While many air duct cleaning companies are honest, some may try to scam you into paying hundreds of dollars to remove a nonexistent health hazard. “Blow-and-go” companies have been known to advertise $49 or $99 whole-house duct cleanings and then pile on extra fees or unnecessary services.
You want to make sure your air ducts are cleaned by a reliable, honest company that won’t overcharge you or fail to do the job correctly. Luckily, there are several things you can do to ensure you’re hiring a reputable air duct cleaner.
Know When You Need a Duct Cleaning
Everyone should get their air ducts clean regularly, although how often may depend on your household. The National Air Duct Cleaning Association (NADCA) recommends more frequent duct maintenance if there are smokers, shedding pets, or residents with allergies or asthma in your household.
A good cleaning can remove any harmful mold growth and vermin infestations, clean up after a home renovation, and inspect and clean the ducts before you move into a new home.
Avoid the bait-and-switch scam
If you see a company advertising a price that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Unscrupulous cleaners may try to weasel into your home with a $49 or $99 whole-house offer, then charge thousands of dollars in unexpected fees.
Others will limit the number of vents cleaned for the fee in the fine print. This limit is generally much smaller than the number of vents in the average home.
Low-priced cleaners may not do as good of a job cleaning your vents. Some scam artists will stick a vacuum in your vent and call it clean. A real air duct cleaning involves much more than that.
Do some background research
Online research can go a long way in determining whether a duct cleaning company is reliable. A company that has been around for a few years under the same name is most likely trustworthy, while a company that popped up a few weeks ago and doesn’t list an office location probably isn’t.
Check the reviews and ask for references. If you’re spending hundreds of dollars, it’s worth it to see what other people have to say about the company.
Request proof of liability insurance
A reputable company will hold liability insurance and worker’s compensation coverage. Ask the company for proof of this insurance. If they refuse to provide it, find another company — this one may be unreliable and leave you on the hook for any damage to your home.
Ask about NADCA membership and certification
Find out if anyone at the company holds membership or certification from NADCA. Since NADCA members must complete training, follow a code of ethics, and carry liability insurance, they’re your best bet.
Members also follow NADCA’s best practices. This means they will do what’s best for the entire HVAC system rather than just the ductwork.
Get a second opinion before committing to expensive treatments
If an air duct cleaner says they’ve found mold or another health hazard in your ducts, consider getting a second opinion. Be extra cautious if the cleaner makes a hard sales pitch and insists you get the work done right then. A good air duct contractor won’t mind waiting for you to get a second opinion.
Get a quote
Before choosing a duct cleaning company, ask for a quote to see if they are offering services at a reasonable price. Duct cleaning can range from a few hundred to well over a thousand depending on the size of your home.
It’s essential to do your research when choosing a duct cleaning company. If you avoid these red flags, you’ll be able to screen out the scammers and ensure you’re getting a thorough duct cleaning for a reasonable price.
DustVac Northwest offers over 25 years of experience in the HVAC industry. We are certified by NADCA and service the King, Snohomish, Pierce, Whatcom, Skagit, Island, San Juan, and Kitsap Counties. Contact us today to get a quote.