Can Flexible Ductwork be Cleaned?

Flexible air ducting

What is flexible ducting?

Flexible air ducting refers to ductwork made of durable, flexible materials like PVC, PVC coated aluminum, aluminum and insulated aluminum. These ducts bend and conform to fit tight spaces or complex layouts, offering versatility and easy installation compared to rigid ductwork. You will often find flexible ducting in homes with slab foundations or furnaces placed in attics because of the difficulty installing rigid ducting.

Pros of Flexible Ducting:

  1. Versatility: Flexible ducting can easily navigate through obstacles, making it suitable for installations in tight spaces or complex layouts where rigid ductwork may be challenging to install.
  2. Easy Installation: Flexible ducting is relatively easy to install, requiring fewer tools and labor compared to rigid ductwork.
  3. Cost-Effective: Flexible ducting tends to be more cost-effective in terms of material and installation expenses compared to rigid ductwork.
  4. Energy Efficiency: When properly installed and insulated, flexible ducting can minimize air leakage, leading to improved energy efficiency in HVAC systems.

Cons of Flexible Ducting:

  1. Restricted Airflow: Flexible ducting can be prone to kinks, bends, or sagging, which can restrict airflow and reduce system efficiency if not installed correctly.
  2. Durability: Compared to rigid ductwork, flexible ducting may have a shorter lifespan and be more susceptible to damage, especially if not handled with care during installation or maintenance.
  3. Noise Transmission: Flexible ducting can transmit noise more easily than rigid ductwork, potentially causing noise disruptions within the space.

Can Flexible Ductwork be Cleaned?

Yes, flexible ductwork can be cleaned. However, it is important to use the proper techniques and equipment to avoid damaging the ductwork. Professional duct cleaning companies have the experience and expertise to clean flexible ductwork safely and effectively. Cleaning flexible ductwork can improve indoor air quality by removing dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and allergens.

Cleaning flexible ductwork requires specialized equipment designed for this purpose. Professional air duct cleaning companies utilize high-powered vacuums, rotary brushes, and compressed air tools. The vacuum creates negative pressure, while the rotary brushes agitate contaminants, loosening them from the duct walls. Compressed air tools blow the dislodged particles towards the vacuum for efficient removal.

However, it’s important to handle flexible ducting with care during the cleaning process. Flexible ductwork is easily damaged, and even small tears or punctures can affect its functionality. Therefore, a qualified technician should inspect the flexible ducting for any existing damage before proceeding with the cleaning. This inspection ensures the cleaning process is performed safely, minimizing the risk of causing further harm to the ducts.

By using the right cleaning methods, equipment and exercising caution, professional technicians can effectively clean flexible ductwork while safeguarding its integrity and maximizing the overall efficiency of the HVAC system.

Regular Maintenance and Considerations:

To maintain clean and efficient flexible ductwork, regular maintenance is key. Essential considerations include replacing air filters as recommended by the manufacturer, ensuring proper insulation, and scheduling periodic professional inspections and cleanings. Factors like pets, smoking, or nearby construction may require more frequent cleaning to minimize contamination.


Cleaning flexible ductwork is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy indoor environment. While it is possible to clean flexible air ducts, professional expertise and equipment are essential for effective results. Relying on experts ensures thorough cleaning, improves indoor air quality, and helps maximize the efficiency and longevity of the HVAC system. Prioritize regular maintenance and seek professional assistance for optimal results.