Is your duct cleaner operating illegally?

Hvac System Cleaning

“What is the most important thing I should look for in a duct cleaner?”

We hear people ask this all the time.  Our answer never changes:

  1.  Make sure they are NADCA certified.  You can read about why NADCA certification is so important on their website.
  2. Look up their accreditation and rating on the Better Business Bureau.  If they aren’t accredited, don’t use them.  If their rating isn’t good, don’t use them.
  3. Check their license.

“Check their license? Why?”

It may surprise you to hear that a license is required for proper air duct cleaning in most states.

It may not surprise you that there are many “fly by night” air duct cleaning companies that don’t hold proper licenses.

In the state of Texas, air duct cleaners have to hold an Air Conditioning Contractor’s License.  Cleaning to the NADCA standard means that your duct cleaner needs to do more than just “dust” your air ducts.  They need to actually cut into the supply plenum (the box in your attic) and clean out the mold and dirt in that main section.  And anyone who cuts into ductwork must hold an Air Conditioners License from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations (TDLR). 

“Is having a license really that big a deal?”


The state of Texas put this requirement into place because, if you don’t know what you’re doing, cutting into ductwork can really cause a lot of damage.

Having a license also means that the person cleaning your ductwork has gone through extensive training.  And they’ve continued that training through Continuing Education (CE) courses.  The CE courses make sure that people who already hold licenses stay up to date on new technology and best practices.

“Okay, okay. I get that a license is important.  But how to I check that my duct cleaner has a license?”

Search for licenses at the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation’s website. You can either look for the license by their name, or type in the license number that your duct cleaner gives you.  If their name isn’t listed, or the number has a different name, then you have a problem.

You can also search for people who have had action taken against them by the state for things like operating without a license.

Interested in our experience obtaining a license? We’ve got a blog post deep in the archives from when Doug Long first became a licensed contractor!

“Where can I read all these laws?”

We have a full post with all of the laws about duct cleaning.  You can read the laws on our post, or follow the links back to the original text in the Texas Administrative Code.

Is your duct cleaner operating illegally?

Help keep other home owners safe by letting the TDLR know. You can report contractors operating without a license and contractors who violate their license. And, as always, we recommend that you leave reviews both good and bad so that other homeowners can be well informed.

We want to hear from you! Call or email to tell us about your indoor air quality problems.  We’ll help you find the right solution.