In a previous tip, a reader asked “Is there a cleaning times standard for cleaning air vents?”

As already discussed, identify a “typical” area with 10 to 20 vents that you can “clean” as you understand the customer’s expectations. We have determined that they want all the vents vacuumed and/or wiped without any take downs or ladders involved. This is important in that using a ladder will probably have an impact on your insurance costs since it puts your staff at great risk of injury.

I suggest you have an experienced worker vacuum all the vents with a staff person timing the work. They should identify whether it is an outlet or an inlet since the times may vary. Assuming they first vacuum the vents first and then go back with a short treated cloth on a stick, the timer can get a good range of how long it takes.

Assuming they cleaned 20 vents and the times ranged from .5 minutes (30 seconds) for 10 intake vents and 1.25 minutes (75 seconds) for 10 outlet vents, they can add the totals for each type and then divide by 10 to develop a time standard to apply to the entire area.

We will continue to look at developing your time standards in a future article. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or