Tips to Avoid the Scammers
Homeowners beware: scam duct cleaning services are on the rise. These “blow-and-go” companies are notorious for doing a poor job at cleaning your home’s ducts, and they offer their services at prices that are too good to be true. Here are some helpful tips to avoid these scam artists:
Too Good to be True
SCAM. Any company offering whole house duct cleaning for $60 dollars is probably trying to pull the wool over your eyes. At best, you may get a poorly done vacuuming. At worst, you could get charged for services you didn’t request. Some companies use these “whole house specials” as a way to get in the door. Once in, they claim that your ducts are full of mold and the price jumps from $60 to $800.
SCAM. Anyone who tries to pressure you into immediate action does not have your best interest at heart. Some of these scam companies have told home owners that their homes aren’t safe due to mold in their ducts. They have gone as far as handing out coupons for hotels. Rest assured, even if you do have a little mold in your vents, the odds that you would need to vacate are extremely slim. If you feel like you’re being pressured by any company, ask them to leave.
WARM FUZZIES. When you have a duct cleaning, expect MORE than just your ducts to be cleaned. The company needs to do a full cleaning of various heating and cooling components of your system. This includes cleaning the registers, grills, heating and cooling coils, diffusers, heat exchangers, condensate drip pans, and more.
WARM FUZZIES. If you have friends, neighbors, or family members that have had their ducts cleaned, use them as resources. Ask them what services were provided for the price they paid and whether or not they were satisfied. If you don’t know anyone personally, look for online reviews. You can always ask the HVAC company to provide references.
WARM FUZZIES. We advise that you ask for written estimates from 3 or more HVAC cleaning companies. A reputable company will be willing to give a free inspection and estimate.
WARM FUZZIES. Whether in person or via camera, you need to be offered a full inspection of your ducts and HVAC system. Do not pay for the service until you verify that your HVAC unit and all ducts are clean.
Before and after pictures of the intake ducts pack the most visual punch, but this is not the area that you need to be the most concerned about. Ask for before and after pictures of the supply ducts. This is the area where it’s most important that the air is clean.
There are plenty of reputable HVAC cleaning companies out there. If you do your homework and steer clear of the gimmicks, your HVAC duct cleaning experience will be a pleasant one. We recommend that homeowners have their ducts cleaned every couple years. You should also have a duct cleaning if:
- You suspect mold.
- You have had a recent home renovation.
- You have had a possible infestation of the critter variety.
- A family member is suffering from an allergy related illness that won’t go away.
- You’ve cleaned and vacuumed your registers and you are still left with debris, odors, pet hair, or other contaminants coming through the vents.