Dust, debris and contaminants can build up in your commercial HVAC system and create health issues for the people working in the space as well as increased energy costs because they reduce efficiency. Facilities managers have lots of responsibilities and often the air duct system gets ignored until a problem such as inefficient air delivery or employee breathing issues arise.
Regular air duct maintenance and cleaning will help keep the ductwork working efficiently and will also alert you to any potential problems before they become serious. But when the time comes for a cleaning, it’s good to have an idea of what to expect.

The Estimate

When you engage with a professional air duct cleaning company, they will need to do a visual inspection of your facility in order to prepare a complete estimate. The estimate, however, should be created for you free of charge by any reputable company.

Scope of Work

The work to be performed and the timeframe for completion should always be presented to you in a scope-of-work document. There shouldn’t be any questions about what is going to happen at your facility and how long it will take for the work to be accomplished. This is a good time to ask questions and clarify anything you may not understand about the cleaning process.

Considerations of Cleaning Costs

When determining the cost of the commercial air duct cleaning, the company will take these elements into consideration:

  • Number of air handlers
  • Linear feet of supply duct work
  • Linear feet of return duct work
  • Number of grills and registers
  • Number of VAV boxes
  • Number of coils

Labor costs

When these numbers have been defined, the labor costs will be determined by a calculation of the number of man hours needed to clean each element multiplied by the hourly rate. For example:

If there are 2 air handlers at 6 man hours each, that equals 12 man hours. Or if there are 500 linear feet of duct work to be cleaned at 15 feet per man hour, that equals 33 man hours.

The application of the hourly rate is then applied to the total man hours for the project. If the hourly rate is $75, and the project man hours are at 100, the labor cost of the estimate would be $7500. Labor rates vary in different parts of the country so this figure will be dependent on your location.

Consumables supplies

Materials to be used on the job such as duct tape, poly tubing, coatings, sanitizers, etc. will be billed to you, typically at a rate of 5% to 7% of the labor estimate.

Miscellaneous charges

Sometimes there are charges for electrical work that may need to be completed, travel costs, or equipment rentals that will factor into the total of the cleaning estimate.

Commercial air duct cleaning is more involved than residential situations so it’s important to have a custom estimate prepared by air cleaning professionals. You not only have to factor in the number of vents and square footage of the building but also the variety of HVAC systems that can be in operation in commercial facilities. The components involved in a commercial building are different from residential use, too, and require different cleaning techniques. Overall, it’s best to engage the services of professionals who have the knowledge and tools to clean your commercial air duct system safely and efficiently.