Air Duct Cleaning

Duct cleaning nearby Los Angeles is a part of our HVAC ductwork services as well as duct replacement & installation and air duct sealing service.

Hidden behind the walls and the ceiling are the unnoticed channels of air ducts functioning silently as the alley, which moves conditioned air to and from the system to different parts of your home.

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Like any other surface or stuff at your home, your duct system can also become a haven for dust and other dirt. Once the ducts are dusty, they can spread to your entire house through the air vents. The air constantly cycles between the HVAC system and the vents.

And the only way to come out of this loop is to go for duct cleaning services which will remove all the unwanted dirt and debris from the ducts and enhance the efficiency of your system.

However, don’t just think of it as merely dusting the ducts, just like the furniture in your house. Duct cleaning is a very advanced and more profound process that requires the help of an HVAC professional. The trained HVAC technicians will carry out the cleaning process using several tools and equipment to remove the contaminants.

Now, you must be having a lot of doubts and questions regarding the process, cost, time taken, etc.

Well! Fret not, because we are there to help you out. Below we have mentioned all the necessary and relevant information you need to have clarity regarding duct cleaning.

So without delay, let’s get into the knowledge intake!

What is Air Duct Cleaning?

Nowadays, people have become self-aware of their surroundings and cleanliness. And the awareness has increased multifold after Covid. With the rise in pollution and global warming, you must also have the same concern.

Products and services of many companies are available to improve indoor air quality. Both heating and cooling systems require the installation of air ducts for this purpose. These air ducts run through pipes to provide forced transportation of clean air.

If your HVAC ( Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system is not adequately cleaned and maintained, the duct can accumulate various dirt, dust, and other debris. These dirty ducts can cause dirty air to flow in your surroundings, causing inefficiency.

It is why air duct cleaning is essential and a healthy choice. Duct cleaning refers to cleaning various heating and cooling components of forced air systems. Companies related to cleaning air ducts adhere to industry associations’ standards. Specialized air duct cleaning tools and chemicals are used to clean up dirt and kill contaminants.

If you’re thinking of getting your air ducts, air vents, furnace or air conditioner cleaned, please make sure that you choose a qualified cleaning service company or professional. Failing to do so can cause re-contamination and thus negate all the potential benefits.

Why is duct cleaning necessary? 

Why is it important to clean your house? The majority answer will be to maintain a clean and healthy environment. The same answer goes for air duct cleaning as well.

There are varieties of dirt found within the duct surfaces that can contaminate the air quality, causing various health and allergic issues. And this is why air duct cleaning is of utmost importance. Periodic maintenance and cleanliness of air ducts help maintain a cleaner environment, better air quality, and a more comfortable, affordable, and efficient HVAC system. You will safe lots of money on air conditioning services if you would keep your ducts clean.

You’ll realize the significance of cleaning your heating and cooling system when you read the list of the contaminants that are most frequently seen:

  • Massive amounts of pollutants
  • Dead skins
  • Dust mites
  • Fungus, mildew, mold, fungi
  • Insects and bugs
  • Pet hair and dander
  • Smoke from tobacco products
  • Volatile organic compounds

How Duct Cleaning Is Performed?

Please remember that specialized air duct cleaning tools are required for the HVAC system duct cleaning process. It is not something that you can do it yourself using some home tools or vacuum cleaner.

Sometimes the air ducts are cut for tool access. A powerful vacuum system removes dirt and increasingly loose airborne contamination. If this is not done appropriately, you can do more harm than good.

So, how does air duct cleaning work, and what is the procedure? 

Check the dirty air ducts and the HVAC system

The first step is to have a basic visual inspection of the ducts and HVAC system for two main reasons. One is to determine the amount of accumulation and then check the difference after the duct cleaning process. A credible company would almost certainly have cameras for probing deeper into air ducts.

Second, a competent duct and HVAC system check allows the technician the opportunity to inspect for leaks and other damages.

Create a negative pressure 

Before turning on the suction and cleaning the air ducts, the technicians should take precautionary measures.

First, they must attach the long hose of the air vacuum collection unit by cutting an access hole in the duct system. This attachment should take place to a duct near the Air Handler. The Air Handler is the core of your HVAC system. It is advisable to seal the intersection area of the air duct and hose as securely as possible.

Then each register should be adequately sealed and secured using an adhesive cover. It is a critical move; if ignored, the entire air duct cleaning process is rendered useless.

Once these preliminary steps are complete, the vacuum unit will be switched on, creating a negative pressure. The collection system will suck the particles within the air ducts as they are brushed or blown loose.

Agitating the dust

When the HVAC system is under negative pressure, the technician can expose each register and clean the ducts individually.

The amount of time each technician spends per register is one thing that differentiates a NADCA-certified air duct cleaning contractor from a fly-by-night operation. To ensure dust is appropriately dislodged and sucked into the air vacuum collection system, authorized technicians use compressed air equipment, spinning brushes, and simple vacuum cleaners.

Cleaning the rest of the system 

In the end, NADCA suggests cleaning the heating and cooling system’s other parts. The other parts include the Air Handler’s blower motor, evaporator coil, and drain pan. Cleaning these parts and cleaning or replacing the filter will extend the life and performance of your HVAC system and enhance the air quality.

Benefits of Duct cleaning

As you already know until now what duct cleaning is, you must also know how beneficial it is for your HVAC system.

It isn’t just good for your system; it also has multi-faceted benefits for your home and your family.

Here they are:

Improves air quality

A contaminated air duct laden with pollutants can negatively impact your indoor air quality. Such air can trigger allergic reactions and also promote illness.

The air duct cleaning process eliminates these pollutants and other debris from the house. A significant volume of air pollutants is disposed of with air duct cleaning, which immediately upgrades the air quality and your home environment.

Increase efficiency and longevity of the system

The more dirty air ducts, the more dirt, debris, and other pollutants, and the more load it takes on your HVAC system to force the air through registers. Also, the pollutants inside the air ducts can travel inside your heating and cooling systems, which results in a buildup of contaminants, hindering system efficiency.

The cleaning process resolves both the issues and results in a more efficient and durable HVAC system.

Eliminates odors and molds

Air duct cleaning removes particulate deposits. It includes but is not limited to rodents, pet droppings or fur deposits, improperly sealed ductwork bringing in outside air, and mold growth or moisture buildup. Removal of these deposits eliminates terrible smells and molds.

Duct Cleaning vs. HVAC System Cleaning 

The confusion surrounding air duct cleaning services is that duct cleaning is a subset of an overall HVAC system cleaning process. The only time to clean your ducts is when they are contaminated. Usually, people think that if you need to clean the air ducts, you need to clean the entire HVAC system. The logic behind this is that the entire HVAC system comes in contact with the air moving through the ducts.

Air duct cleaning is a small part of an overall HVAC system cleaning, including cleaning and replacing the air filter, checking drain pans and lines, cleaning grilles and diffusers, furnace air plenum, and blower motor, etc.

Deciding Whether or Not to Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned

It is impossible to generalize the reasons for deciding whether or not air duct cleaning is required and whether it would be beneficial. It is usual for return registers to get dusty; the registers can be easily vacuumed or removed and cleaned.

You should consider cleaning the air ducts if:

  • Substantial visible mold growth inside air ducts or other components of your heating and cooling system.
  • Ducts are infested with vermin.
  • Your ducts are clogged with excessive dust, dirt and other pollutants.
  • If anyone in your household suffers from allergies or unexplained illness.

What to Expect From an Air Duct Cleaning Service Provider 

If you decide and choose to get your duct system cleaned, the service provider should:

  • Open access ports or doors to inspect and clean the entire heating and cooling system.
  • Inspect the entire system before cleaning. There should be no asbestos-containing materials in the HVAC system as it requires specialized procedures.
  • Use vacuuming equipment that exhausts particles and pollutants outside of the home. Otherwise, use only high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) vacuuming equipment if the vacuum exhausts inside the home.
  • Protect all the carpets and furnishings within the living space during the cleaning process.
  • Use well-controlled surface brushing and proper contact vacuum cleaning to dislodge dirt and other pollutants.
  • Use only soft-bristled brushes for sheet metal air ducts with internal fiberglass and air duct boards.
  • Protect the ductwork, including sealing and re-insulating any access holes, so they are airtight.

Duct Cleaning Scams

Beware of scamsters and cheap “whole house special” deals!

When air duct cleaning is not performed correctly, it causes more problems for you than good. You might incur more costs for your future clean air ducts. Also, you might not get a cleaner and healthier environment. So, be aware of “blow-and-go” salesmen who pose as “contractors” with mail-pack coupons.

Some may even falsely claim to be either Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified or say EPA recommends it. But for your knowledge, EPA neither provides any certification nor recommends air duct cleaning.

They may also try to sell service upgrades or expensive add-on services. They may also try to charge for duct restoration or show false mold tests claiming they have found molds in your air ducts or use air fragrances.

Please do the math before falling into the trap and temptation of low prices. Ask a simple question yourself, would a qualified service technician with a truck and excellent equipment service your ducts and HVAC system for 4 hours in exchange for such a low price like $50? Unlikely. 

How to Prevent Duct Contamination

Whether you decide to have the air ducts cleaned, it is essential to commit to an excellent preventive maintenance program to minimize air duct contamination.

  • Change filters regularly so that they are not clogged.
  • Use a high-efficiency air filter recommended by your heating and cooling system manufacturer.
  • Ensure you do not have any missing filters, and that air cannot bypass filters through gaps around the filter holder.
  • Ask the service provider to clean the draining pans and the cooling coils.
  • If you are reconstructing or renovating your place, seal off the return and supply registers and do not operate the system until the dust is cleaned.
  • Vacuum your home regularly.
  • If in-duct humidification equipment is included in your HVAC system, operate and maintain the humidifier as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Promptly repair any leaks or water damage.
  • Pay particular attention to cooling coils.
  • Be sure to properly seal and insulate all non-airconditioned spaces.
  • If you are replacing your HVAC system, ensure that the unit is the proper size, and all the ducts are properly sealed at the joints.

Cost of duct cleaning

How much does it cost to get your air ducts and the HVAC system cleaned?

Well, it depends from contractor to contractor. But generally speaking, duct cleaning can cost anywhere between $800 to $2,200. It can cost much more in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, and Ventura counties.

Factors affecting duct cleaning costs

If you need to clean your excessively dirty air ducts, get them cleaned by a professional. It can improve the overall air quality and cleanliness of your surroundings and boost the efficiency of your HVAC system.

So what affects the duct cleaning cost?

Your home’s size

It is pretty straightforward – the larger your home, the more air duct cleaning will cost. More ductwork, vents, and more than one HVAC system mean additional labor costs.

Number of return vents

The return vent is the large grille that marks the entryway to your ductwork and the heating and cooling system. It is where unconditioned air is sucked from your home into the system.

Because of its location, the air passing through it carries more dust, dirt, and other contaminants. As it is one of the dirtiest part of the system, it will require additional labor. Also, more return vents mean more you’ll have to pay for duct cleaning. 

The contaminants in your ducts

If you have bio-contaminants, such as pests, mold, or mildew, you will pay more for the duct cleaning process. Bio contaminants can cause health issues like sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, dizziness, shortness of breath, lethargy, fever, and digestive problems.

If such bio-contaminants are found in your air duct system, it is much more worth investing in a professional duct cleaning service.

The contractor 

Higher-quality and reputable contractors charge more for their duct cleaning services.

More reputable companies will take more than 3-4 hours to carefully clean and vacuum every inch of the system. They are not interested in providing quick and sloppy 30-minutes duct cleanings.

Moreover, reputable companies use specialized air duct cleaning tools and vacuum cleaners to carefully contain dirt, dust, and other pollutants. They also prevent any damage to your home and the HVAC system. 

How to Minimize Risk If You Are Going to Have Your HVAC System Cleaned

The first step is to select and use the services of a qualified contractor. The chances are that the air duct and the HVAC system cleaning are done safely by a trained and certified service provider.

It is not a guarantee that the service will be problem-free, but it does at least improve your chances.

It is imperative and better to have at least one certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialist (ASCS) on staff. They are responsible for standardized and guideline-approved cleaning and restoration of the HVAC system.

Easy DIY Duct cleaning

An average family generates 40 pounds of dust annually. And this does not include other contaminants like mold, pet hair, mildew, etc. You can save money, time, and energy if you know DIY steps to keep your air ducts clean.

To complete the entire task of duct cleaning, you’ll need a furnace filter, heavy-duty gloves and a dust mask, a vacuum cleaner with a long vacuum hose, a brush, a power drill or screwdriver, and a microfiber cloth, and paper towels.

Before starting the cleaning process, one should be aware of the types of vents. You can perform an easy tissue test to identify which vent is which. Put a tissue or a paper on the vent; if it holds, it is a return duct. It brings air back to the HVAC system from the house. If the tissue doesn’t stick, it is a supply vent, which blows out warm or cool air from the heating and cooling system.

The vents outside your home allow air to flow into and out of your attic. They are not part of your HVAC system and are not required to be cleaned. Call in a professional if you find mold during your DIY duct cleaning.

DIY Duct Cleaning Steps

  1. Unscrew the air duct covers and return-air the grill plates
  2. Cover up and tightly seal your supply vents with paper towels. It is required so that the dust and dirt do not blow in and out.
  3. Set your thermostat on the “fan on” position and ensure that the heat and relaxed mode are off. The fan will help to move the loosened dust.
  4. With simple light tapping with the handle of your brush, loosen the dust in ducts.
  5. Clean the supply registers properly using the brush, vacuum cleaner with a long hose, and a microfiber cloth. Reach down inside the ducts as far as possible and wipe the interior clean.
  6. Clean the return registers with the brush, vacuum cleaner, and microfiber cloth as far as possible.
  7. Completely shut off the fan and furnace by turning off the system’s power.
  8. Remove the panels on the front of the furnace and clean out the blower compartment and return the air boot.
  9. And finally, replace the furnace filters. Furnace filters should be changed or cleaned at least once a month.

Tools you’ll need for duct cleaning

It is an excellent investment to buy duct cleaning tools as homeowners tend to see lower energy bills due to air duct cleaning. Cleaning your ducts will require the following tools:

A vacuum cleaner with a long vacuum hose

Choose an old or heavy-duty vacuum cleaner as many harsh elements like screws tend to rest at the bottom of the air ducts. Also, get a long vacuum hose to go with the cleaner. It‘ll help to reach long, curvy, and distant spots within the system.

A leaf blower, Brush, and Microfiber Cloth

After a thorough vacuuming, a leaf blower, brush, and microfiber cloth will help loosen the remaining dust particles. The inner lining of the duct can be cleaned using a brush and microfiber cloth.

Power drill and screwdriver

To vacuum thoroughly, you need to get inside the air duct system. The system is made out of steel and sealed with screws. So, you need a power drill and screwdriver to make a five-inch diameter hole and open screws.

Old pillow or paper towel

You’ll require an old pillow or paper towel as a stopper so that the elements don’t blow into the heating and cooling system.

Heavy-Duty gloves and N95 respirator

While cleaning the air duct system, please make sure that you wear heavy-duty gloves for protection. Also, put on an N95 respirator to save yourself from breathing the harmful dust-filled air.

Why choose RLD services?

RLD Services offers sincere and meticulous duct cleaning services.

When you choose RLD, you get all the services related to the heating and cooling systems, including installation under one roof. We provide free estimates, a one-year labor warranty along with the credit. We first assess whether you honestly need your ducts cleaned or not.

Also, we will explain all the details of our duct cleaning process and services and let you decide whether to move forward or not.

Don’t risk it by choosing another company. Call RLD Services today for all your duct cleaning and HVAC system-related needs.


Here are some of the questions people usually ask:

Is air duct cleaning a waste of money?

Duct cleaning isn’t a waste of money any day!

Just like your HVAC maintenance, duct cleaning is an annual maintenance cleaning, and you must do it because it is beneficial and necessary in many cases.

There might be substantial growth of molds and mildews inside your ducts. Also, there might be chances of pest infestation in the ducts. Therefore, it is better to schedule annual duct cleaning services to keep your ducts in good shape.

How do you clean HVAC ducts?

Here is a guide to cleaning your ducts all by yourself:

  • Unscrew the covers of the air ducts and the return grill plates.
  • Cover the supply vents.
  • Change the setting of your thermostat to the “fan on” position.
  • Slowly tap on the ducts to loosen up the dust.
  • Clean the supply and the return registers.
  • Switch off the fan and the furnace.
  • Clean out the return air boot and the blower compartment.
  • Replace the furnace filter.

Is duct cleaning the same as a heating and cooling system?

Duct cleaning is not the same as HVAC cleaning.

Ducts are a part of the whole HVAC system, and there when we talk about duct cleaning alone, we don’t mean cleaning the entire HVAC system.

However, the case isn’t the same with an HVAC system. When you clean your HVAC, it means cleaning the entire system, including the ducts.

Therefore, duct cleaning is a part of HVAC cleaning, and it can also be done separately depending upon the system’s needs.

How often should you clean your air ducts?

Experts suggest that you should clean your air ducts every 2 to 3 years to avoid any problems with the system or any kind of health issues.

However, if you have pets or children at home, you should clean your ducts more frequently and with the help of a professional.


I needed to get my duct vents cleaned because it took too long to heat. After searching for a while, I found RLD services, and I made a call. I got a booking for the day after tomorrow. The main problem was that the outlet of the vent dryer was outside the exterior of our two-story building. I told the mechanics to use a ladder, but a shed blocked the outlet, and due to this, they couldn’t place the ladder. However, the mechanics were brilliant and accessed the outlet through the window. The work took around 3 hours to complete, and they did a fantastic job. Plus, the rates were also reasonable. Thank you, RLD.

Ashley O.

I Can’t express how unique my experience was with RLD heating and cooling services. It was the first time I was getting my house’s ducts cleaned, and I didn’t know what to expect. Smith came to clean the ducts and was super friendly. He explained everything to us in detail and was highly professional. He spent almost 6 hours at our house and did the job skillfully. We will call them up in the future. Highly recommended, guys!

Bill T.

Very responsible, professional and friendly. We called the company to clean our duct system, and luckily the team also found asbestos insulation around the ducts, and they removed it. They were prompt, and the prices were fair. Thank you, RLD services.

Milton J.

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RLD Heating Cooling
8040 Deering Ave #5, Canoga Park, 91304

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