How to Avoid Air Duct Cleaning Scams
Reputable air duct cleaning companies rely on expert labor and advanced equipment to perform each job efficiently. When a price for an air duct cleaning seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Subpar service results when a homeowner pays rock-bottom prices. Even worse, the service may be a scam designed to extract more money from a homeowner’s wallet than initially expected.
What does an air duct cleaning involve?
The supply and return air ducts and registers naturally accumulate dirt and debris over the years. Pet dander, pollen, mildew, and bacteria are common pollutants found inside the ducts. Air duct cleanings suction out these contaminants, ensuring the system is free of dust and dirt particles.
Some experts claim air duct cleanings improve the quality of the air inside the home. Others say stale indoor odors are eliminated. The most reliable and proven outcome of duct cleanings is that it improves the efficiency of the system, allowing the HVAC to work less to achieve peak efficiency.
How do air duct cleanings improve the system’s operational efficiency? Consider that heating and cooling coils lodged with debris, motors covered in dirt and air handling components layered with pollutants make it extra difficult for the system to function without added effort.
Professional air duct cleaners utilize powerful blowers, vacuums, and brushes to pull out contaminants from the intake, supply and return ducts. Furthermore, quality workmanship includes fully cleaning the grilles, fans, motors, coils, air handlers and housing of the HVAC system.
Homeowners who know what encompasses a proper air duct cleaning can avoid becoming entrapped in the quicksand of air duct cleaning schemes:
Scam 1: Dirt Cheap Cleanings
Dirt cheap air duct cleaning offers bait unwitting homeowners. These attractive prices lure homeowners into inviting the air duct cleaners to perform the cleanings. The work performed is minimal at best. The technicians offer continual service upgrades, and if bought, the job done is still subpar.
Coupons advertising air duct cleanings for lowball prices, like those running for $49 or $99, are a sure miss when it comes to solid workmanship. Once inside the home, the unscrupulous technicians conveniently discover problems that may be fixed to the tune of $600 to thousands of dollars.
Savvy homeowners understand the true cost of professional air duct cleanings. The majority of air duct systems may be professionally cleaned for $300 to $500. Factors that affect the price include the home’s size and the configuration and quantity of air ducts. On average, cleanings cost $35 per vent.
Scam 2: Quick and Dirty
Utilizing lowball prices to appeal to unsuspecting homeowners, professional scammers haphazardly clean the air ducts. The task is performed at a bare minimum. The technicians’ quick entry and exit allow them to “clean” several homes’ air ducts to make up for their severely discounted fees.
The air duct cleanings are arbitrarily done; simply put, the technicians only clean what is visible to the homeowner. Slipshod jobs like these only worsen the effect of contaminants, pushing debris farther back into the system, so that the HVAC continues to recirculate polluted air throughout the home.
The best way to avoid scams like this one is to hire reputable professionals. Hiring quality service means paying for competency and integrity.
Scam 3: Unprofessional Tools
Even worse, scheming technicians use inferior equipment, like handheld vacuums, to pull out dirt particles from a few vents. Using substandard tools exacerbates the initial problem by damaging the ducts or releasing more dirt into the home. Scammers like these are in and out the door within a half hour.
Homeowners who are in the know realize that a proper air duct cleaner utilizes outdoor vented equipment, which leads to captured dirt being vented to the outside of the house. Legitimate air duct cleaners also take their time—at least three to four hours to competently complete a job.
Scam 4: Sudden Mold
Once again, the coupons for cheap air duct cleanings entice the homeowner. Devious cleaning companies send technicians who conveniently discover mold, even if colonies do not flourish inside the home. The sudden “findings” prompt the service people to increase the price of cleaning the air ducts.
When an air duct cleaning specialist identifies mold in the ducts, a red flag should pop up. Before proceeding with the cleaning, hire a licensed mold inspector to determine if mold is actually present. Dishonest cleaners can supply fake mold tests to persuade homeowners to part with their money.
Homeowners should be aware of air duct cleaning scams, like those mentioned above, as well as know how to identify qualified service providers. Referrals are always best, as are online reviews, to help pinpoint legitimate, local air duct cleaning companies.
Quality air duct cleaning companies abide by the regulations set forth in the National Air Duct Cleaners Association. Credentials are readily supplied by legitimate companies. Trustworthy technicians also provide homeowners with a written checklist of services to be done and tasks that have been completed.
Work with a Trustworthy Air Duct Cleaning Company
It is important to call a trusted air duct cleaning company to thoroughly and effectively clean the air ducts in your home or commercial building. Qualified technicians arrive onsite equipped with industry-grade tools and proven tactics to ensure all air ducts in the home receive thorough cleanings.
Homeowners can rest assured that all components of their HVAC system, from the heat exchangers to the heating and cooling coils and the vents and registers to the grilles and diffusers receive top-notch cleanings. Dirt particles are also removed from the fan motor and housing and drip pans. Plus, air duct cleaning experts are trained to effectively service hard-to-access areas of the home.