Some traditional spring cleaning tasks are easily accomplished on your own, like clearing out clutter or rearranging storage areas. Other important tasks such as cleaning air ducts or your carpets may require professional assistance – and that's where things can get confusing.
When you hire a professional to handle a cleaning task, how do you know what he or she should be doing for the money you pay? For that matter, how do you know how much you should expect to pay? Here are some common spring cleaning and maintenance tasks that you might hire a professional to do – and some guidance for what these jobs should entail and cost.
Air duct cleaning/HVAC maintenance
Regular maintenance of your home's heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can help avoid costly break-downs, and keeping air ducts clean can improve air quality in your home. Concerns about HVAC contractors are among the top 10 most common complaints received by the Better Business Bureau.
Before you hire someone to clean your air ducts and service your HVAC systems, check their credentials with a credible organization like NADCA, the HVAC Inspection, Maintenance & Restoration Association. NADCA members carry general liability insurance, have at least one person on staff trained and certified as an Air Systems Cleaning Specialist, and clean and restore heating and cooling systems following the association's guidelines.
A cleaning/maintenance inspection should include examination and cleaning of ductwork, including supply and air return ducts; cleaning of all supply registers, return air grilles and diffusers; cleaning of supply and return air plenums; and maintenance on various parts of the system. Check the NADCA website at www.nadca.com for a complete checklist of what a cleaning should entail. A typical cleaning should cost between $450 and $1,000 per system, depending on the services rendered, the size of the system, how easily accessible it is and how dirty it is, according to NADCA.
Cleaning your home's windows can have a dramatic impact on both the interior and exterior of the house, but it is a major project. If your home is large, you have a lot of windows and little time, hiring a professional may be the best way to get your windows cleaned. Look for companies with an established reputation. A typical window cleaning should include the inside and outside of all windows in the home, removal and cleaning of screens, and cleaning of all sills and tracks (which means they must open every window to fully clean it).
Most companies charge per pane and your total cost will vary based on many factors, including the number of windows in your home, how many are on upper floors and even your region of the country. Typically, however, you should expect to pay between $2 to $7 per pane, according to CostHelper.com.
While you can rent a machine and shampoo your own carpets, cleaning rugs may be better left to a professional if you have particularly challenging stains, a lot of furniture to move or a material that requires special care. Typically, the cost of carpet cleaning is about 25 cents to 35 cents per square foot, according to The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI).
Several factors will influence the final cost, including the size and number of rooms, your area of the country, how much furniture cleaners will have to move, and how badly soiled the carpet is. A typical cleaning should include vacuuming before cleaning by a technician with professional certifications for carpet cleaning, according to CRI.