Duct Cleaning Industry

Air duct cleaning technicians make about $14.00 an hour based on the national average as of June 2017. It is a relatively small industry with much room for expansion and relatively low barriers to entry. If you wanted to start your very own air duct cleaning service you could easily enter the market and not have to worry too much about competition. It’s not all fun and games though so be aware of high costs involved.

This business may have low competition, but getting into the market may be more costly than it is beneficial. As far as training goes you have a few options. You can work under an experienced air duct cleaner, take a six-month course for basic certification, or even get a two-year associate’s degree at a college. It is also recommended by the EPA to hire cleaners from the National Air Duct Cleaners Association Registry. In order to be listed on their registry you have to take a $395 course with the NADCA, and pay the annual membership fee of $825.

The prices mentioned above only get you where you need to be in terms of specifications. You still need to purchase the proper equipment which can run you anywhere from $1000 to $7000 dollars. If you really want the proper equipment it’s going to be closer to the $7000 figure. This would include a portable vacuum system with cameras, negative air machine, and any desired air duct cleaning accessories. This is a really great investment in order to guarantee a completely thorough job. Any air that has been contaminated needs to be removed safely after cleaning, which can be done with the specific vacuum effect negative air machines will provide you.

Alternatives to Opening Your Own Air Duct Cleaning Business

After all of these startup costs and fees, you need to be sure you can effectively market yourself to people in the area you are trying to provide service. This can be a tricky process, especially for something that is not extremely popular yet. However, there are other options that could be a safer bet if you feel this is too much money or too much work.

There is the option of getting involved in a franchised business, much like someone would do if they wanted to open a Quiznos. The nice part about opening a franchise is that a lot of the legwork involving a new business is clear cut and the business comes with a prior reputation. This means it will be much easier to market yourself to customers if you are a part of a big name business in the industry. Furthermore, if you decide to work with a franchised company you will be able to receive very specific training as to how things need to be done.