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Flexible Duct Cleaning - DIY or Hire Professional?

Barry Martin
April 20, 2023

Dirty Ducts & Health Hazard

Are you having a sudden outbreak of allergic reactions or sinus trouble? How about shortness of breath or itchy red eyes?

Dirty duct with technician

Dirty ducts create health hazards that can get quite serious, even if you aren’t feeling the effects momentarily. Individuals with sensitivities to certain allergens can experience asthmatic flare ups or a sudden outbreak of rashes.
The Department of Consumer Affairs, reports that children are more affected by poor air quality than adults. Here is a list of health problems that can be caused by poor indoor air quality either in your home or as a building occupant:

  • Allergy can flare up and remain for a prolonged time
  • Rashes or skin problems can be triggered alongside
  • Breathing problems, shortness of breath and lung disease can originate
  • Advanced risk of respiratory and ENT problems in seniors and infants

When to DIY vs. Hire a Pro?

Homeowners and renters alike are often faced with a difficult question: whether to hire expert assistance or to do it themselves. Here’s a side-by-side flexible comparison of the two for you to determine the best possible way to go about it:

Concerning MattersDIYHire a Pro
EquipmentsDoing it yourself will still require you to invest on the equipment and will require you to have a budget designated for the preparation.There are elements to commercial air duct cleaning that only professionals have the skills and equipment to accomplish smoothly.
ExpensesIf you plan on doing the job yourself, you will likely only need to pay for the cost of the brushers or dryer vent cleaning kit, which typically runs between $20 to $50 at most hardware stores.The cost to hire a professional to clean your dryer vents is around $150. However, those costs can increase depending on where your dryer vents to your home’s exterior. For example, if the dryer vent is on your roof, you’ll likely pay a bit more than if your dryer vents from the basement or first floor of your home.
ScheduleGiven that regular cleaning of dryer vents is essential to your appliance's performance, efficiency, and safety, one must add the chore to their home maintenance routine on an annual basis.The professionals will plan the cleaning according to your space and use of the conditioning system and supervise the system without interrupting your schedule.
Performance & EfficiencyIt will require you to learn the basics of duct cleaning and multiple cleaning sessions to be accustomed with the norms to be able to accomplish the task more efficiently than professionals.The cleaners are trained and guided by professional agencies and different courses to be able to conduct the cleaning business more efficiently.
Length of DuctworkCleaning dryer vents yourself can also be pretty easy if your ductwork is relatively short (around 4 feet or less), and the vent is easily accessible from the outside. With shorter ductwork, it may be possible to clean the vent with gloved hands.For longer ductts, professional help is advised to avoid the hassle and possible occurrences that might take place otherwise.
SafetyTo avoid DIY ductwork getting messy, you can purchase a vent cleaning kit from your local hardware store. Kits typically include a brush, drill attachment, and extension to help you get at the many interior ridges and the hard-to-reach nooks and crannies inside your ductwork.Dryer vents can become clogged and lead to devastating fires. Hence, many homeowners prefer to call in a professional for the job. After all, maintaining clean vents can avert many severe possible accidents.

How Can You Do it Yourself?

A smaller HVAC duct cleaning can be done using minimum tools. All you need is a vacuum, brushes, towels, and rags. Clear the area surrounding the ducts as they could fall in once you remove the protective covering or grates. Once you have removed the covering carefully, use your tools to clean the inside of the ducts.
Though it sounds easy, the process can be more complicated. Looking up video tutorials or reading manuals found online, buying equipment, and thoroughly cleaning can end up costing you time and money you were trying to save. Here’s a DIY video on how to clean air ducts yourself for guided instructions:

Why Professional Air Duct Cleaning?

Air duct cleaning services cover 12 states across the United States of America DC, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Colorado and more. When you are looking at your local duct cleaning companies, make sure to inquire if they are NADCA certified!

Professional technicians inspecting before cleaning

Even the best DIY job has no match for professional duct cleaning services, like the ones we offer at ACDC. Duct cleaning companies can clean deeper and more thoroughly that you may not be able to do with your household vacuum or cleaner tools. Our trained cleaning personnels are equipped with specific tools to reach areas in your air vents that are tricky to clean otherwise.
Getting rid of the undesirable elements within your ducts, allows you to experience the wonderful benefits of clean air ducts:

  • Circulates air with least allergens
  • Less sneezing, coughing, rashes, and itchy eyes
  • Fewer asthma attacks
  • Improved breathing
  • No undesired moulds or bacterias 
  • A reduced risk of respiratory issues
  • Less congestion related discomfort
  • Overall a feeling of healthier well-being

What Can Cause Dirty Ducts?

Here are some clear signs that you can observe if your ducts are dirty and need maintenance. We’ve listed some items to look for when inspecting your air vents for cleanliness.

Clogged Air Ducts

Clogged air ducts will trap the clean air inside the vent and prevent it from being distributed into your space. The first probable explanation could of course be a clogged air duct or damaged wall linings.
First, the source of the malfunction has to be determined before trying out possible remedies to fix the problem. If filters are dirty, they disrupt the air quality and flow in the vents. We recommend changing and cleaning your air vent filters on a regular basis to maximise energy efficiency and air quality of your air conditioning system.

Mould Around Air Vents

It is not uncommon for mould to accumulate inside air ducts if the moisture and condensation are trapped inside the ducts for an extended period of time. A general mouldy or musty odour throughout a property can point to dirty ducts that requires cleaning and professional attention.
While cleaning them yourself, safety precautions are to be ensured before getting exposed to the built up moulds and bacterias. Start by gently wiping down vent dust covers with a damp cloth is a quick fix but won't solve the bigger problem.



In some straightforward cleaning situations, DIY duct cleaning may suffice, but often it is not enough. In many cases, there is no substitute for professional air duct cleaning.

Our well-trained specialists at All City Duct Cleaning have the tools and knowledge to undergo the task with precaution and can identify other problems such as leaks, loose or unsealed grills, registers, and improper insulation troubles.

Well maintained ducts are essential for a proper heating and cooling atmosphere, and is the main source of clean air in your space. With harmful allergens and debris travelling through them, you can see why professional vent cleaning is more advised than doing a DIY.

For more questions relating to duct cleaning services and individual queries, contact us and avail suitable services for a healthy living!

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