System Access

HVAC system cleaning is not a complex process, but each job is unique. Where possible, access to duct interiors should be made through existing openings such as supply diffusers, return grills, duct end caps, and existing service openings. Cleaning technicians may need to cut access holes in the duct work in order to reach inside with various cleaning tools. Creation of these service openings, and their subsequent closure, requires craftsmanship and professional skills.

Equipment Requirements

There is a wide variety of equipment available to HVAC cleaning professionals. Both truck-mounted and portable vacuums can be used to stop the spread of contaminants and get the system cleaned to the NADCA Standard.

Antimicrobial Chemicals

Antimicrobial chemicals include sanitizers, disinfectants and deodorizers that can be applied to non-porous surfaces in HVAC systems to address microbial contamination and help control odors. Only chemicals registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can be used. These products should only be considered after mechanical surface cleaning has been performed and if the need for such treatment has been deemed necessary.

System Maintenance

There are a few things that you can do to maintain the cleanliness and efficiency of your HVAC system:

  • Get good filters—ask your contractor for a recommendation.
  • Clean/change the filters as needed (at least every two months).
  • Even with properly cleaning and changing quality filters, the HVAC system will still become dirty over time. Have your system inspected every two years to determine whether your system needs to be cleaned again.

Cost and Time Estimates

There are several factors that affect cost and time estimates:

  • There are several factors that affect cost and time estimates: type of ductwork, size of the system, system accessibility, the number of crew members, level of contamination, and even environmental factors. Properly cleaning an HVAC system in an average-sized home may cost upward of $1000 USD.
  • Beware of advertisements that have “whole house specials” for very low prices. Many of them only include the main ducts and charge extra for the air handler, blower fans, coils, registers and cutting access. Upon arrival many of these companies then up-charge to excessive amounts.

NADCA Members provide a higher level of assurance to consumers.

Following, are tips to help you find a qualified contractor in your area:

  • Got to the NADCA Web site at www.nadca.com and enter your zip (postal) code to find a NADCA member in your area.
  • When speaking to a contractor, make sure they can show proof of NADCA membership and certification.
  • Make sure the contractor will conduct a thorough inspection of your HVAC system and alert you to any problems.
  • Make sure the contractor will clean all of the HVAC system components including, at a minimum: air ducts, coils, drain, registers, grills, air plenum, blower motor and assembly, heat exchanger, air filter, and air cleaner.