Avoiding "Dirty" Air Duct Cleaners
The Scenario of Most "Dirty" Air Duct Cleaners
The following is exerpted from "Scam Alert: Avoid "dirty" duct cleaners" published in Consumer Report News
You get a flyer in the mail from a company offering to clean the air ducts at your home for only $99. Intrigued by the low price, you contact the company and set up an appointment.
When the company arrives at your house, the rep tries to sell you on a bunch of other services, including carpet cleaning or mold remediation, to improve the air quality inside your home. If you don't bite at these invoice-increasing items, he gives your ducts a cursory cleaning before moving on to the next mark somewhere in your area.
That lowball offer should have been a red flag to avoid that firm. A reputable company will charge $400 to $1,000 to clean the ducts in a typical 2,000-square-foot house, says the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA)…
ConsumerReports Findings on Air Duct Cleaning
Even more important to know is that there's no proof that cleaning ducts prevents health problems, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Nor do studies conclusively show that dirty ducts increase levels of airborne particulates in a home. Still, there are times when you should get your ducts cleaned:
- Have the ductwork cleaned if it contains visible mold buildup or has debris coming out of supply registers, or if the ducts are infested with vermin. Check for problems by removing the registers and shining a flashlight into the ductwork.
- Consider having your ductwork professionally inspected if someone in your home is suffering from unexplained allergies or illness. Before you do that, however, a doctor should rule out other causes.
- Find NADCA member contractors in your area on the association's Web site, www.NADCA.com. Be sure the company cleans the entire HVAC system, including the ducts, heat exchanger, and air handler.
- Consumer Reports recommends that customers "insist on a thorough visual inspection…to ensure all components of the HVAC system are free of visible dust and debris" (www.consumerreports.org). At Mr. Duct, we provide detailed before and after video inspections to do just that.
Dateline Looks Inside National Network of Air Duct Cleaning Scams
Protect yourself from unscrupulous air duct cleaning companies. Bottom line: If you think you need your air ducts cleaned, check with both the Better Business Bureau and the National Air Duct Cleaners Association before answering the cheap ad in the newspaper.Watch these web-exclusive videos of Chris Hansen confronting air duct cleaners:
Watch Video #1: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3032600/vp/41303490#41303490
Watch Video #2: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3032600/vp/41303490#41303740Watch another look at the dirty business of air duct cleaning scams, and how you can avoid them, with Michele Mason of the Better Business Bureau:
Watch Video: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3032600/vp/41303490#41283060Source: NBCNEWS Investigations, Dateline with Chris Hansen
View Website: http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2011/01/30/5956602-dateline-looks-inside-national-network-of-air-duct-cleaning-scams
As members of the National Air Duct Cleaning Association (NADCA) and the Better Business Bureau, we can guarantee that every Mr. Duct Air Duct Cleaning technician is an expert professional. Every service is reviewed with the customer at the home through a live-feed video inspection and a two page report detailing the cleaning.
Unfortunately, there are many companies that are not as thorough. These companies often offer low-prices coupons and attempt to up-sell services and products at the home. The following news article details the deceptive practices of these companies.
In order to avoid inviting inadequate air duct cleaning companies into your home, follow these tips:
- Use the NADCA Residential Cleaning Checklist as you call around- if an air duct cleaner is not including a component of the checklist for their price, you can be sure to see an up-sell at the home!
- Be sure that the air duct cleaner you choose utilizes proper tools and equipment. Many companies will use leaf blowers, shop vacuums, and other equipment not designed for air duct cleaning in your home. Be sure to ask the name of the tools used and if the vacuum is portable or not.
- Avoid companies that use sanitizer as a selling point or product- the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that sanitizer sprayed through ductwork has caused adverse health affects and does NOT recommend sanitizing services.
Further Research & Source DocumentsSource Document:
"Blow & Go Air Duct Cleaners: Scam Alert - Avoid "Dirty Air Duct Cleaners" - Consumer ReportsFurther Research:
"Beware of air duct cleaners who blow-and-go" - Angie's ListRead the article on the Angie's List Website