Heating Ducts Cleaning

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Air duct cleaning

Feb 2013

We really need to get our air ducts cleaned, and I would love a recommendation on a service somewhere between the apparent scam mail-coupon companies ($49!) and the high-end environmental companies (minimum $650). From what I've read, the coupon companies should definitely be avoided, but we were hoping to find something a bit more affordable, if it exists. Most of the postings here are several years old -- has anyone had this done more recently and have a recommendation to share? Thanks! jillian

We used AJ Services (http://www.ajservicesllc.com/) in June 2011 and were very pleased. The tech actually spotted a leak in one flue and jury-rigged a fix until we could get it fixed properly. Highly recommend.

We recently used The Irish Sweep on two dryers, at two different locations. One was very simple, the other more complicated as it was difficult to get access to the tube. The owner came with an assistant. They were quick and cleaned up afterward. Paid $180 total. Greta

Dryer Duct Cleaning

Sept 2011

Does anyone know what happened to the Lint Extractors company? Their phone number has been 'temporarily disconnected' for quite some time. Failing that, does anyone know of another company that provides a similar service (cleaning out backed up dryer lint from the piping) in the East Bay? thank you! Claire

Lint Extractors came to my home about a month ago. They left quite a few deep, fresh scratches in my expensive linoleum, the width of my dryer legs, sold me an expensive brush for lint that is cumbersome at best, and I have no improved heat inefficiency in my dryer even after they charged me for replacing some of the ducting. I called and talked to Kim who said Steve would get back to me and come look at the damage. He never did, and a few days later their line was disconnected. Scratched floors

Looking for air and dryer vent cleaning

Sept 2011

Looking for air duct and dryer vent cleaning recommendation. All I can find are lots of bad review on Yelp. Thanks! anon.

I purchased a Living Social deal a couple of months ago for Fresh Environment, and was pleased with the results. Our house was built in 1923, so needless to say the ducts were pretty scary when we moved in 2 years ago.

I found their customer service to be excellent, the technicians called when they were on the way, and although they did the predictable upsell when they got to my house, they didn't press the issue when I said I was going to stick with the basic service. We can all really tell the difference since the cleaning was done! The air flow is much more powerful, and the air quality is a zillion times improved.

The only thing that annoyed me was that I made a point of telling them that our cat does NOT go outside, and to please let me know when they needed access to our bedroom so I could put her in another closed room. This didn't happen, and I got royally scratched catching my terrified cat as she tried to bolt out the back door.

If you're interested, feel free to email me and I'm happy to give you the name of the specific technician who performed the service for us (I'm sure they have many). Cara

Duct cleaning

April 2010

We need someone to clean the duct that runs from the dryer to the outside, as it's very long. We may as well get our heating ducts cleaned, too. Can you recommend someone who will get the job done, at a reasonable price, and won't try to upsell a new furnace, etc? Thanks! Yucky Ducts

i didn't get the dryer vent cleaned, but i got our house ducts cleaned by Atlas Heating and Air Conditioning Co in oakland 3 months ago - 510-893-1343. there are several companies that advertise for $75 in valu-pak mailings, but i opted to go with a recommended company via BPN. i think it cost $235 and took about 90 minutes.

melvin from atlas arrived with a big truck that sucks out the dust while he went around with a blower on each register to ''push'' the dust out. (btw, he'll drill a large hole by the furnace where he attaches a hose to his truck, then cover that hole with sheetmetal.

and wow, our furnace worked better and cleaner, as i am very sensitive to irritants. also, melvin NEVER tried to sell me anything. just did the job, then left. even wore booties over his workboots while walking around the house. though many people wouldn't have noticed any difference, it was to me. in fact, i might hire them again soon because it seems like our neighbors' massive amount of second-hand smoke from the one party they had may have infiltrated our system - i knew i should've changed the filter which was very dirty, only after 2+ months, sigh... clean duct fan

Air Duct Cleaning for Allergies

Aug 2009

My 12 year old son has severe allergies. Testing showed that the primary irritant is dust mites. We have covered the mattress and pillows as recommended and run a hepa filter in his room. But I'm wondering if having our air ducts cleaned would be helpful or cause more problems? I have noticed ''stuff'' coming out of the air duct in our bathroom which looks like insulation that we had blown into our attic many years ago. Why would that be coming out? It is even coming out when we are not running the heat or fan. Has anyone had their air ducts cleaned/vacuumed out? What were your results? Would you recommend for or against it? Any recommendations for companies who do this kind of thing? B

While I don't about the dust mite situation, I do know that having our ducts cleaned somewhat regularly has made a HUGE difference in our house. My whole family has allergies of some sort (dust, pollen, etc.), and our allergy attacks have been reduced since we started getting our ducts cleaned. We use Atlas, which is an air and heating company. Most of the companies that install and repair HVAC equip also do duct cleaning.

Want to g et our ducts cleaned before winter

Sept 2008

We want to have our air ducts cleaned before winter when we turn on our heater. We received an estimate from COIT, figuring they were a reputable company, but had a horrendous experience with them cleaning our drapes. I wouldn't trust COIT to do anything in our home. Can anyone recommend a good company? Janet

Disclosure: I'm in the heating and air conditioning business. We don't do duct cleaning, so this shouldn't be a conflict of interest. Most duct cleaning companies do a terrible job. Either they have the wrong equipment, poorly trained technicians, little integrity, or the work is a pretext to get in your house and sell you additional services. One company (who will remain unnamed) has a policy of condemning any furnace over 8 years old. I recommend that you find a vendor who isn't in the heating business. Coit is one possibility, I've heard about 80 percent positive on them. My favorite is Synergy Environmental Services who also do asbestos abatement and don't sell furnaces or repairs. Berkeley Choate

2004 - 2007 Recommendations

Do we really need air duct cleaning?

Oct 2006

We have lived in our 1920's house for about 7 years, and I would finally like to have the (forced air) heating air ducts cleaned. My husband thinks this is unnecessary; that Coit and others who try to sell us on this don't do anything that frequently-replaced furnace filters couldn't clean. Can anyone set one of us straight? The only thing I like less than a dusty house is spending money superfluously! anon

I would say, yes, you need air duct cleaning. We lived in our house about 6 years before we had it done, and I could totally tell the difference in air quality afterward. I'm pretty sure your heater will run more effeciently if the ducts are clean, too. There will be less dust and dirt restricting the air flow

On cleaning the air ducts. We just had our old metal ducts (covered in asbestos) removed and replaced with new flexible ones (that are actually quite light & delicate- seemed to me) by Harry Clark Heating Co. I talked wth the workman who was very conscientious and he said they actually recommend putting in new ducts when you need to clean, not hiring Coit, etc....Paying to clean them is just not going to be as thorough as you might like. The asbestos removal was done by Synergy Companies in Hayward - rec. by HC and then 3 days later the duct installation. This winter our house will smell so much better! The East Bay Monthly had an article about furnace work/contractors Oct.or Nov. 2006 so look for it contented customer

2003 & Earlier

Getting ducts cleaned

Jan 2003

We just finished some remodeling and turned on the heat for the first time this season. The result was a lot of dust and who knows what else coming out. Can anyone recommend a company that cleans heating ducts? Thanks! Ebba

I am looking into having the ducts and furnace cleaned. My wife has been having allergies all winter. WE have called a few places so far and the quotes are about $400-425 for the ''1st 10 ducts.'' I have heard that there are many unscrupulous cleaners out there and you have to watch them to make sure they do the job. Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated. adrian

We just had our heater ducts cleaned today by Atlas. This is the second time we've hired them to do this job, and they are great! They come when they say they will, within a 30 minute window, are clean (the workman wears booties so as not to track dirt around), and it is as painless as such a project can be! It cost $175 (we have a fairly large house) and took about and hour and a half. They also inspect your furnace, change the filters, etc. I highly recommend them. Judy

Nov. 1999

I had mine done last year by the company with the big ads, and it was a great success. Got rid of a lot of dust and musty smell. The guy even tried, for free, to fix a part that was almost broken. And he charged me less than the advertised price for some reason. I was really happy with the results. This isn't the same as having your furnace checked out, which you should also do once in a while.

I just had an estimate done from Freschi Air Systems 800-794-2653. I originally saw the full page ad but I always check the Better Business Bureau and ValueStar before I contract with a service person. Apparently there is a big difference between the $79.00 full page ads and a full service cleaning. The lower price cleaners basically use a shop-vac and take about an hour. A more extensive clean takes uses a larger suction system cleaning system and thoroughly cleans out each register. It runs about $500 depending on the size of the house but my neighbor and I are both getting it done so they dropped the price to 409.00. It will take them about 4 hours to do each house and they recommended the cleaning every 10 years for normal dust areas. You can look into you heating vents with a flashlight and see for yourself the amount of dust in your system.

We, too, saw the ad in the paper for the bargain duct cleaners, but something about it rubbed us the wrong way. Coincidently, friends had just had their ducts cleaned by Atlas Heating and Air Conditioning Co. They were charged a flat rate of, I think, $160, and were satisfied, so we called them. They charged us the same for our two bedroom house with six or seven vents, came on time, were very neat, and we are happy. Their number is 893-1343.

We had one company come to our house and clean our ducts--it's probably the one whose ad you saw. (They run full-page ads all the time.) They were very neat and polite. We have hardwood floors and didn't want them clomping their equipment around on it, and they were very careful not to. They did try to sell us special air filters and spray for killing bacteria in your duct, but they weren't hard-sell and we didn't buy anything. There was one small mishap--the guy accidently dropped an irreplacable duct cover screw down a duct. He graciously and patiently waited while my husband and I went through the contents of his vacuum cleaner looking for it (to no avail).